Meet Rich Brian, the Indonesian Rapper Performing at Spotify On Stage Jakarta
Jakarta music lovers, leave your headphones at home. On October 4, Spotify On Stage, Spotify’s premier live concert series, will be back and bigger than ever in the Indonesian capital for an immersive, electrifying live event.
In a one-night-only experience at Jakarta International Expo Hall (JIExpo), three of the world’s hottest artists — rapper Rich Brian and K-Pop sensations (G)I-DLE and ATEEZ — and local superstars Arsy Widianto, Brisia Jodie, Marion Jola, and Rizky Febian will be coming together onstage at Spotify On Stage Indonesia. Together, these artists have a combined 15 million monthly listeners on Spotify, though how the numbers might shift after a night of musical discovery is anyone’s guess.
Rich Brian has only just turned 20 and he’s already the most-streamed hip-hop artist on Spotify in Indonesia. This means he’s also one of the biggest international stars hailing from Asia.
Besides gearing up to perform at the concert, Rich Brian also recently partnered with Spotify for an interactive showcase in Jakarta to celebrate the launch of his new album, The Sailor. The Sailor Experience exhibition took Rich Brian fans through an immersive journey into the mind of the hip-hop star, giving a unique insight into the influences and memories behind the album. The exhibition also featured a screening of Rich Brian’s cinematic debut, Rich Brian Is The Sailor (A Short Film), accompanied by exclusive audio commentary by critically acclaimed director Sing J Lee. Check out the video recap from the entire event below.
We sat down with Rich Brian after his event to get to know him a bit. Like many other stars growing up in the age of the internet, Rich Brian has spent a lot of time searching the web for the secrets of success. He especially loves trolling fans on Twitter and really wants to get into acting. We also discussed his excitement about recording his latest album and checked in leading up to his Spotify On Stage performance.
You’re originally from Indonesia but you’re now living in LA. How has living internationally influenced your sound, process, or attitude?
A lot of things influence my sound, from listening to traditional Indonesian music, to the stuff I listened to while spending full days on the internet making videos. Living internationally definitely influenced my attitude towards everything positively. I’m very grateful for everything that I have now and things just never get old for me—each new experience feels like a blessing.
How was the experience of collaborating with big names like RZA and Bekon on your sophomore album? You grew up listening to Wu-Tang Clan and Kendrick Lamar—how does it feel to be working with their producers?
Working with them was insane. Bekon and the whole crew and I were locked in the studio for months—I felt so close to everybody at that point. I kept forgetting how insanely talented everybody is and how lucky I was to be in the same room with those guys. RZA was just another level—the day he came to the studio was memorable for all of us. He was so nice. Seeing him just do his thing and kill it in a room full of people he’d just met that day was very inspiring.
The Sailor definitely has a different sound from 2018’s Amen and your earlier music. What was your inspiration behind this more experimental album?
Making this album, I tried not to care about what’s currently trending or what’s relevant, but instead made what I personally think sounds good. I care less now about the amount of listeners, and more on the impact it’s made on the people who do listen.
You talk a lot about your youth and accomplishments on the track “Kids.” What do you see as your role for inspiring other young creatives, especially young Asians?
I’m just here doing my thing, doing what I love to do and making what I love to make. My only purpose is to show other people that it’s all possible. I live for those moments where someone tells me that they quit music, and when they saw me doing it they wanted to pick up the guitar again. It’s what keeps me going.
How do you feel about performing live at the Spotify On Stage Indonesia concert?
I’m super pumped to do a show here again, I feel like this is gonna be a pretty crazy one.
Check out Rich Brian’s newest full-length album, The Sailor, featuring RZA and Bekon.