Glenn Fredly: Get ready
to welcome the `new Glenn'

The Maluku-born singer looked very much like he was enjoying the music at the nightclub. Sporting jeans, a black T-shirt with a "Save the World" slogan printed on it, a hat and a pair of sneakers, the man clapped his hands in the air, dancing around the floor, humming along with the music.

Later, he approached the Post, put out his right hand and hailed: "Hi, how are you? Sorry for taking so long." His handshake was firm and his smile showed the dimples on both his cheeks.

The man, Glenn Fredly Deviano Latuihamallo, aka Glenn Fredly, had just finished a three-hour rehearsal for his show called "A Tribute to Michael Jackson with My Everything ... Glenn Fredly".

He took a seat near the Post, sipped mineral water from a glass and opened a food box. "Is it OK if I eat while we are doing the interview? I'm always starving after rehearsing," he said, smiling.

Even though the rehearsal might have burned off some energy, Glenn did not look tired and talked enthusiastically about his musical projects.

He is currently working on his upcoming album and preparing to release his new pop single called Cuma Kamu (Only You).

Glenn admitted most songs in the album were love songs and a reflection of his personal experiences. "I just want to be honest," he claimed.

"But this album will be something new for me because the concept is different from my previous ones. Here, I have introduced some traditional music from eastern Indonesia," he said.

As well as the new concept, there will also be a surprise for music lovers, as he is set to sing a duet with an international female singer, whose name he declined to reveal. The idea of the duet came from his label, Sony Music Entertainment Indonesia, who offered him the project.

"I said, *Why not?' This is a great opportunity. The good news is the artist has approved the duet and we will get into the recording studio in September," he said. He has even written a song for their duet and sent it over. "So far, we have yet to receive any response from them. If they actually say yes to my song, wow, I won't know what to say," he said, laughing.

His upcoming album will consist of 12 songs, with half of them in English; the mix of Indonesian and English lyrics is a way to expand and explore his musical abilities.

"To get into the international arena, English is important, but we should not forget our own language. In this era of globalization, we don't have to go abroad or change our nationality to get our music noticed by people in other countries. We can do it from here," Glenn said.

All the local musicians need is full support from the government.

"Take *Malaysian singer* Siti Nurhaliza. How could she hold a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, performing Malay songs? She could because she got full support from the Malaysian government," Glenn nodded.

The 33-year-old singer promised that Indonesian musicians could do the same as long as the government supported them. Even though the government might be busy taking care of economic problems, that was no reason to put cultural matters aside.

"When Sukarno led this country, he always encouraged cultural things. He said culture was the main force of the country so it should be fully supported," he said.

Born Sept. 30, 1975, Glenn's talent was discovered when he was a very young boy, he won several singing competitions when he was still at elementary school.

He won first prize in Cipta Pesona Bintang, a singing contest organized by a local TV station in 1995, and became a finalist in the Asian Song Festival in 1996. Five years later, he won third prize and was awarded the "Best of the Best Singer" prize in the International Song Festival "Asia Dauzy" in Russia.

Glenn then became the lead vocalist of the band Funk Section before finally deciding to go solo and, so far, has produced nine albums.

As well as preparing his tenth album, Glenn has been busy rehearsing for his Tribute to Michael Jackson concerts in five cities across the country. The shows are a tribute from Glenn and his fellow musicians to the King of Pop, who was his inspiration in the music industry. He started the tour in Jakarta on July 11, performing 12 of Jackson's hit songs in his own style.

"Michael Jackson has influenced me a lot through his music, his style, his dancing, everything. He was not just an entertainer or musician, he was also a humanitarian. Some of his songs, such as Man in the Mirror and Heal the World, really synchronize with the situation in Indonesia nowadays," he said.

Glenn held similar events in Bandung in West Java (on July 17), Semarang in Central Java (July 24), Palembang in South Sumatra and in Bali.

Jackson's humanitarian side encouraged Glenn to be active in social issues; through an NGO, the Green Music Foundation (GMF), he lends a hand to help the poor. The foundation is more like a musician's responsibility program, aimed at developing a better life for certain sectors of the community, especially for people like fishermen and farmers, whose lives have been affected by global warming.

The GMF is currently carrying out a program to provide clean water and electricity for people living in Waikokak village in Ende, East Nusa Tenggara.

"I've been there and it is really sad, knowing that the people have been without clean water and electricity for about 12 years. I hope that music can be a bridge to lead them into a better life," Glenn said, explaining that he went door-to-door to promote the project to his fellow musicians, encouraging them to donate their money to assist the people.

"Hopefully, these musicians can promote the foundation's programs to other musicians and their families, as well as their fans," he said.

Music has been Glenn's life and he can never get enough of talking about it, but when it comes to his personal life, he can be a different person altogether. As one of the top male soloists in the country, Glenn Fredly's personal life is like big game for gossip hunters.

He might now be one of the most wanted Indonesian artists on the list of tabloid or infotainment reporters, who are kept busy chasing him to get his comments on his personal life. They aim at digging for any information about his marriage troubles with his wife, singer Dewi Sandra. Glen is in the process of getting a divorce from Dewi and has, so far, remained tight-lipped on the subject.

"If Dewi comments on the *divorce*, that's OK. No problem. I appreciate that. But I will not give any statements," said Glenn, adding that he had committed to not talking much about personal matters.

"Why? Because I think there are many more important things out there than my problems. I'm just a human being who also has problems. So what? I should have to share my personal life just because I am often in front of the cameras? That's not fair," said Glenn.

However, he claimed that he was not allergic to the media

"But sometimes the media turn themselves into gossip junkies. Michael Jackson even wrote a song about that, called Tabloid Junkie, exposing how the tabloids had molded people's minds," he said.

When all the tabloids and television stations start to spread news or gossip about his personal life, Glenn said he tries to keep silent and stay focused.

"I have to focus and do what I am supposed to do," he said.

Today, finishing his new album and being able to help provide a better life for the poor have become his two main focuses.


Full name :
Glenn Fredly Deviano Latuihamallo
Place and date of birth :
Jakarta, September 30, 1975

Albums :
GLENN (1998)
Kembali (2000)
Selamat Pagi, Dunia (2003)
Selamat Pagi, Dunia Repackaged (2004)
OST Cinta Silver (2005)
Aku dan Wanita (2006)
Terang (2006)
Happy Sunday (2007)
Private Collection (2008)

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