Indonesian Artist Angger Dimas Explains 'Om Telolet Om' Craze: Exclusive

Courtesy of Angger Dimas
Angger Dimas

What in the world does it mean with these DJs tweet “Om Telolet Om?” It's an Indonesian phrase kids in that country shout at bus drivers, because Indonesian buses have a crazy arpeggiated horn sound.

On Tuesday (Dec. 20) afternoon, social media exploded with spam comments of the phrase, and it had a lot of DJs and other musicians wondering what it's all about. Even Spotify Indonesia recognizes its mysterious power.

As the meme continues to gather steam, Billboard Dance asked Indonesian-native producer Angger Dimas to try and shed some light on the sudden subject du jour. He was kind enough to respond via email.

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"Om Telolet Om" is just a common saying that I've heard many times when I had road trip with my family. Buses use that arpeggiated horn set to keep other drivers alert because number of accidents are really high due to traffic, until now. Literally, "Om Telolet Om" can be translated to "Sir, honk the horn, Sir!" Telolet is the sound of the horn. 

I think it's interesting to see this on a broader level, that Indonesians have a strong media power to raise awareness about pretty much anything... Unfortunately, it can also lead to cyber bullying when ones disagree with the importance of a certain raised issue.

So, what did we learn? “Om telolet om” is not some new-fangled phenomenon, but a silly old regular goof of Indonesian life that got amplified by social media

While the whole world finds itself out of its mind with telolet-fever, Angger Dimas recently dropped this awesome, bassy four-track EP, Angger Dimas and Friends. Each track, as you might have guessed, is a collaboration with one of Dimas' favorite studio pals and admired peers. Give it a listen between horn honks. You could use a little variety.


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