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Shattering stereotypes: Indonesia’s all-women metal band Voice of Baceprot rocks Glastonbury

Sporting their signature Vans trainers and hijabs, Voice of Baceprot’s three members rocked the famed festival, which draws around 200,000 fans annually, with their electrifying metal anthems.

Indonesia’s Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno congratulated the trio, calling their performance a “proud achievement for Indonesia”.

“They are not only the first band from Indonesia, but also the first Indonesian band of young women wearing headscarves playing heavy metal,” he said earlier this week.

Yet the journey to performing at one of the world’s largest music events has not been a smooth ride for the band members, who grew up in a conservative farming town in Garut, West Java.

For years, the trio had to battle deep-rooted stereotypes and prejudices to carve out a space for themselves in Indonesia’s male-dominated metal scene.

“At first, our community did not really support what we were doing,” said lead singer Firda “Marsya” Kurnia, 24.

“People from our village thought heavy metal was the music of the devil. It has taken them some time to understand us and our music, and that playing metal does not make us inherently bad people. Now, at least, people don’t pass their judgment to our face.”

The band was formed in 2014 and the “Baceprot” in its name means “noisy” in the regional Sundanese language spoken in West Java.

In an interview with This Week in Asia, Marsya recounted meeting her bandmates – 24-year-old drummer Euis Siti Aisyah, and 23-year-old bassist Widi Rahmawati – in school when they were all still aged 14.

Marsya said they found their true calling when a teacher suggested they channel their energies into an extracurricular activity such as music.

Heeding the advice, the girls joined an after-school