In between headlining Bali’s biggest stages, local rockstar Sashi Gandarum spills the beans on her best kept island secrets - and why Canggu is LYF.
She’s the Jakarta-born, Bali-based rockstar that’s had our jaws on the floor during solo covers of Alanis Morissette, and our hands akimbo when she’s rocking her own hits with her band, Her Problem Solvers [listen to “Mexico” on her YouTube channel – we promise you won’t be disappointed].
Sashi is Bali’s pint-sized songstress and guitarist that’s taken the island by storm ever since she landed on our shores from the The Big Durian. She’s often spotted riding around Canggu with her custom-painted guitar [on a slightly beaten up Honda Cub], feasting on sushi at TYGR, and when she’s not belting out boundary-pushing chords and vocals, you’ll find her at Hanks Pizza & Liquor directing the daily music lineups.
In between sound checks and band practice, we asked Sashi to spill the beans on her best kept Bali secrets. Here are her island faves.
Hey Sashi! Tell us – why Bali?
I love the easy, slow paced lifestyle here – it’s completely different to Jakarta. The small community and “mind your own business” vibe really keeps me at peace. Simplicity at its best.
And why Canggu, Bali’s boho neighbourhood?
I love just cruising by random people on my bike, honking or waving and getting the same back. I never had that back home.
TYGR in Canggu, or Happy Chappy Chinese.
Fave coffee spot?
Revolver Espresso in Seminyak, or anywhere that serves their coffee. I’ve been going there since it opened, and now they’ve opened Revolver Nights with an Espresso Martini that’s to die for! Omg I want one right now…
Fave warung and/or Indonesian dish?
Warung Kemangi on Jl Raya Semat in Canggu! It’s just by my house and the Ibu and Bapak there are like adoptive parents. They even put more cabe [chilli] on my food to wake me up whenever I come in a little drunk after a gig! Their Gado Gado is amazing, and since I’m from Jakarta, that’s really saying something – we’re particularly picky about Gado Gado.
Best bars and/or cocktails?
Hank’s Pizza & Liquor in Seminyak, and I’m not just saying that because I work there! They have draught Heineken and cocktail promos almost every night, and their Espresso Martini is head to head with Revolver’s.
Fave place to watch the sunset?
Ooof, so many. If we’re talking about a beach sunset then I would say Cemagi Temple. But I have a very special place that not so many people know about on an abandoned roof at a very quiet homestay in Munduk, overlooking a valley toward Bali’s north coast. With the mist and the cold weather, it’s probably the best sunset I’ve ever witnessed in Bali.
Fave Bali beach?
I don’t do waves, I hate them. So my fave beach would be one that I can actually be in the water, so I’d say somewhere on the far left side of Mengiat Beach in Nusa Dua.
Fave island escape?
Nusa Ceningan. My heart broke when the yellow bridge collapsed. God bless all the victims. The Blue Lagoon there is my favourite place to contemplate. I could sit there for hours and hours just watching the different shades of blue.
Fave day trip?
North Bali – it’s nice and cold and you can get Ayam Taliwang by the twin lakes before continuing to Munduk. It’s nice to escape the beach once in a while.
We’ve heard you’ve scored yourself a contract in America for 6 months [CONGRATS!] What will you miss the most while you’re gone?
I’ll miss my friends, dogs and my kitchen. Cooking for dinner parties, going to the pasar and having people over is my happy time.
If you could take one Bali dish with you, what would it be?
Definitely perkedel kentang, ayam lalapan and fresh sambal from Warung Kemangi.
What have been your fondest Bali memories?
Probably the ones from on stage. Other performers will understand what I mean by the sparkle in audience’s’ eyes when they look, listen and dance to your music. It’s the best feeling ever. And then come the compliments as soon as you get off stage, making new friends from all over the world.
You’ve only got one month left before you leave. How will you be spending your last few weeks?
I’ll be eating as much nasi and sambal as possible. And spending time with my girlfriend, Kim, and my dogs. And of course, I have a few final gigs for you to stop by and say hi/goodbye….
Well, Bali’s [temporary] loss will definitely be America’s gain. So until next time, selamat jalan Sashi!
You can follow Sashi and her world domination on Facebook, Instagram and SoundCloud, or go and rock out at these upcoming January gigs:
Thursday 11th: Sashi & Her Problem Solvers at The Cashew Tree
Saturday 13th: Sashi & Her Problem Solvers at Orchard Bar & Restaurant
Sunday 14th: Solo Session at Milk & Madu
Sunday 21st: Solo Session at Milk & Madu
Sunday 28th: Sashi & Her Problem Solvers at Deus Ex Machina