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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Shooting Games

Imagine — Focus — Action. Those key behaviours are written — firm & clear — on the wall of the shooting arena. This morning we learn our prominent practices to be the winner here. The instructions are clear: set your imagination as a winner, put focus on your target, and once you’re there … with no doubt …. with confidence & only confidence to your commitment & competence …. action! Timely! No doubt!

And the winner this morning is yours truly. Thank you, everybody.


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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Akhir tahun 2017, kami berada dalam persiapan sebuah kegiatan para BUMN di Paritohan, di sekitar Danau Toba, Sumatera Utara. Suasana dingin berkabut, karena persiapan dimulai sejak dini hari. Namun tampak sebuah pemandangan indah di tengah kabut: PT PPI menyajikan kopi Toba. Di tengah kesegaran yang ditawarkan kopi panas Covare itu, PPI memberikan kejutan dengan memberikan begitu saja kopi-kopi Toba Covare kepada siapa pun yang mengaku pecinta kopi.

Di tahun 2018, aku sempat beberapa kali bekerja sama dengan PPI, sebuah BUMN yang berfokus pada perdagangan umum dan khusus atas beraneka produk sejak dari hulu hingga hilir, baik lokal maupun lintas negara; bahkan beberapa kali berjumpa dengan Bapak Agus Andiyani, Dirut PPI yang sungguh visioner namun sangat rendah hati. Namun di awal 2019, kembali PPI teridentikkan dengan kopi.

Pada paruh pertama 2019 ini, para BUMN sedang mempersiapkan alat pembayaran bersama — LinkAja. LinkAja harus dapat digunakan di berbagai produk, layanan, event, dan situs BUMN. Termasuk di antaranya adalah rest area dan pom bensin di jalan tol. Kami tengah mempersiapkan soft launch sebuah rest area di KM 260 — sebuah kawasan bekas pabrik gula di Banjaratma, Brebes, bersama Direktur Pertamina Bapak Mas’ud Khamid. Kawasan ini akan diujudkan sebagai kawasan wisata (transit-oriented development) yang memanfaatkan bekas instalasi pabrik gula. Hall besar di Banjaratma dimanfaatkan sebagai café, resto, dan penjualan produk nasional. Di tengah persiapan yang melelahkan, tampak café yang sangat rapi, dengan brand Covare yang terkenal itu, dan masih buka di tengah malam. Sambil lelah, kami langsung menyerbu café itu, pesan brewed coffee Wamena, Aceh Gayo, dll. Setelah kesadaran agak pulih, kami baru sadar bahwa sang barrista di café itu tak lain dari Dirut PPI, Pak Agus Andiyani sendiri. Hoooo.

Melayani curiosity kami, berceritalah Pak Agus. PPI memang mendapatkan tugas khusus dari Pemerintah RI untuk membina kawasan-kawasan rakyat yang potensial menghasilkan kopi bermutu sangat tinggi. Pembinaan diujudkan dengan menentukan kawasan pilot, memberikan pembinaan langsung kepada rakyat, memberikan bantuan benih dll, melakukan pendampingan dan menjaga keterjaminan mutu, hingga membeli kopi-kopi olahan rakyat itu, serta mengemasnya secara istimewa, dan mendistribusikannya ke seluruh dunia. Kawasan pembinaan lengkap dari Aceh hingga Papua.

Semakin istimewa rasanya kopi Covare ini.


Seri Video Startup

Akhirnya saya mulai membuat video (vlog) tentang Startup. Tentang menjadi entrepreneur. Ini akan menjadi seri video karena ada banyak topik yang akan dibahas.

Sebenarnya, ide awalnya sih blog ini akan membuat versi tulisan dari video tersebut. Jadi orang yang senang melihat video, silahkan melihat videonya. Sementara itu, orang yang senang membaca dapat membaca blog ini. Rencananya juga yang di blog bisa ditambah dengan pembahasan yang lebih rinci lagi, karena ruangnya lebih lega. (Kalau membuat video yang terlalu panjang, tidak diminati orang.) Selain itu juga blog lebih nyaman untuk dijadikan tempat diskusi. (Ini dapat berubah.) Untuk sementara ini pembahasan belum saya buat. Jadi saya buatkan ulasan singkatnya dulu saja.

Video pertama adalah tentang bagaimana memulai startup itu sendiri. Saya mengusulkan ada dua alasan; (1) ingin memecahkan sebuah masalah, dan (2) karena bisa sesuatu dan ingin membuat bisnis berdasarkan kebisaan saya tersebut. Simak videonya di sini.

Startup: ideation

Video kedua membahas lebih lanjut tentang ide tersebut. Apa hubungan ide tersebut dengan Anda? Bagi saya, ide sebuah startup harus terkait dengan Anda. Misalnya, ide tersebut memecahkan masalah pribadi Anda. Atau jika bukan Anda sendiri, itu adalah masalah salah satu orang di tim Anda. Jika ide tersebut tidak ada hubungannya dengan Anda, maka minggu depan Anda akan dengan mudah mengganti topik.

Startup: ide dan Anda

Demikian secara singkat dua video tentang startup yang sudah saya buat. Akan ada video-video yang lain. Menyusul. Semoga.

BPPT Buckber

BPPT invited Engineering Professional Organisations in a short iftar session today. The IEEE Indonesia Section was represented by some volunteers (incl Dr Hugeng, Dr Wahidin, Amanda, and yours truly), since the Excom members were too busy.

Surely here I met some old connections, happily. I met Prof Ashwin, Dr Lubis, Prof Suhono, etc.

Unfortunately, this was only a short session — ended just before Isya & Tarawih.