Indonesian singer Afgan makes international debut with new single ‘Say I’m Sorry’

He joins fellow Indonesian artist Ramengvrl on the US label EMPIRE

Indonesian singer Afgan has unveiled his latest single, ‘Say I’m Sorry’, which marks his international debut with US label EMPIRE.

The slow-burning R&B number was produced by Tha Aristocrats, and penned by a number of writers: Chaz Jackson, Dashawn White, Benny Mayne, Emily Vaughn, Orlando Williamson and Yusuke Sato.

On the track, Afgan croons about regret in his velvety voice: “Now I do all the right things with all the wrong people / All I ever wanted was you / If everything’s changed why do I feel the same / I’m still falling for you”.

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Listen to the song below:

“I hope that when people listen to the song, the sadness and pain we feel will drive us to do better. Regrets are something we can learn from, to avoid from making the same mistakes,” the singer – real name Afgansyah Reza – said in a statement.

With the song out today (February 5), Afgan wrote on Instagram that he hoped the song “resonates with all of you and this is just the beginning, we got a lot more coming for you”.

After 13 years in the Indonesian music industry, Afgan said he felt ready to meet new challenges and introduce himself to the world. ‘Say I’m Sorry’ was recorded in 2019 at EMPIRE’s studio in the US.

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“So many things inspire me. EMPIRE understands what I want and they help me to adapt. I’m so honoured to be able to work with EMPIRE and I can’t wait to show my new songs,” Afgan said of the label, which also signed Indonesian rapper Ramengvrl last year and released her debut album ‘Can’t Speak English’.

In a video posted on YouTube on Tuesday (February 2), the singer reminisced on his trip to the US to record with the label. “From the very beginning of my career I knew that I wanted to do R&B,” he said.

The singer also told the story of how he got robbed on the first day he arrived. “I was starving… So we went to Chinatown, I left all of my stuff, my luggage in the car. We just ate for 45 minutes and then we went back to the car… The windows were smashed and I lost all my stuff that I brought for the whole month, my cash,” he said.

Watch the video below:

Afgan then said that he came to see the incident as a metaphor for starting anew. “In the studio, I knew that I’d start from nothing cause it’s a new environment but I didn’t expect I’m gonna literally start from, like, buying new stuff… I took it as starting a new chapter. Letting go of the past and just move on, that’s how I set my mind,” he said.

Afgan released his debut album ‘Confession No. 1’ in 2008 and has since collected Anugerah Musik Indonesia awards for Best Pop Male Solo Artist and Best Pop Collaboration with Indonesian singer Raisa. With Isyana Sarasvati and Rendy Pandugo, they released the four-track EP ‘AIR’ in 2019.

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