The Jakarta Post
Once just a hobby, DJ Angger Dimas now spins his fabulous sets like it's forever.
It's hard not to have heard of DJ Angger Dimas these days.
The 25-year-old's career has reached an all-time high, as he has performed at major music festivals around the world such as EDC (Las Vegas), Tomorrowland (Belgium), Electric Zoo (New York), Future Music Festival (Kuala Lumpur), Nocturnal Wonderland (San Diego), Beatpatrol (Vienna) and Djakarta Warehouse Project (Jakarta), collaborating with big names such as TiÃ«sto, Avicii and Steve Aoki.
He is among the few Indonesian DJs who have truly gained international recognition and he owes it all to his talent and consistent hard work.
Amid his busy schedule putting the finishing touches to his debut full-length album, Angger Management, Angger sat down with The Jakarta Post for a cup of coffee to talk about his music and where he's heading.
Born in Jakarta on March 1, 1988, the fresh law graduate from Padjajaran University is a music producer who has been making music since the age of 13. Beginning with his interest in learning to play the guitar at seven, he explored music such as jazz, rock and punk before plunging himself into house music which he finds electrifying.
'[It] is something that makes me feel alive,' he said, 'it's good. It's like I'm living.'
Although he is popularly known as a DJ, he prefers to be regarded as a producer and considers his career in dance music as a secondary plan to his primary goal of one day becoming a politician.
He initially had no intention of pursuing music as a career, thinking of it just as a hobby, until he discovered that something could be made out of it.
In the era of the Internet, social media and self-expression that we are in today, talent once again proved to be the factor that an artist needs in order to gain traction and recognition.
As he began to post his music online six years ago, Angger found himself contacted by Laidback Luke, a more established DJ and producer, who then gave him some feedback. Angger's online presence eventually led to an Australian record label reaching out to him and this has been his way of exposing his music to the world.
Angger said that one problem shared by many Indonesian artists is that they don't have the confidence to show themselves to the world. To him there's no such thing as a 'national' or 'international' artist. He regards artists from other countries simply as what they are, artists from different countries.
His work in house music has brought him fame. But like many other musicians, Angger strives not to have any boundaries by limiting himself to a specific genre and so makes all kinds of music.
He thinks some of the qualities of his music that stand out from the rest are the crazy things he's been doing with the new sounds that are considered to be heavy, and filled with high energy.
'He was one of the first people outside of Holland making a sound that would be voted as Dutch house, but it has always been its unique sound,' said Tobie Fowler, a long-time friend and newly appointed manager of Angger.
'Angger's always had this unique ability to just do his own thing and in his own box and it doesn't matter about anything else.'
When it comes to inspiration, Angger often turns to the band Queen and notable musicians such as Toni Bennett and Frank Sinatra as well as DJ Laidback Luke who, he said, had pushed him a lot and was a constant inspiration.
Angger said a recent performance in Jakarta in which he DJ-ed and played guitar with Piyu from pop rock band Padi was the most memorable performance of his career so far.
'I was playing with one of the legends in Indonesia, Piyu from Padi. I was playing guitar and DJ-ing from the stage. Imagine that I'm DJ-ing in a rock show. That was great. I mean all these kids now accept dance music. Probably that was the first time that a DJ played guitar on stage,' he said.
Piyu, among other producers and vocalists such as Cassie Crawford, Tara McDonald, and Steve Aoki, will be featured on Angger Management, which is scheduled to come out on September 3rd via Dim Mak Records.
During the interview Angger also expressed his interest in working with other artists from Indonesia.
'I think there's a lot of rumors about me, that I'm too difficult to find, too hard to work with, but that's not true. I really want to work with Indonesian artists in the future,' he said.
When asked to give some advice to aspiring DJs, Angger stressed the importance of formal education. He said that his parents gave him the permission to pursue music on the condition that he did not stop studying.
'Just keep doing what you do. Be nice to all the people no matter who they are. And keep studying. Number one is studying because it makes your parents proud. Music is just a hobby I think.'
The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post.
' Photos courtesy of Angger Dimas
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