Afgan comes of age

THE soulful singer behind the chart-topping song Terima Kasih Cinta has a new studio album titled Live To Love, Love To Live.

Indonesian singer-songwriter Afgansyah Reza's third solo record took two years to produce. He says that the new album is close to his heart as it features two of his compositions, Pesan Cinta and Without You. Also included is Demi Kamu Dan Aku (which he collaborated on with fellow Indonesian singer and songwriter Sherina Munaf). The track, Untukmu Aku Bertahan, is dedicated to his fans (known as Afganisme).

"It's been three years since my last album. I consider Live To Love, Love To Live as a coming-of-age album. It features a more mature me in terms of vocals, lyrics and music arrangements. There is also more feel in terms of vocal delivery," says Afgan, in his signature preppy look at the album launch at The Venue in Pavilion last week.

Usually he picks a strong ballad as his first single, but this time around, there's a pleasant surprise - he has selected the upbeat and energetic Pesan Cinta.

"I am trying my luck with a different formula this time, and to show fans another side of me.

"I wanted to give something different to them, not the usual ballads that I am known to be comfortable with. Pesan Cinta is a pop song and it is fresh and catchy," says the 23-year-old artiste, who would like to explore other genres.

Afgan, who has won numerous industry awards in Indonesia, says all his compositions are inspired by his experience, especially matters of the heart.

Pesan Cinta talks about his first love when he was still in high school.

"Like many, I have also experienced love at first sight. And being new at love, one gets a little scared and nervous. All these are mentioned in the song as I wrote the lyrics based on my life," says Afgan, who is still single and not in a rush to find love.

For his second single, he chose a ballad titled Jodoh Pasti Bertemu composed by Bembi Noor for him. "The song is relatable to anyone who falls in love and later falls out of it."

He also attempted a bold move by singing club anthem-like song Without You in his baritone voice. And his favourite song from the album? Demi Kamu Dan Aku, which he says, is different from what he has done before.

"It is an acoustic mix of violins and strings, making the vocals stand out more."

Other tracks are Katakan Tidak, Jodoh Pasti Bertemu, Cinta Tanpa Syarat, Sabar, Jauh and Tanpa Bahasa.

Making Live to Love, Love To Live took a lot of perseverance and hard work, especially so when he was also juggling his studies.

Afgan, who is studying at Monash University in Sunway, had to split his time between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta to be in the studio for the recording of the album. "At one time, I was on a flight home every weekend," says the marketing student who will be graduating in June.

Planning to further his studies by pursuing a master's, preferably music-related, he is giving himself a year to focus on his singing career here and in Indonesia. He hopes to secure singing engagements here too within 12 months.

Live To Love, Love To Live is Afgan's first album under Indonesia's Trinity Optima Production, and under Suria Records in Malaysia.

"I am proud of my new album. Besides featuring some of my penned works, it also has variation in terms of music, from the upbeat, ballads, R&B to dance music," says Afgan who has also dabbled in acting when he starred in Bukan Cinta Biasa (2009) and Cinta 2 Hati (2010).

He started his own online clothing line Carnival, which focuses on menswear from casual to suits, a few years ago with a stand-alone boutique in Bandung.

Visit for more information.

By Hizreen Kamal


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