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CONNECTING WITH MUSIC

Agung Wibowo’s Journey as a DJ and Finding His Niche

TEXT: Iwan Martinus Putuhena; PHOTOS: Gugun A. Suminarto

Agung Wibowo is not only a well-known DJ in the corporate and high-end society, but he is also an artist who understands the entertainment business and know how to use personal branding to enhance his career. Although he is not quite a mainstream DJ who rocks EDM festivals, Agung dominates exclusive parties for Louis Vuitton, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Martell, Calvin Klein, and Porsche, just to name a few, as well as premium events such as, Black & White Ball, Diplomatic Ball, Black Tie Gala, and French Chamber of Commerce. “My journey as DJ is not an easy route to overnight success. It takes a lot of hard work, hustle, and time to be exceptional,” says Agung passionately.

Before he became a DJ, Agung was in a corporate life, working a 9 to 5 job. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, and a Master’s degree in Marketing Communication, as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Corporate Communication. His formal educations paved the way to recognise the opportunity, demands, and needs for musical entertainment at corporate events. “At first I didn’t know anything about DJ-ing, but I learned a lot by observing my friends who are DJs,” Agung admits. “From there I spend a lot of time listening and collecting music, and also learning online to advance my skills,” he adds.

According to Agung, one of the keys to his success is through networking. “I have to connect with as many people as possible, such as the club owners, event organisers, and other DJs,” Agung explains. “I did presentations to companies, preview the music, and play video coverage from my past events. I treat this job professionally by researching the demographic and venue,” he adds.

Although people might perceive DJ-ing as a cool job, in reality, it’s a lot of hard work. Agung shared that he spend hours finding new songs, bootlegs, mash-ups, sharpening his skill-sets, and preparing material for sets. “All that hard work eventually pays off. Nowadays, I get calls to perform and mostly by word-of-mouth,” Agung says.

Agung believes that skill allows him to both predict and react to the audience, in order to find common musical ground. “I know how to take the crowd on a musical journey by connecting my musical expressions with the desires of the audience. It’s not just about matching beats or scratching but being observant, empathic, and reactive, as well as knowing how to ramp the energy up and down,” Agung describes.

The next projects for Agung are focusing on his DJ management to assign upcoming jobs to the team, and produce his own materials. “It’s not always sunshine and rainbows. You have to love what you do. It doesn’t matter that anyone can DJ. What matters is that you can do it better,” he concludes. @djagungw