Afgan during his 'Decade' concert at Istora Senayan in Jakarta on Friday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

'I Love You, I'll Be Back': Afgan Announces Hiatus in Jakarta Concert


AUGUST 10, 2019

Jakarta. Singer-songwriter Afgansyah Reza, famously known as Afgan, announced his hiatus from the music industry in a concert at Istora Senayan in Jakarta on Friday.

His "Decade" concert was a celebration of the pop crooner's nearly eleven-year music career which started since he was still in high school.

Afgan told thousands of his fans that he was going to take a break for at least a year to have more "me time" and find new inspirations.

"I've been in this industry for 11 years. I need time for myself. I need this break so I can face new challenges in my career. God willing, I'll be back next year," Afgan said, followed by shocked gasps from the crowd.

"This is a little surreal. My songs have been the soundtrack of my life, and yours as well. But tonight is more than just about my songs, it's a celebration of our lives," Afgan told the crowd.

The Decade concert was supposed to be held in Jakarta last year to mark exactly a decade of Afgan's career. But the plan fell through and he was forced to move the show to Kuala Lumpur last October. 

In what seems a deliberate irony, Afgan kicked off Friday's show with one of his biggest hits, "Jangan Pergi" (Don’t Go). 

After a couple more songs, the first of several hearbreaking moments during the night happened: three little girls jumped up on the stage to present Afgan with a bouquet of roses. 

Afgan brought up little girls to the stage, at Istora Senayan stadium, Jakarta, on Friday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)
Afgan and three little girls who brought him roses. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

The 30-year-old then sang "Count on Me" as a tribute to his late mentor, '80s "pop kreatif" legend Dian Pramana Poetra, who died last year and who Afgan said was "the greatest musician I have ever met in my life." 

"Without the support from my high school friends and my mentor Dian Pramana Poetra, I would not have survived being plunged into the music industry at such a young age. Dian told me, 'Don't worry, you'll make it,' and for an 18-year-old that was everything," Afgan said on stage.

The pop crooner performed a greatest hits setlist for the crowd on Friday, which included songs like "Sadis" (Savage), "Terima Kasih Cinta" (Thank You Love) "Bukan Cinta Biasa" (Not a Regular Love).

He played a total of 29 songs in more than two hours, which also included "Jodoh Pasti Bertemu" (The One Will Find Its Way), "Cinta 2 Hati" (Two-Hearted Love) and "Bawa Pergi Cintaku" (Take My Love Away).

He also did duets with Dipha Barus, Marion Jola and Randy Pandugo.

"Thank you my Afganisme [the nickname for his fans] for all your support. I love you," Afgan said at the end of the concert.

Afgan bids farewell to the crowd as he takes a break from the industry at Istora Senayan stadium, Jakarta, on Friday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)
Afgan bids his last farewell, for at least a year. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

Seen among the crowd were some of Indonesia's biggest pop stars, including Bunga Citra Lestari, Erwin Gutawa, Gita Gutawa, Olla Ramlan, Sherina, Meisya Siregar, members of pop rock band Gigi and Afgan's girlfriend, pop diva Rossa.

Erwin Gutawa, one of Indonesia's most respected songwriters, said he was a big fan of Afgan and that he really enjoyed himself during the concert.

"It was great. I'm a fan of Afgan, so I'm always thrilled to listen to his songs live. A one-year break for an artist like him won't be a problem. He will return even bigger," Erwin said to Jakarta Globe.

The Afganisme said they would keep supporting Afgan during his sabbatical. 

Esti, a 22-year-old Afganisme from Jakarta, said, "I've been an Afganisme for almost a decade. I love all his songs. It's okay for him to take a hiatus only to return an even better singer. We'll always support him and pray for him."