How Rich Brian is taking over the world

Rich Brian

Born on September 3, 1999, Rich Brian is unarguably the most prominent rap act to come out from Asia.

The 19-year-old Rich Brian whose stage name was formerly Rich Chigga first came into international recognition in 2016 with the release of a YouTube video titled “Dat $tick.” A video that went on to become viral and has since garnered over 125 million views.

“Dat $tick” wasn’t Rich Brian’s first song though. He had earlier released a single track called “Living the Dream” on July 17, 2015.

Rich Brian’s storied journey to fame, money, and international recognition is an inspiration to young Asians wanting to break into the entertainment industry

Back in 2016 as a 16-year-old, he learned how to speak English from watching YouTube videos. He never had a formal education even though his dad was a lawyer. He was homeschooled. But that didn’t stop the young Brian from chasing his dreams of becoming either a music or movie star.

A bit more about Rich Brian’s childhood

He was born and raised in the middle-to-low income neighborhood of Jakarta. And, was the last child of the family of four children.

Brian believed his dad greatly influenced his outlook on life. According to the rapper, “He [his dad] is the most positive person that I know. I’ve seen him go through shit and deal with it with such a positive attitude,” he said.

“Sure, there’s no song in particular about my dad, but his influence shines through subtly.”

Rich Brian with President Joko Widodo
Rich Brian with President Joko Widodo

Early days 

Brian’s former stage name Rich Chigga is a fusion of two words “Chi” from Chinese and “gga” from “the N-word.” A name he formally changed after coming under fire for cultural appropriation.

After releasing the breakout video “Dat $tick” on 88rising YouTube channel, he went on to work with American rappers 21 Savage, Tory Lanez, Ghostface Killah, and hosts of others.

He followed up on the successes of “Dat $tick” with the release of a second single “Who That Be” on iTunes and a third, “Seventeen” which became a hit surpassing one million views on YouTube and SoundCloud.

Brian was determined to transition from the teenage novelty act that brought him to fame to a serious, more matured singer ready to take on the world.

On February 2, 2018, he released his first studio album “Amen” which rose to become the first Asian album to top the iTunes hip-hop charts and to reach number 18 on the US billboard 200.

April 4, Brain released “Watch Out!” He appeared on the 88risings compilation album. To promote the album, he featured rappers Joji and the Higher Brothers.


Rich Brian on July 19, 2019, released a new single titled “Kids” in which he talked about his childhood hometown Jakarta. As of today, “kids” has garnered over 6.5 million views on YouTube.

On July 26, 2019, Brian dropped his second studio album “Sailor” featuring Joji and RZA. During a recent interview, he explained the idea behind his new album.

“Sailor” is about his personal journey from moving to the US to rapping and immigrants’ hope of making it in America.

Spotify partnered with Rich Brian to bring an immersive Sailor Experience to the public in August at Gudang Gambar, South Jakarta.

The Sailor exhibition will mark the first time the streaming service will hold an interactive concert in Asia.

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Can Indonesia NET TV survive to its 7th anniversary?

Net TV
The Indonesian private television station NET TV became the most popular topic on Twitter today. At least 26,000 tweets discussed the issue. However the conversation was dominated by bad news about the mass layoffs of the TV station.
Last year, according to local business portal KataData, the business conglomerate owned by the Sudwikatmono family, Indika Group, had big plans for its subsidiary business, NET TV. The TV station management sought IDR 1 trillion in funds through two schemes: offering shares on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (BEI) and issuing a mandatory convertible bond (MCB).
However Maverick blog wrote:

These, however, seem to have failed to stem the financial haemorraghing because NET TV began to take down many of its original programs and instead reassigned producers, editors, and camera crew to managing its social media presence, which is rather too late now.

There is now great doubt whether NET TV would be able to survive until its 7th anniversary, a pity because their demise would also mean a goodbye to quality TV programs for Indonesians.

