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You can’t sound like the others: Afgan on what it takes to go international

Felix Martua

The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta  /  Mon, May 3, 2021  /  08:00 am
You can’t sound like the others: Afgan on what it takes to go international

Return to zero: Desiring a clean slate, Afgan enlisted veteran R&B music producers like Tha Aristocrats, Happie & Chaz and Troy Taylor to establish a departure from his typical Indo-pop sound. (Trinity Optima Production./Courtesy of Trinity Optima Production.)

Any announcement by an Indonesian artist about their “international debut” tends to be met with skepticism. For years, Indonesian music fans have seen their favorite artists try to make that leap with varied results. Only one, rapper Rich Brian, truly managed to penetrate the global mainstream (and he didn’t even try, breaking through with a self-produced single and home-made video that went viral). R&B singer Afgansyah Reza (popularly known as simply Afgan) is the next to do this, and he’s going into it with equal amounts of self-awareness and confidence. He hopes to stand out from his peers by announcing his international debut with a full-length studio album already prepared. Titled Wallflower, the 10-track LP marked not just a step forward for the 31-year-old AMI winner, but also a re-introduction. Launching an international career often means starting ...

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