Afgan —one of Indonesia’s brightest stars— releases his new single and official music video “Shallow Water.” Out today via EMPIRE, the emotionally charged ballad will appear on Afgan’s forthcoming English album, Sonder. A deeply personal release for Afgan, “Shallow Water” explores how past traumas can hinder a relationship and how the fear of making mistakes can prevent a relationship from evolving into something deeper. Speaking on the song’s inspiration, Afgan shared, “this fear of fucking things up arises if we went in too deep in the relationship. Cause it definitely doesn’t feel like shallow waters and you tend to get overwhelmed and drown in the emotions.”.
Afgan is set to make his U.S. concert debut later this month with headlining performances at Elsewhere in New York City on February 15th and at The Moroccan Lounge in Los Angeles on February 16th and 17th. The February 16th show sold out almost immediately and a second date has been added by popular demand.
Afgan has been redefining Indonesian music on the global stage with his commanding vocals, emotionally charged songwriting and R&B sensibilities. Over his illustrious career, he’s built a massive passionate fanbase of nearly 20 million followers across his social media and hundreds of millions of streams across his music catalog. His 2021 groundbreaking album, Wallﬂower —his first English project and foray into the global pop market— spotlighted his influence and opened new doors for the Jakarta-based superstar. It earned #1 on Netease International Chart and landed on 10 Spotify New Music Friday Playlists. The album’s top singles, which included “M.I.A” featuring Jackson Wang, “Touch Me” (Remix by Robin Thicke), “Say I’m Sorry,” and “If I Don’t Have Your Love,” have generated more than 40 million streams. As Afgan’s star quality continues to take stock internationally, he sets the stage for Sonder, his most personal body of work yet, which is set to be released later this year.
Afgan, the shortened moniker for Afgansyah Reza, grew up in Jakarta, as a shy individual, finding solace in music and honing his natural talent in the privacy of karaoke rooms. His mother’s love for powerhouses like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Brian McKnight would come to shape his vocal style— he would imitate these artists, practicing their belting and runs. One day, serendipitously, a label VP overheard Afgan’s captivating rendition of John Legend’s “Ordinary People” during a karaoke session and offered him a record contract on the spot. Afgan released his debut album, Confession No.1, in January 2008 and since then, has become an influential, beloved name in Asian entertainment with eight solo albums under his belt. Known for his soulful, buttery vocals, coalesced with R&B and ballad roots, Afgan has headlined arenas throughout Asia, including at Java Jazz Festival, Joyland and PESTAPORA, and toured 60 dates in 2023 alone. His dynamic performance extends from the stage to TV and film, such as the popular Korean reality series, Tripmate: Who Are You. He’s collaborated with fashion brands, like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Coach and Kenzo, and with artists such as B.I, Jackson Wang, Robin Thicke, and Raisa. Most recently, two of his singles, “Panah Asmara” and “Lenggang Puspita,” went viral on TikTok with millions of videos created. As he embarks into his next era, a year that’s already brimming with promise, including a world tour and a new album in motion, Afgan is unabashedly him.