Thursday, May 17, 2012

Afgan "Campus Star" versi Monash Sunway

Campus Star Monash University Malaysia
At first glance, 22-year-old Afgan Syah Reza comes off as an ordinary student of Monash University Sunway campus. But behind his quiet and introverted demeanour is a voice that resembles the legendary Phil Collins in this writer’s opinion, who prior to the interview had a listen to his debut hit, Terima Kasih Cinta (Thank you Love). Needless to say, this writer was sold on his deep soulful voice.

The day Afgan’s life changed for the better came in 2007 when he and his friends were making their own karaoke songs at an instant recording-studio-turned-record-label. As luck would have it, the studio personnel recognised his talent and a few months later, offered him a deal. And the rest, as they say, is history.

His first album, Confessions No.1, was released in 2008 and in that year alone, led Afgan to win six awards. Amongst his awards were MTV’s Artist of the Year and Favourite Male Artist. Since then, he has released a mini album in 2009, Bersihkan Dirimu, and another album titled The One in 2010.

Despite his fast track into the entertainment world, Afgan hasn’t forgotten the importance of an education. Following in the footsteps of his sister who was in Monash University in Melbourne, Afgan decided to enrol at the Sunway campus.

“My sister had a good experience with Monash and my parents felt that it was a good option that was close to home. I also get to experience life away from home and live independently,” says the singer who is currently pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Marketing.

“I tried a local university in Indonesia but my career took up too much of my time and attention. I believe that a little distance was needed for me to balance out my career and studies.”
Because Malaysia and Indonesia are practically neighbours, travelling back to Jakarta often is not a problem to Afgan. “Accepting performing gigs back home is a great way to stop feeling homesick. I get to go home almost every week and I visit my family and friends then,” he says.

But surely having to balance between his singing and his education is a challenge despite the distance. Not for Afgan. “The moment I step off the plane in Malaysia, I am a student and all my focus and time are on my studies and assignments. The same goes as when I go back to Indonesia. That’s when I put on my singer cap. Basically I need to have a clear sight of my priorities.”

After over a year in Monash University Sunway campus, Afgan has found himself adjusting to student life well. He attributes it to his lecturers and friends who have treated him no differently than anyone else. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. My friends know who I am and have heard my music but they don’t give me any special treatment and I like that. I get to be a normal student here.”

“I picked to study marketing because it can help with my career in a big way. It’s educating me on positioning and promoting myself as a brand. In a way, this will help me to make my own career choices in future,” explains Afgan on his decision to do marketing instead of arts.

Although young, he has big dreams to achieve after his studies, one of which was to open up his own record label company. “I was fortunate that I was given an opportunity to realise my potential and I would like to do the same for someone else.”

Afgan’s experience has taught him that it’s possible to balance your passion and your studies as long as you have your priorities in order. 

(source: Monash University on Web)

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