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Anas Syahrul Alimi: Ready to bring over Andrea Bocelli!

2020 is clearly going to be an exciting year for music lovers. How could it not be, with the list of international concerts being prepared by showbiz maestro Anas Syahrul Alimi, CEO of Rajawali Indonesia (Ricomm)? To mentionjust a few, these include Prambanan Jazz Festival, JogjaROCKarta Festival, Mocosik Festival, Borobudur Symphony, and Batik Music Festival.

Interview by Vega Probo

The uniqueness of these shows is not only the big names performing but also their locations, in the grounds of cultural heritage buildings. This is the direct result of Anas’s ambition as concert architect: promoting Indonesia’s cultural heritage to the rest of the world through music concerts. Not only is it a magnet for drawing in tourists but it is also a way of boosting the local economy.

Some of the world-class artists who have performed on Indonesian stages over the past decade are Kenny G, Sarah Brightman, Diana Krall, Yanni, Calum Scott, and Anggun at Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta; Mariah Carey at Borobudur Temple, Magelang; David Foster at the old Colomadu sugar factory in Surakarta; and Westlife at Sam Poo Kong Temple, Semarang.

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“Next year, I hope to bring Andrea Bocelli to Indonesia,” says Anas, who has long been enamoured with the blind classical crossover tenor, more so after watching him perform in Tuscany, Italy, in 2008. “I also want to bring over Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Norah Jones, Billie Eilish. These are my favourites.”

To the man who started out his career as a journalist, before setting up a book publishing business, music is a primary need. In addition to organising concerts in Indonesia, he also enjoys travelling the globe to watch various shows. Every year, his regular agenda includes flying to England to attend Glastonbury Festival and British Summer Time Hyde Park.

“I really enjoy music tourism. Now, one of the things that needs to be set into motion in Indonesia is music tourism. I think the state must play a part in making this a reality,” says Anas. He goes on to stress the importance of stakeholders thinking partially, not integrally. “The state must play a more significant role, such as acting as a sponsor.”

In the future, Anas hopes that events organised by Ricomm will not only create an international branding, but also help develop cultural strategies on a global level. Government support, Anas believes, can keep down production costs, which in turn will make ticket prices more affordable, enabling larger numbers of people to enjoy watching concerts.

Apart from music, Anas – who is also the founder of Mocosik Festival – has expanded his activities to the world of film, with his production house, Alimi Pictures. In February 2020, Anas, who also doubles as executive producer, will be ready to present his first film, Terima Kasih Emak, Terima Kasih Abah. It is a cast reunion to the television series and film titled Keluarga Cemara, and will continue to star Adi Kurdi, Novia Kolopaking, and others.

Although his days are busy in the world of entertainment, the psychology graduate of Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta admits he still has time to enjoy his hobby: going from café to café, drinking coffee. His three favourite cafés are Marisini Coffee in Yogyakarta, Les Deux Magots in Paris, France, and Mother Monster in Plaza Indonesia, Jakarta.

“I am a solitary person, I like to be alone. I always make time to enjoy a cup of coffee in one café or another. That’s how I come up with ideas. You could say that most of my ideas for developing this concert concept appeared while I was drinking coffee at a café,” says the fan of classic Americano and latte, who also holds the titles of event consultant and advertising, strategic and political consultant.

Not only has he created a unique concert concept, but Anas has also designed a platform for selling his tickets. “Garuda Indonesia has a large number of GarudaMiles members, and Ricomm has a lot of events. Then, the idea arose to work together with Garuda Indonesia, selling tickets through the GIA Events channel, to accommodate the interests of GarudaMiles cardholders who also like to watch concerts,” says the holder of a GarudaMiles Platinum card since 2010.

Concerning Garuda Indonesia’s service, Anas judges it as: “Perfect! It meets all my needs and supports my activities as a businessman. Its lounges are comfortable and stylish, allowing me to relax without having to queue.” When asked which GarudaMiles programme he finds most attractive, the owner of Sate Afrika and CEO of ARCHPolitica declares, “Redeem miles! Ha ha ha.”