The Jakarta Post
Romantic tunes: In his almost 25-year career in music, songwriter Yovie Widianto has penned popular love songs performed by Rossa, Ruth Sahanaya, Audy and the late legendary singer Chrisye. (Courtesy of Kapanlagi.com/-)
Some of the country’s biggest music stars will band together to stage the “Inspirasi Cinta” (Inspiration of Love) concert on Nov. 7 as a tribute to songwriter Yovie Widianto who has helped propel their careers with his romantic songs.
For almost 25 years, Yovie has penned popular love songs and heartbreak anthems, which have been performed by Yovie’s own bands Kahitna and Yovie & Nuno, as well as other artists.
Writing about love is something that the 50-year-old admits he is unable to shake off easily, hence the majority of his songs are about love and women.
“Most of my songs are about women, because they are the main inspiration for me,” admitted the songwriter. “I guess you can trace this from the fact that the first person who believed I could make it as a musician was my mother. From there, I realized the importance of women in life.”
“Plus, if I wrote any other songs that weren’t about love, most of you wouldn’t listen to them anyway,” he laughed.
Yovie, who received the Indonesian Music Awards’ (AMI) Lifetime Achievement Award in September, is responsible for many of Kahitna’s most notable songs, as well as being the man behind hits by Rossa, Ruth Sahanaya, Rio Febrian, Audy, Pinkan Mambo, Nia Zulkarnaen and the late legendary singer Chrisye. A notable pinnacle of his musical achievement was composing “Kita Bisa” (We Can), the theme song for the 2011 Southeast Asian Games.
Yovie’s dreams of music stardom started at a tender age. Despite growing up in a very musical family, he found that he lived in an environment that was rather dismissive or indifferent toward such musical dreams.
Growing up in Bandung, West Java, his father — who himself was musically inclined — was initially concerned about his son’s choice and most of Yovie’s friends tended to dismiss his dreams as irrelevant.
“Such dreams for me seemed real. I was different from my friends growing up because they tended to see dreams and ambitions as something hallucinatory rather than something tangible,” he said.
Initially starting his musical journey in jazz, he began to veer toward pop music after hearing and obsessing over the works of David Foster and Quincy Jones. In 1986 when he sowed the seeds of Kahitna with his best friend Hedi Yunus, and when they then released their debut in 1994, his path to stardom was paved in glory.
“The music world is the world that called me from the very start. As someone who tends to observe the beauty of things from afar, I felt like this was a calling that I had to follow”.
Kahitna is still going strong, even today, with Yovie suggesting that the group has been spared the fate of becoming a mere 1990s nostalgia act because of its consistency in making music. Since 1994, the group has released eight studio albums, the most recent being Rahasia Cinta (Secrets of Love) in 2016.
Aside from Kahitna, he also has a successful side project with Yovie & Nuno.
Music and lyrics: Most of Yovie Widianto’s songs are inspired by women. Yovie says that women, including his mother, play an important role in his life. His mother was the first person who believed in his musical career. (Courtesy of Kapanlagi.com/-)
To celebrate his 50th birthday, several of Yovie’s friends in the Indonesian music scene are coming together to hold the “Inspirasi Cinta” concert at the Jakarta Convention Centre on Nov. 7.
Promoted by Berlian Entertainment and Bank Rakyat Indonesia, the concert will celebrate Yovie’s 25-year career in music and will feature Glenn Fredly, Tulus, Rossa, Bunga Citra Lestari, HiVi and of course, his two bands Kahitna and Yovie & Nuno.
For Yovie, this concert is his friends’ way of honoring all the work he has done for the Indonesian music industry, and serves as an opportunity to thank his fans for supporting his journey throughout the years.
“I want this concert to inspire a sense of love for all of us Indonesians. Love is what ultimately can unite us and make us set aside all the petty differences we have, especially regarding political views,” Yovie added.
“It’s important for us as Indonesians to love and appreciate one another because, really, aside from our family and God, [Indonesia] is all we have.”
The concert has almost sold out its 4,000-capacity venue. Prior to “Inspirasi Cinta”, Yovie already held three commemorative concerts with his bands, which were all sold out and deemed major successes.
The concerts were “25 Tahun Cerita Cinta Kahitna” (25 Years of Kahitna’s Love Story) in 2011, “Yovie and His Friends — Irreplaceable” in 2013 and the “Kahitna 30 Years Anniversary” concert in 2016.