Pianist, composer and band leader
There have been so many individuals in the music industry who have been instrumental in giving me the opportunities to perform and evolve.
Tell us your story – how did you get here?
I got here by God’s grace – I wouldn’t be here without the gift and the sacrifice my parents made by taking a big risk to focus on my music, especially my dad who was basically the one who discovered that I could play. Since then, there have been so many individuals in the music industry who have been instrumental in giving me the opportunities to perform and evolve. Together with hard work on my part, and the support of a good team, that’s how I’ve gotten to where I am today.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
It was a blessing to be able to perform in front of the Obamas at the White House, to perform at the Grammys, to be featured on CBS 60 Minutes, to play at the legendary Grand Ole Opry, to headline at Carnegie Hall, and to play at many beautiful venues around the world. But when people tell me that my music has helped them in some way, that to me is the ultimate success.
What impact have you made in Bali?
I hope I have inspired people in Bali and Indonesia to realise that we can start from wherever we are and use whatever we have available to do what we can. Everywhere I go, I bring Bali with me. I wrote a song called Bali and I had a month-long tour in Europe last year in November and that was always the opener. People listen and imagine this beautiful island, and Bali and Indonesia are always mentioned next to my name in booklets or programs wherever I play with my band. I hope to continue bringing a piece of Bali with me around the world.
What does 2022 look like for you?
It’s looking bright from here. I look forward to releasing my sixth album soon and will start travelling again mostly in the US. It has been challenging for everybody these past few years, but things are starting to open up and I hope people will be able to once again watch live performances.
What do you love most about Bali?
I love everything about Bali, except the trash! We all need to keep the island clean. I love the Balinese people – they are amazing and so resilient. I am very glad to see the island opening up for tourists again, at last.
Who is your Local Legend and why?
There are a lot of local legends but these are the people whom my family and I have known for many years; Nigel and Yanie Mason (Mason Adventures), the Wawo Runtu at Tandjung Sari/Batu Jimbar Sanur, and Yanti Giusti (Lotus Enterprises), The Anhar family (Tugu hotels) and John M Daniels (Bali Discovery). They are the pioneers in their fields and continue to make a difference by positively impacting Bali’s communities.