Agnez Mo, one of Indonesia’s biggest musical exports has recently marked her name in the western market with the release of “Nanana” last week. Mo, whom attended American Music Awards on Sunday, had performed her single in front of adoring fans in LA and New York.
image taken from: hotdetik.com
Owing to her latest single release, Mo sat down with host Kevan Kenney for an interview in Yahoo’s BUILD series to talk about her single “Diamond” and her inspirations behind “Nanana”, as well as stories of her life and career.
The interview went good and Mo shared interesting and personal stories for her musics. However, one particular moment that caught people off guard and shocked was when Kenney asked the singer about the diversity of Indonesian culture and commented how she’s “a little different from anybody else”.
image taken from: cnnindonesia.com
Mo responded by saying
❝ I actually don’t have Indonesian blood whatsoever. I’m actually German, Japanese, Chinese — I was just born in Indonesia. And I’m also Christian, which is in Indonesia the majority there are Muslims.
image taken from: liputan6.com
The 33-year-old singer further added
❝ So I’ve always been kind of, you know, like, I’m not gonna say that I’ve felt that I don’t belong there, because I always felt like the people accepted me for who I was. But there’s always that sense of, ‘ugh… I’m not like everybody else’
Her response quickly became quite a shock, even for the host himself!
Being her interview available on YouTube, the clip immediately made its round on Twitter, with netizens — especially Indonesians, felt Agnez appeared to have forgotten her roots.
image taken: coconuts.co
This further sparked fire as people find her statement ironic because in the same interview, she also mentioned that she has always tried to represent Indonesian culture in her works.
image taken from: news.detik.com
Several netizens also pointed out her alleged black culture appropriation; when she tried to pass on as “Papuan” — the indigenous peoples of New Guinea, in her behind the scenes photos on Instagram from her upcoming “Diamonds” music video.
While Agnez Mo’s statement might have rubbed some people the wrong way, other users suggested that she should’ve offered more nuanced takes on Indonesian identity or culture.
Watch the entire interview here: