Ellya Khadam, Indonesian singer who passed away on November 2, 2009 in Jakarta, has her important contribution in early development of Melayu music in Indonesia. As we know that, Melayu music that later in 1980-ies become confused with the so-called dangdut music, was rooted from two influences; Indian music in one side, and Arabian music in other side. Ellya Khadam was a prominent singer in popularizing Melayu music with Indian influence. Her signature song Boneka dari India was Melayu music which closed to Indian music.
We have data as written in a back cover of album Pernjataan by orchestra El-Hurriya under direction M. Harris (produced by Remaco Jakarta, released est. 1970-ies) that Melayu music in 1968 was such breaktrough in music business since pop music made public feel booring. B. Djapar Hashim, who wrote that notes, said that El-Hurriya music with popular singer Ellya Khadam (alias Ellya M. Harris) and Muchsin was the echoes from Gangga river (Gema tepian sungai Gangga). Gangga is a name of river in India, which means that their music was closed to Indian music.
Also it is important to be noted that in this album they still used the term Orkes Melayu, not Orkes Dangdut. Meaning that their music was Melayu music which influenced by Indian music. We know also from this album that Ellya Khadam ever engaged in El-Hurriya Melayu Orchestra under direction M. Harris, a man who supposed to be her husband, that’s why Ellya used name Harris after her name.
Ellya Khadam was also ever engaged in Candralela Melayu Orchestra under direction Husin Bawafie. In one album by various Melayu artists produced by Remaco, Ellya Khadam interpretated 6 songs which composed by Ellya, Husin Bawafie and so on. There are two memorable songs in this album: Pengertian and Kau Pergi tanpa Pesan. These two songs were to be mentioned as her hits beside Boneka dari India. In an other album entitled Tetap Menanti by Candralela under direction Husin Bawafie (produced by Remaco, estimated 1970-ies), Olan Sitompul who wrote the notes in the back cover said also that Ellya Khadam was closed to Indian music. In one lp, Ellya ever made a duo album with Rhoma Irama.
Ellya Khadam (1932-2009) who lived in Jakarta was a singer, song writer, and actress. We have no data about the amount of her songs and albums. But she played in 21 movies since 1959-1978. One of her movies is Benjamin Biang Kerok. Her surename as mentioned by Wikipedia is Siti Alya Husnah. *