Exclusive Andre Hehanusa Loves Indonesia By Catching Young Shoots
Andre Hehanusa (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

JAKARTA - Andre Hehanussa is one of the few senior singers who has been able to survive for three generations of the Indonesian music industry. Starting his career in 1986, he has won various brilliant achievements including being the best songwriter to selling his first cassette album with 1.7 million copies.

Entering the age of 57 years, Andre realized that he was not pursuing a brilliant career anymore. Although Andre's appearance is still dashing and fresh, Andre is more focused on paving the way for young Indonesian musicians. This is his way of repaying Indonesia for giving him so many opportunities.

"I am with Seniman Nusantara, which consists of 9 people, Harvey Malaiholo, Iis Sugianto, Lita Zen, Nindy Ellesse, Ronnie Sianturi, Chicha Koeswoyo, Sari Koeswoyo and Tamara Geraldine. The nine of us made the Indonesian Love Song Creation Competition (LCLCI). This is the second year Last year, it has been running. Alhamdulillah, this year has been completed on August 15, the 5 best works were selected which received appreciation from the Director General of Education and Culture, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia," he said when he visited the VOI office, Monday, August 16.

Andre Hehanusa (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

According to him, the pandemic is not a reason to complain. Even though we cannot meet face to face, creativity must continue. It's time to use technology for useful activities.

"LCLCI is a school for Indonesian amateur artists around the world to be accepted and promoted according to their respective competencies and uniqueness," said Andre.

This year's Indonesian Love Song Contest has succeeded in becoming 587 talents of young people from various regions in Indonesia. Andre admitted that he was surprised when he heard the songs that were contested.

"All the songs are cool. The 55 best songs are very difficult to make a choice. If you can choose, all of them become champions. But you can't. You have to choose the best 5," he said.

In the end, Seniman Nusantara formed a group to maintain communication with the 55 participants. "For me, what else have I never gotten? I think I have a debt to Indonesia that I have to pay. With what? By providing networks and facilities for young people from all over Indonesia who can compose songs well," he explained.

Andre Hehanusa (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

Andre imagines how to maximize the potential of the 'foster children' of Indonesian artists. When there is a request to make a song, they will divide the opportunity to the best 55 participants.

"We can choose the best of the best. We can help arrange the song with the facilities and experience we have, we hope to pave the way for young Indonesians," said the man born in Ujung Pandang, July 24, 1964.

Nyong Ambon, who really cares about copyright, LCLCI can also learn to respect copyright and intellectual rights for young musicians. "Seniman Nusantara ensures that copyright and commercial rights belong to the creator. Opportunities to be promoted in the digital media of Seniman Nusantara are very open," he explained.

In addition, usage rights are regulated as well as possible with the spirit of a win-win solution. "We have proven that with the cooperation of the results achieved by the previous LCLCI champions. This should be captured as a golden opportunity in times of sluggishness due to the pandemic that has not ended yet," he explained.

With this kind of training, it is hoped that amateur artists who are recruited at LCLCI will have a different mentality and character, not only in producing works, but also understand how to stand up for their work when dealing with other parties in the industry.

"In the digital era, music platforms are increasingly diverse. However, the awareness of respecting the intellectual rights of users is also getting better. It must continue to be improved," he said.

Paying Debt to Indonesia
Andree Hehanusa (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)Caption

According to Andree Hehanusa, making a competition is a step back in the beginning of his career so that two are called legends. He recalled that in 1991 he had the honor to take part in the Indonesian Popular Songwriting Competition in Prambanan, Yogyakarta.

"At that time I sent one song. Many other creators joined, including Oddie Agam, Elfa Secioria (deceased), Yopie Widianto, Erens Mangalo, Mayangsari, Bujana. All of them have great quality," said Andre.

"I am very happy because my song was nominated for the first time, arranged by Erwin Gutawa. The title is 'The Story of Life', which features Utha Likumahuawa (deceased) and Trie Utami. That's what makes me confident to bring myself to life in music," said Andre Hehanusa continue.

30 years of career in the Indonesian music scene, it is not easy for musicians to continue to gain sympathy from the public. However, Andre Hehanussa was actually blessed with achievements that made him continue to survive in the Indonesian music scene with his characteristics and works.

"Today's musicians have lost a lot of Indonesian taste. In fact, Indonesian culture is very rich. We don't lack anything in Indonesia. I hope 55 LCLCI musicians can incorporate cultural elements in each of their works," he said.

Andre Hehanusa (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

Andre emphasized that cultural values are important to show the identity of Indonesia. Because culture is Indonesia's DNA.

"We are an Indonesian country, when people come to Indonesia, their stress will definitely go away. From music, we build a healthy village. It can be a tourist village, but people come to love Indonesian music, people will forget that they have problems. Want it in Java, NTT, Papua , Maluku, people enjoy nature with grace," he said.

Music can be an introduction to achieving these goals. "How can we give thanks to God, the universe can be helped by music," he explained.

The beauty of Indonesia from nature to culture provides many song inspirations for Andree Hehanusa. That's why he considers himself to be in debt to Indonesia.

"If people have debts, they must be paid. If they are wrong, they must apologize. How can we in Indonesia pay our debts? If we destroy nature, return to nature. If I use music, I feel the need to create works with Indonesian cultural entities," he said.

Andre Hehanusa (Photo: Savic Rabos, DI: Raga/VOI)

"All memories, family, ethnicity, nation, pride, honor are here. Pancasila, our home, Indonesia. That must be maintained. This is the strongest basis for us," he said.

Not only music, the singer of the Kuta Bali song is now also struggling through politics. Andree wants to emphasize his role in preserving Indonesian culture through the regulation of intellectual property laws.

"We have the most complete culture. The people are also of various ethnicities and races. This is wealth, we are so rich that we often become arrogant and forget. Use people's work as they please. This is what I want to emphasize. We must respect culture by caring about intellectual property," said Andree Hehanusa.

Many Indonesian artists slumped during the pandemic, making him realize that something must be fought for to ensure the welfare of artists. "During the pandemic, cafe singers, wedding singers, pantura dangdut singers, they can't even eat and no one pays attention. Indonesia doesn't have a National Music Council, there are no adoptive parents for musicians. To be able to form a National Music Council, starting from stage performers, superstars, to the industry, someone has to think about it," he said.

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