Anggun

Born : 29/4 /1974 in Jakarta (Indonesia)
Country : Indonesia
Language : French / English
Category : Composer / Female Artist / Songwriter
Style of music : Chanson

Anggun has followed an unlikely career path, from rock star in Indonesia, where he was born, to chanson sensation in France, his adopted home.

More info
  • Anggun Website
  • Anggun has followed an unlikely career path, from rock star in Indonesia, where he was born, to chanson sensation in France, his adopted home.

    Anggun was born in Djakarta, the capital of Indonesia, on 29th April 1974. Born into a showbiz family - her father, Darto Singo, was a renowned singer, songwriter and producer on the Indonesian music scene - it was hardly surprising that young Anggun soon decided to follow in her father's footsteps.

    Darto Singo recognised his daughter's talent at an early age and encouraged her to train her voice. Anggun would soon go on to become something of a child prodigy, launching her career at the tender age of 7 when she recorded an album of children's songs. By her early teens Anggun had moved onto rock and in 1986 the young singer returned to the studio to record a heavily rock-influenced album entitled "Dunia Aku Punya". This extremely popular album, recorded with one of the top producers on the Indonesian music scene, would help catapult Anggun to fame. Needless to say, the young singer soon went on to become a veritable megastar in East Asia.

    Following the success of "Dunia Aku Punya", Anggun would return to the studio to record a whole new string of hit albums ("Tua Tua Keladi" in 1990, "Anak Putih Abu Abu" in 1991, "Noc Turno" in 1992 and "Anggun C.Sasmi ... Lah!" in 1993). Meanwhile, the young rock diva was also busy outside the studio, performing a number of extensive tours throughout Asia.

    It was while on tour in Borneo that Anggun met her future husband, a young French engineer. The pair hit it off immediately and shortly after the end of Anggun's tour, they met up again in Singapore. Anggun and Michel's relationship soon developed into something more serious, much to the disapproval of Anggun's family. But in spite of her parents' initial reluctance Anggun would go on to marry Michel. At the height of her fame in Asia, the young singer then decided to leave her homeland and try her luck in Europe. In 1994 the young couple moved to London, but the following year they changed their plans and moved into an apartment in Paris.

    Anggun was determined to get her singing career up and running again in France, but the problem was that she was a complete unknown on the Paris music scene. Not for long however! Anggun soon met up with the French musician and producer Erick Benzi (who had made a name for himself working with a number of top international stars including Johnny Hallyday, Céline Dion and Jean-Jacques Goldman). Impressed by the young Indonesian singer's talent, Benzi immediately offered to co-write an album with Anggun and he eventually managed to persuade her to move away from her original rock influences and experiment with a more sensual, romantic sound.

    Anggun's smooth new style would prove an immediate success in France. Her new album "Au nom de la lune", released in 1997, featured a mix of tracks recorded in English, French - and even two songs in Indonesian. But it was the phenomenal success of Anggun's single "La neige au sahara" (which rocketed to the top of the European charts and became one of the hits of Summer 97 in France) that would really establish the Indonesian star on the French music scene. The album "Au nom de la lune", released in 1998, rapidly went gold in France, selling over 100,000 copies. Meanwhile, "Au nom de la lune" went double platinum in  Italy, selling over 600,000 copies. Anggun's album proved to be a big hit worldwide, in fact. Released in 33 different countries, it sold over 1 million copies in Indonesia and sales topped 100,000 in Mayalsia.   

    The album "Au nom de la lune" not only rocketed Anggun to fame in France, it would also prove to be a major hit in the singer's homeland. Released under the title "Anggun", the album has gone on to sell well over 100,000 copies in Indonesia. The young diva's new repertoire of soft, romantic ballads certainly looks set to prove as popular with her Indonesian fans as her previous rock hits.

    Meanwhile, Anggun began to make a name for herself in the U.S. She was invited to perform at the 1998 edition of Lilith Fair (a music festival featuring exclusively female performers). The Indonesian star also appeared in leading American magazines such as Rolling Stone and Billboard and guested on prime time TV shows such as the Rosie O'Donnell Show. In 1999, Anggun's "Snow on the Sahara" was used as the soundtrack for an international marketing campaign launched by the Swiss watchmaker Swatch.