Through this corporate action, Indonesian largest e-commerce company Tokopedia is rumored to be the second largest shareholder of NET TV. Director of PT NH Korindo Sekuritas Amir Suhendro Samirin said NET TV wanted to release one billion shares or 4.88% of shares after an initial public offering (IPO) with a target of IDR 200 billion.
Tokopedia CEO William Tanuwijaya also briefly explained that his company was not intending to buy Net TV shares. “Not buying shares, but we support creative TV station in Indonesia like NET TV,” he said on September 25, 2018.
Late last month, William and NET TV founder Wishnutama also appeared to accompany SoftBank’s Chairman and CEO, Masayoshi Son to meet with President Joko Widodo at the Merdeka Palace.

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Clean energy tech and the Philippines’ green plan

clean energy

There is currently a global shift towards renewable energy, as sustainable measures are being prioritized in order to care for the environment and our world in general. 

The latest technology

There are many different types of technology available to produce the various forms of green energy. Common forms of renewable energy today include: wind, hydropower and solar energy. Wind energy can be used to pump water or generate electricity. Hydropower can be captured by moving water to generate electricity.

Solar energy is produced by the nuclear fusion power from the Sun being captured by solar thermal panels. Solar energy can be used to heat water and provide electricity. There is also biomass (energy derived from plants), geothermal power, and more. Renewable energy sources are often expensive to install, but are cheap to operate and provide long-term financial and environmental benefits. 

The Philippines’ Green Plan

The Philippines was once referred to as the “sick man of Asia” when inflation was high and the GDP grew at a slow rate of 2% at the highest. Now, it has experienced an economic revival and has an estimated growing GDP of on average more than 6% annually until 2020. Due to its growing economy and rapid development, there is a naturally wide gap between energy demand and the availability on the market. 

As many important websites like also We Build Value reported, to address the surge in demand for energy, the Department of Energy announced the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) back in 2012. The goal is to supply clean energy at reasonable cost. As a part of the PEP, it has been guaranteed to supply electricity to each of the islands. Currently the power supply is largely provided by coal and natural gas, and the main source of clean energy is hydropower.

Hydropower supplies a significant portion of the country’s electricity, resulting in many hydropower plants being built to meet the energy demand via clean energy. In the Manila area, there were 8 hydropower plants built in 2014 and in late 2016, the project for the Pulanai Plant was announced to produce 10.6 MW. 

MGen President and CEO Rogelio Singson said, “we believe the time is right to focus on building our green-energy capacity and we intend to be a key player in this expanding sector.” 

As our world’s resources decreases, it is crucial to continue and ramp up this push towards clean energy. Energy transformation can both benefit a country as shown by the Philippines’ green plan, while also affecting our entire globe.

We will run out of resources at the rate that we have and also in general terms of availability, and it is required that we make a shift for both functional and environmental purposes. The better we take care of our environment, the better quality of life that we will also have with cleaner air, less pollution and a healthier environment in general. For the sake of our future and that of the earth, ‘green’ measures are required. (Hanna Johnson)

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Working with YouTubers at Collab Asia

Collab Asia team in Jakarta

After joined Indonesia’s e-commerce Unicorn Bukalapak as EVP of Content for one year, I am joining Collab Asia Inc –digital content studio and influencer network– as Country Manager for Indonesia since last month.

For me, this role is a fun and unique experience. Because every day we work with creators and influencers (mostly YouTubers at this moment), help them to build the audience and how to monetise their channels. We help them to connect with the brands and agencies, too.

With offices in Hong Kong, Jakarta, Manila, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo and Los Angeles, we work with top creators to produce shareable, relevant and engaging content.

We also specialize in digital rights management by maximizing the revenue that content and IP rights owners earn online.

Collab Asia Inc founded in 2017. Collab, our parent company, founded in Los Angeles in 2012. In September 2018, ComScore started tracking Collab and immediately recognized it as a top 10 YouTube partner in the U.S. Collab’s content generates nearly seven billion video views every month.

