Anggun on November Cover

LARASATI OETOMO on PROFILE

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It is hard to define the Paris-based artist, Anggun, in one word. She is a singer, a philanthropist, a fashionista, a mother, and beyond all that, a warm-hearted mentor of young talents.


Despite her prominent track record on international stage, Anggun never actually leave her roots as Indonesian woman. “My songs are always personal, and all the lyrics are written from the perspective of Indonesian woman—who is motherly, tender, and understanding” she explained, mentioning Snow on the Sahara and Rose in the Wind as her perfect example. The FAO Global Ambassador frequently blends the sound of Indonesian ethnic melodies with her hit songs in her latter live performances.

What do you miss most about Indonesia, especially the things you remember before deciding to live abroad for good?

I miss that feeling where everything was so modest. At that time, where people were kind, tolerance was a key of living, and goodness was the main thing to live by. In addition, the cost of living was relatively inexpensive back then.

What are the keys to keeping yourself shine among the bright new stars in the music industry, mostly under international spotlight?

Honestly, it’s about maintaining your own uniqueness. In order to secure that highly-coveted spot in the music industry, I have to be myself—not an Indonesian version of an existing superstar. On the other hand, hard work and luck are also needed.

As the United Nation/FAO Goodwill Ambassador, what are your hopes for Indonesia?

My hope for the country is to be able to rise above the wave of intolerance that is happening on a bigger and scarier scale each day. We comprise tens of thousands of islands with their own cultures, dialects, arts, colors and beliefs that need to stay intact because these are the things that define Indonesia: unity in diversity.


Get a copy of our current Art Issue this November in your nearest bookstores, with Anggun gracing our cover.