In the eyes of many, Gita Gutawa is sweet like cotton candy and warm like a kiss.
But nobody knows how she looks like when dealing with some bitter and cold days of her starlet life.
Going to 16, Gita is still working hard to convince people that her sudden popularity goes beyond her father’s name, Erwin Gutawa, a noted music composer and conductor.
“This is something I learned: nepotism wouldn’t work in the music industry,” Gita said. “Why? Because it depends on how people judge your quality. I may be the daughter of Erwin Gutawa, but people would leave me if I have no talent,” she added.
In fact, Gita says, she herself has never dreamed to be a popular singer.
“People never know that I came across to the recording company without any intervention from my father,” said Gita, who was born on Aug. 11, 1993. “It was merely a coincidence,” she added.
A coincidence like Gita said, an evening session of her vocal class in 2004 had brought her to a collaboration with famous music group ADA Band.
“I was practicing singing like usual that time,” Gita began to tell her story. “Not so long after that, the manager of ADA Band came over and asked, ‘who sang just now?”
It happened that her vocal school, Gita says, is next to the band’s studio.
“The manager said he had heard my voice from the band’s place,” Gita said. And at this point, she highlighted, “Even the manager didn’t know that I’m the daughter of Erwin Gutawa.”
And that was where it all started. She had a successful duet with ADA Band in an album as well as with other singers.
Recording company SonyBMG then offered her a contract and an album with her own name was released in 2007.
Gita’s life suddenly whirled around live performances, TV shows, commercial shoots, media interviews and fans gatherings. As many as six brands appointed her to become their ambassadors.
She even starred in two titles of soap operas Ajari Aku Cinta (Teach Me About Love) and Ajari Lagi Aku Cinta (Teach Me More About Love).
“I’ve never thought popularity and success came to me so quickly,” said the soprano-voice singer.
Gita even scored in her album selling, which went platinum, and honored with many awards. SCTV Music Awards named her the top of the top singer in 2007 and honored her the best album in 2008.
Also in 2008, she won the Indonesian Music Awards (AMI) for the best newcomer and the best album categories. The International Nile Song Festival in Egypt even named her the grand prix winner for all category of ages.
“All the negative sentiments against my sudden popularity had pushed me to perform the best. And I’ve proved them I do have a talent,” Gita said with a smile.
Going very well in the showbiz, Gita also stays serious at school. Five years in a row, she was awarded the best of the best student in her elementary and junior high schools.
“Not being a singer is actually not a big deal for me. I’m a student from the beginning, and I have a responsibility for myself,” said the tenth grader at Bina Nusantara High School.
Sometimes, school is fun for Gita with some fans coming just to give her presents, chocolates and love letters.
But when asked whether she had ever received a love letter from someone special, Gita went a bit nervous.
“No, I don’t have a boyfriend yet,” she said, and her face suddenly blushed.
She seems to avoid love gossips, the way she did a year ago when rumors had it she was close to a Malaysian young singer, who played in the same commercial with her.
The rumors, however, were buried by Gita’s polite words and good manner in front of the public.
“Ever since I’ve become under the spotlight, I keep reminding myself to be careful, and not doing anything fool,” she said. “Everyone will notice my every single mistake, so I have to take care of myself.”
So what Gita does is, keep herself busy with school and music.
“I’m finishing my second album now,” Gita said. “Around 90 percent has been completed, and I expect to release it in April.”
Gita’s new album will remain in classical tunes, with a splash of pop in it. It will also still feature love-themed songs.
“But it’s about love of many versions: on lover, friends and family,” Gita said.
And of course, one of the songs goes to her dearest 1,5-year-old sister Aura Aira Sagita, whom she had waited for 14 years.
“My little sister is the answer to my night prayers to God for so many years,” Gita said.
Let’s pray, this time, that the new album will turn sweet for Aluna Sagita — that’s her full name, which means song rhythm.