    2000: "Désirs contraires"

    Since moving to France, Anggun has got involved with a number of humanitarian associations including Les Restos du Cœur (1999) and Les Voix de l'Espoir (2000). Despite increasing international success and renown as an Indonesian star, the singer claims she is totally integrated in the French music scene and prefers not to be pigeon-holed as part of the 'world music' scene.

    In September 2000, Anggun released a second album in France. "Désirs contraires" was produced by Erick Benzi and Anggun penned all the English songs on the album herself. Meanwhile, "Désirs contraires" was released simultaneously in 15 other countries (including a number of Asian counties such as Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Japan) under the title "Chrysalis". Following the release of the album, Anggun went on to perform her first official concert in France at Le Bataclan on 1 February 2001. (Although she was a big star on the live circuit in Indonesia, curiously enough Anggun had only performed showcases in France up until this point).

    A few months after its release, "Désirs contraires" proved to be a big hit, going gold in Italy and platinum in Indonesia (although sales remained relatively low in France).

    At the end of 2000 Anggun received an invitation from the Vatican, asking her to appear at a Christmas concert alongside a host of international stars including Bryan Adams. Anggun went on to kick off an extensive Asian tour in the spring of 2001, bringing the house down with her final concert at the Kallang Theatre in Singapore on April 30th.

    Anggun was also invited to work with a number of other leading artists. She guested on DJ Cam’s "Soulshine" (2001), the Italian singer Piero Pelu’s "Amore immaginato" and Serge Lama’s album "Plurielles" (a compilation of duets). In 2001, Anggun branched out into the film world, appearing on the soundtrack to "Anja & Viktor." The following year she pursued this new direction, singing on the soundtrack to "Open Hearts." (Both Scandinavian movies were produced by Dogma Films).

    In 2004, Anggun won public recognition for her work when the French Culture Minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon made her a "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres." Meanwhile, Anggun maintained her commitment to humanitarian causes worldwide, becoming an official spokesperson for the UN’s micro-credit programme (designed to help eradicate debt in the Third World).

    2005: "Luminescence"

    Anggun soon went back into the studio and in February 2005 returned to the music news with the single "Être une femme", released as a foretaste of her new album, "Luminescence". This album featured contributions from a host of well-known names including Tété, Lionel Florence and Jean Fauque.

    The album proved to be a big hit in France and many other countries. What’s more, Anggun went on to release two further singles from it: "Cesse la pluie" then "Juste avant toi". "Luminescence" was also released in Russia with a special bonus, "Saviour" (an English version of "Cesse la pluie").

    Anggun hit the road shortly afterwards on an extensive tour which included appearances at "The Night of the Proms" (9 - 18 March 2006), an event featuring collective concerts by pop stars and classical musicians. In July, she supported French star Johnny Hallyday in concert.

    On 15 December 2006, Sony-Bmg Indonesia released Anggun’s Greatest Hits album on the Indonesian market. (The album included three hits in the singer’s mother tongue). Three days later, Anggun was honoured at a ceremony in Djakarta where she was presented with the "Legend Asian Artist Award." 

    2008: "Elévation"

    On 8 November 2007, Anggun gave birth to a girl called Kirana.

    On 20 October 2008, she released a new album, “Elévation”, with a more r’n’b, less hip hop feel than in the past. The urban sounds, scratches and deep bass notes that characterise the album are the fruit of a collaboration with Tefa and Masta, two producers known for their work with the rappers Diam’s, Sinik and Kool Shen. Anggun was also lent a hand by the slammer Julie Grignon, with a “featuring” from Pras of the Fugees and guitar riffs from Indochine’s Bruno Javel. The accent is on love and sensuality as well as a folk tribute to her daughter. Like all of Anggun’s albums, “Elévation” was also released in Indonesian and immediately reached number one in the singer’s birth place.  

    On 16 October 2009, Anggun was named United Nations Ambassador in the fight against world hunger. In 2010, she appeared in a Claude Lelouch film, “Ces amours-là”.

    In April 2011, Anggun presented the pop single “Mon meilleur amour” on her Facebook page and announced a new album for September 2011.

    June 2011

    © RFI Musique
    Any reproduction of this website - either whole or partial - is strictly prohibited without the agreement of the authors.

    Close