For James, Tyler, and Will McFadden—Collab co-founders and brothers—the program was a life-changing opportunity. It allowed them to earn a living as online comedy creators, while they produced their cartoon for TV and ran a popular production studio within the YouTube community. But it was the rise of predatory MCN contracts, low ad rates, and a glaring lack of creator support that revealed their true calling: helping fellow creators succeed creatively as well as financially. They teamed up with friend and YouTube network veteran, Soung Kang, and the rest is Collab history.

By the way, if you have your own YouTube channel with more than 1,000 subscribers and wanted to jump to the next level, let’s talk!

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Huawei goes Smart City


BARCELONA — Today, at the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) 2018 Huawei showcased its Digital Platform based on leading new ICT including artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), big data and cloud, enabling city-wide intelligence and sustainable development across the international smart city industry.

Huawei and its global partners demonstrated solutions based on the platform covering municipal management, public safety and environmental protection, as well as smart transportation, smart government, smart education, and smart agriculture. These solutions are designed to facilitate city governance, improve public services, and enable industry innovation and best practices. During SCEWC, Huawei hosted its Global Smart City Summit 2018 with the theme of “Digital Platform Empowers Smart City+” to introduce its Digital Platform for smart cities.

At the Summit, renowned industry associations such as TM Forum and EUROCITIES, and representatives from Singapore, Gelsenkirchen, Yanbu and Jazan shared their ideas and experiences of smart city development with more than 400 city administrators from around the world.

Ma Yue, Vice President of Huawei Enterprise Business Group and President of the Global Sales Department of Huawei Enterprise Business Group, said: “The development of a smart city is a highly complex project. As a world-leading ICT product and solution provider that delivers cloud-pipe-device synergy, Huawei can achieve the integration of cloud, IoT, video and edge computing with AI technologies, connecting the entire city nervous system — the ‘brain’ (command center), ‘central nervous system’ (network), and ‘peripheral nervous system’ (sensors). ”

Check out full press release here

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Video streaming landscape in Indonesia

HOOQ iFlix Viu

Video is today, undoubtedly the leading driver of global internet traffic, with a projection as high as 82% by 2020. And, a significant chunk of these web visits will be from live streaming and over-the-top (OTT) video.

Indonesia inclusive is not left behind in the upward trend for video as the preferred content format by Internet users. This growth, as expected is piggy-tailing on the back of impressive improved infrastructure and Internet penetration in the region.

To put things in perspective, the market value of the Asia Pacific online video niche is set to grow from an estimated $13 billion in 2016 to over $35 billion by 2021. Also, the subscriber base of video-on-demand is expected to hit the 360 million mark by 2021 up from 177 million in 2016.

Now considering that about half of the region’s population doesn’t have access to the internet at the moment or are grappling with inadequate infrastructure; it only goes to show that the market’s potential hasn’t even being scratched.

At the country level, the same trend is playing out; in Indonesia, rapid internet growth rate, improved broadband, and a growing army of internet users addicted to consuming OTT video content.

A young, hungry for local and international video content, dynamic population, and an internet penetration that grew by over 100% from 20.3% in 2016 to 53.7% in 2017 is at the core of the growing demand for video-on-demand in the country.

It’s not surprising then that the major players in the video on demand and live streaming niche are jostling to take a slice of the market.

Today, there are three dominant local players in the OTT landscape in the country – HOOQ, iFlix, and VIU (yeah, these local competitors for Netflix) each servicing the rising demand for premium video on demand.

According to a report published by Vindicia, a leader in business-to-consumer subscription solutions, consumers’ demands for OTT videos are projected to be driven by readily available local, live, and linear content and the ease of using payment solutions.

Hence, in a bid to position and corner local content, Viu has launched a new platform the Viu Pitching Forum, aimed to encourage aspiring filmmakers to submit their ideas.

According to the Viu’s Indonesian head of Marketing and AdSales, Myra Suraryo the new initiative will give budding series makers in Indonesia the global platform they need to showcase their works.

Meanwhile, iFlix has announced an ambitious campaign to have more original content produced and released for their growing subscriber base in 2019.

This announcement came on the back of an impressive run of its existing iFlix Originals; the new productions slated for 2019 are targeted at fulfilling quadrupling demands for its Original local content by consumers.

HOOQ, on the other hand, is test running a new service – a skinny bundle of Korean and US pay-per-view channels – to its premium users in Indonesia with an eye for a full region-wide rollout sometime in the future.

The new bundle according to the video streaming service will offer 20 pay-tv channels including Animal Planet, E!, tvN, TLC, tvN movies, and History Channel.

Also, HOOQ is introducing local language features for Indonesian viewers with the hope to tap into the over 90% of the population who do not already have access to pay-tv services.

The Video-on-demand positive growth trend, massive investments by streaming services, and improving communication infrastructure across the country only signal to the vast untapped potential in the Indonesian OTT niche, and of course, consumers are the better for it as they would be spoiled for choice of content to consume.

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Bukalapak empowers mom and pop shops through O2O service

Achmad Zaky
Bukalapak founder & CEO Achmad Zaky

Indonesian online commerce company Bukalapak continues to expand its business and impact by offering offline services to small businesses in rural areas.

The company has started serving offline merchants who want to take their business online. Furthermore, Bukalapak has also been signing up warung or mom and pop shop owners to become O2O (Online to Offline) agents.

Fajrin Rasyid
Bukalapak co-founder and president Fajrin Rasyid

These agents help shoppers without internet access or those reluctant to make online purchases to order online products but pay in cash. Agents then use an online app provided by Bukalapak to buy from the company’s site, and earn a commission for each order they make. Last year alone, Bukalapak already had over 300,000 warung owners as agents, Bukalapak co-founder and president Muhammad Fajrin Rasyid recently told Bloomberg.

According to Co-Founder and CEO Achmad Zaky, the move is in line with the company’s mission to become a small business ecosystem.

“E-commerce is just one of our businesses,” he said while being interviewed recently on stage at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2018.

Bukalapak started off as an e-commerce company in 2010, but in the last few years it expanded into a number of different online services, most notably financial services like loans, credit and insurance, as well as mutual fund and gold investment products.

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Get lost to find Asian Games Venues in Jakarta?

Venues Asian Games 2018 Jakarta

The 2018 Asian Games, and also known as The Jakarta Palembang 2018, scheduled to be held from 18 August to 2 September 2018 in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta –which is hosting the Games for the first time since 1962— and Palembang, South Sumatra.

Several venues for Asian Games hosting in Jakarta can be reached by public transportation (commuter train and TransJakarta bus).

The JakartaByTrain website provided the following guides:

Gelora Bung Karno Complex

This large complex will be used for Opening and Closing of Events and various other game venues.
Gelora Bung Karno Stadium: Used for opening and closing events, as well as for athletic games.
To reach the Gelora Bung Karno complex, the nearest commuter train station is Palmerah station and the closest TransJakarta bus shelter is Gelora Bung Karno Shelter.

Jakarta Convention Center

JCC will be used for matching Fencing, Karate, Kurash, sambo, and Volley Ball
To reach the Jakarta Convention Center, the nearest commuter train station is Palmerah station and the nearest TransJakarta stop is JCC Senayan shelter

The image source: Indonesia Baik

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Indonesia’s top 6 e-commerce sites


Tech portal TechInAsia wrote about Indonesia’s top online platform based on the recent research conducted by ecommerceIQ. This study focuses on the six most popular sites based on their traffic and Google’s Play Store’s rank.

One of the study’s findings, the following is the popular categories on each e-marketplace:


…Tokopedia’s strength is its product variety.
Blibli, Bukalapak, and Lazada are more popular in the “Mobile & Electronics” or “Fashion” categories.
Shopee leads its peers in fashion.
…rating the highest in the “Authentic category”

It means that each of the top six ecommerce sites in Indonesia have unique selling points, which is very important to win the archipelago’s competitive e-commerce industry.

Check-out the full report here

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