This December, internationally renowned singer Anggun released her latest album, titled 8. Launched on the 8th of the month, this album is one which Anggun holds close to her heart, a sentiment which was evident in the way she talked about her inspiration and aspiration for it. The timing of the album also coincides with Anggun once again taking on the role of judge on the reality talent show Asia’s Got Talent.
During Anggun’s visit to Malaysia to promote the album, I sat with her for an exclusive interview. She was also here for the star-studded launch of a new social-entertainment app, OneMusic — a collaboration between XOX Mobile and Universal Music Malaysia.
Last year, I met Anggun and interviewed for our cover story. It felt amazing when she remembered that meeting just as I walked in. With very little time to chat, I jumped straight to the main question.
Getting Real with Anggun
Eena: What was the key inspiration behind the album?
Anggun: Every single song is very personal to me… the album is almost biographical. Behind every message is always a story about women. For example, “The Good is Back” talks about how to rise above a heartbreak. Women are very resourceful… we’re actually very powerful but not many of us know that. We often need to be reminded that we have the power to transform bad things into something wonderful. So, it’s all about that and knowing who your real enemies and friends are. Because with social media, you don’t always get to know the truth. Everybody wants the truth but no one truly wants to be honest. So, you have to be careful and have your antennas out. And also, this album is about being grateful. We rarely thank God for everything that we have, be it good or bad. But I think we are, overall, very lucky people compared to many others living in different parts of the world. It’s important to be grateful.
And as for my first single, “What We Remember”, it underlines the fact that we live in this world for only a short amount of time. We don’t take anything material when we leave. So, it’s important to be able to craft a good memory for ourselves and for others.
E: How do you see yourself playing a positive role in someone’s life through the album?
A: All I can offer to them is this point of view, and propose a different angle in the way they see things. What happens after is no longer in my power. It really is up to them whether or not they capture the message. But, I have to say, until today I still have people coming up to me and saying, “That line, that song that you wrote… yes, it translates into a lot of things.” I always feel flattered and, to me, this is the true reward in what I do. It’s when what I write gets through to the other person.
E: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Anggun: Hmm… hopefully with another child.
E: What are your thoughts on change?
A: I think its something we should not be afraid of. It is so rewarding when you challenge yourself to do something new — you might surprise yourself. And you shouldn’t restrict yourself to doing just one thing. Just try. What do you have to lose? You only have something to gain, so just go for it. If you don’t succeed, try something else, or just try again. I’ve been going through changes in my life and I thank God that I actually took that road, because otherwise, who knows where I’d be and what I’d be doing. So you have to challenge yourself, you owe it to yourself to do that. Change is actually good and necessary.
By Eena Houzyama