Global Metal Network caught up with the French entry of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest which is to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Although Anggun Cipta Sasmi is originally from Indonesia, she has made a name for herself, having started singing at the age of 7 and recorded her first ever album two years later. 1986 saw the release of her first rock album 'Dunia Aku Punya' and having dueted with Ronan Keating and Julio Iglesias amongst others whilst also having released around 18 albums in French, English and Indonesian respectively and even more becoming the first Indonesian artist to break into the European and American record charts, even leading to her receiving the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French Minister of Culture. 2012 promises to be a big year for Anggun and is sure to make a massive impression at the Eurovision Song Contest.
1. First off, how does it feel representing France at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan?
I feel greatly honoured and proud of course, I know my name has been circulating over the last few years at France Televisions and in the Eurovision fan-sphere but I was never approached officially until last winter. It was a great surprise for me to be called and asked to represent France at this year’s Eurovision song contest.
2. Who are your music influences and what music do you tend to listen to, how does this influence you?
I have been raised in the love of rock music! I’ve always been a huge fan of metal and Industrial rock. I know this will probably surprise lots of people considering that my music identity is more into pop music, but when I was a teenager star in Indonesia, I was called ‘Lady Rock’.
3. Coming from Indonesia, what can you say about the Indonesian music scene including the Indonesian Metal scene (if you can)?
Indonesia is definitely a country of music. Children at an early age are raised through music and it is very common for Indonesian kids to be part of bands or to sing as a hobby. Music is something that is extremely present on Indonesian TV for example, to the contrary of other countries such as France, where it is very difficult to find TV programs specially dedicated to music and live performances. Indonesia is probably the most Rock-orientated country in Eastern Asia. Some very influential Rock and Metal bands are from Indonesia such as Jamrud, Rotor or Kota. I think Indonesia is in Asia what UK is in Europe in terms of music: people love music and live through music; it’s something in the genes.
4. You recently had a duet with Ronan Keating, how was this for you?
It was a great moment. Ronan is a delightful person and most of all an extremely talented & charismatic performer. I have always been impressed by Ronan’s career. He has been able to build his own musical identity and success after being part of a top-selling boys band. He has been able to evolve and became an influential artist in the pop music scene.
5. From your fifth English album 'Echoes' what is your most favourite song, why and what inspired you to create it?
I love ‘Buy Me Happiness’ because it deals with something very sensitive right now in our over-consumerist societies. The quest for happiness and personal balance is not something you will find in consumption frenzy or in hyper social networking. You do not buy happiness. It’s something you build first of all in your own self and in your inner circle (your family, your love and your closed ones).
6. Your signed to Warner Music / Sony Music, when you were signing to the labels, how did you feel emotionally and musically?
I have been lucky to be supported by major actors in the music industry throughout my career. And when I am not happy I’m leaving. This is what happened a few years ago when I left Sony Music in France. I am very happy with my Warner Music France team. They are working closely with me and we are sharing the same vision, which is I must admit a great chance for any artist.
7. Referring back to the Eurovision, what are you mostly looking forward to and will this be your first European concert?
The Eurovision show will be a few days before the launch of my European tour, with dates planned in France, Belgium, Switzerland but also Poland, Russia, Italy, etc. The contest is the occasion of meeting people across Europe and it’s a fantastic opportunity to meet amazing artists, to listen to great music from lots of countries, and more importantly to share our passion for songs and music with more than 200 million viewers worldwide. It’s an experience not-to-miss!
8. Also on the topic of the Eurovision, how are you preparing for it and will there be anything viewers should be looking out for when your performing?
I am working on proposing something surprising for the Eurovision performance so I can’t tell much details for now but It will be very different from what France has proposed over the last few years. I want something new, entertaining and fresh. It’s Eurovision: people want to have fun and be happy. There will be fantastic dancers and we are working on a stage performance routine that will enlighten the song.
9. What advice do you have for those wanting to develop their singing voice, whatever the genre?
To follow their dream and expectations and never give up. And to work hard. Music industry is a tough business. You have to deal with pressure 24/7. This is not always as shiny as it appears.
10. Finally do you have anything to say to the people of the UK, France and in general Europe?
I hope to come to London and visit you very soon. I hope the UK will give me lots of points (lol). I have a good memory of my first promotional visit to the UK a few years ago when my single ‘Snow On the Sahara’, remixed by Trousers Enthusiasts was Top 5 in the UK Club Breaker Charts. Hope my Eurovision song Echo (You and I).
The Eurovision Song Contest 2012 will be broadcasted on: