Afgansyah Reza

Don’t fan the flames, says Afgan

1. ARE YOU TAKEN WITH DIGITAL INNOVATIONS?

As a consumer, I am always amazed with the smart technologies that are constantly presented to us. In music particularly, there is an application called Shazam that I just can’t get enough of.

This mobile software allows us to explore and identify music in unthinkable ways. Shazam essentially analyses sound bits when activated and accordingly matches the artiste and/or title of the track. It’s simply brilliant! I’m still trying to understand how the actual intelligence behind the app works.


2. HOW HAS TECHNOLOGY HELPED EMPOWER YOUR WORK?

Being active online through Twitter, Instagram and the likes is very important to me because everyone is practically on it. I think for artistes/public figures, it’s a good way to keep supporters updated on any activities and it also allows for engagements to be more streamlined.

I adore social media because it allows me to connect with my fans on a more personal level. However, you don’t know what content you post online will get picked up because the sentiment towards whatever that is trending online is unpredictable.

I recently experienced an unfortunate incident on stage with a concert organiser; I took to social media to voice my concerns and it immediately went viral. Thankfully, I received overwhelming support from my fans.


3. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CONTINUOUSLY ENGAGE WITH FANS HERE AS WELL AS BACK HOME?

This country is like my second home; the people have always been appreciative and welcoming, so why shouldn’t I celebrate or entertain them? When I hold shows here — Malaysia is one of the top places to perform — the energy is just infectious. Audiences are more expressive and high-spirited, be it online or offline. It is the main reason why I always come back.


4. RECENTLY, SOCIAL MEDIA WAS ABUZZ WITH SNARKY ONLINE HASHTAGS ON MALAYSIA-INDONESIA RELATIONS. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS?

People are easily fired up by mishaps and sensitive issues, especially in the age of social media. As someone who is in the spotlight, I feel we have a responsibility to bridge gaps in misunderstandings rather than fanning the flames.

My experience so far has been great and the respect from the public, fans and peers have been mutual. You must maintain a good attitude and positive thinking to become a good role model. These are traits that have always appealed to me and are portrayed by veteran entertainers such as Ungu.


5. HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN FAN INTEREST?

Regardless of where they come from, I make musical adjustments to suit their fancy. Reactions from crowds differ from country to country, so I can’t expect a song that is popular with Indonesian fans to be equally enjoyed in another country. That’s why I make sure that my performances are always fresh and relevant. For my Malaysian fans, I have a single titled X, to be released next month, that I worked on with rap artiste SonaOne. I am eager to see what the response will be like. I thrive on positive engagements and this collaborative work is just that.

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