Interview: JFlow

Image credit: http://jflowrighthere.com

When JFlow came to Vancouver in 2015, he wowed us with his performance at Indonesia Festival 2015. Aside from his unforgettable performance, he also had the chance to enjoy Vancouver and made some new friends along the way. Now, PERMAI BC is catching up with Jflow to ask him about his future plans, thoughts about Indonesia and when he’s planning to come back to Vancouver.  

What are you up to right now?

Well I’ll be releasing my new single very soon called, ‘coming home’. I’m also in the middle of a project that I’m very excited about, which is creating a new record label in Indonesia. We’re planning to expand this record label and we’re very excited about joining and collaborating with other artists.

 

What made you decide to create your own record label?  

Right now in Indonesia, the biggest trend is still pop songs and dangdut. I see a lot of talented young musicians with background in dance music; as DJ producers, EDM or hip hop producers –  but they’re all largely still working individually. What I want to do is to create a record label that allows them to meet and potentially collaborate with each other.

 

How do you view the music industry in Indonesia today?
I think that the music industry is transitioning. Because of the digital era, I see a lot of artists wanting to become independent artists. They’re realizing that they don’t need a record label to be successful. As long as you’re willing to work hard, you’re able to accomplish everything yourself.  

 

Acknowledging this transition in the industry, what are your future plans as an artist?

I’m working towards being a full, 100% digital artist. I’m optimizing all my digital platforms and social media. I’m not only a singer, I’m also a Youtuber now. I’m marketing myself online through a number of different platforms and it has been a very interesting experience.  

 

How do you see this digital era impacting Indonesia as a whole?

I think that the Internet is the best thing to happen to Indonesia. It definitely brings the country closer together. We know that Indonesia is huge and we’re separated by the ocean. In the US, you can drive from LA to New York in 55 hours. But in Indonesia, it takes weeks to get from Sabang to Marauke. To build roads and bridges that will connect the whole country is nearly impossible. The easiest way to do it is through the Internet, social media, and the digital world.

 

For us musicians, the Internet is also a very useful tool for reference. We can see easily see the outside world, and look at what other musicians from other countries are doing. With the Internet, we can set ourselves to a higher, worldwide standard.

 

What was your highlight of your trip to Vancouver?

Well it was my first visit to Canada, and I love Vancouver. Something interesting actually happened. My baggage and all my clothes were actually left behind in LA, so when I got to Vancouver, I had no clothes at all. Om Martin had to take me to go shopping for the clothes that I would be performing for! I had a great time performing in Vancouver, and I’ve met a lot of really people that I still keep in contact with up until today. Whenever they go back to Indonesia, we always find time to hang out.

I also think that the air in Vancouver is so clean and breathable. The diversity is cool. I saw a lot of immigrants and Asians and I can just tell that the people are very welcoming. Your Prime Minister is also very cool and hipster (laughs). Now I understand why people want to immigrate to Canada; it truly is the number one country in the world.

 

So when are you coming back to Vancouver?

Well I’ve always wanted to come back there because I think it’s a beautiful place. I’m always going back and forth to LA, so maybe one day I’ll make another quick stop in Vancouver. But aside from that, I want to travel the world and see places I’ve never been to before.

 

Any important lessons from your travels?  

Traveling around the world makes me grateful that Indonesians have one country and one identity. The differences in our people is so great. The people of Aceh and Java don’t have anything in common except for the belief in Pancasila and one identity as Indonesians. When I travel around the world, I see that people don’t trust others who are different than them, let alone be a part of the same country. The important lesson is that we’re still here; despite all our differences, we’re still one nation.

 

I also learned while traveling is the importance of having a home to come back to. I think the more you travel, the more you appreciate home.  

 

Any last words for us in Vancouver?

I think you guys are living in the best place in the world. You’re living in a place where you’re accepted and the government treats everyone equally. So I think you guys have no excuse to NOT make it big in the world. Every one of you should be successful because you’re in the perfect environment.

Learn more about JFlow:

https://www.youtube.com/jflowrighthere

Written by Tessa Warianto

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