The singer of reggae band Steven & Coconut Treez, Steven “Tepeng” Nugraha Kaligis, died on Tuesday morning after a struggle with COVID-19. He was 46 years old.
Tepeng was treated for four days at Medica Hospital BSD in South Tangerang before passing away.
Many musicians have expressed their condolences and respect for him on social media, including Wendi Putranto, the manager of metal band Seringai.
“RIP Steven 'Tepeng' Kaligis (Steven Coconuttreez & Steven Jam) January 3 1975 - June 22 2021. Paradise is surely welcoming you, brotherman,” Wendi posted.
“[The fact that he died of COVID-19] ought to be highlighted so that society takes COVID-19 seriously and obligingly practices strict health protocols,” Wendi told The Jakarta Post.
Tepeng, born in Pekanbaru, Riau, in 1975, founded Steven & Coconut Treez in 2005, at the same time when reggae, rocksteady, and ska music were sweeping the country, at the forefront for a wave of other similar bands. Their first album, The Other Side, premiered the same year and gained them a dedicated fanbase.
The album’s single “Welcome to My Paradise” became iconic and is often played at touristy beach resorts and cafes through the entire country. The band won an AMI Award in the Reggae/Ska/Rocksteady category because of their songs “Kembali” (2019) and “Fallin” (2020).