|Birth name||Dhani Ahmad Prasetyo|
May 26, 1972 |
|Associated acts||Dewa 19
Ahmad Dhani's signature
Dhani Ahmad Prasetyo (born May 26, 1972), better known as Ahmad Dhani or Dhani Manaf, is an Indonesian rock musician, songwriter, arranger, and producer. Dhani was the frontman of Dewa 19 and Ahmad Band, and also a member of the inter-continental band The Rock. He is the owner and chairman of Republik Cinta Management, an artist management company.
Throughout his career, Dhani has scored many hits. He has been a promoter and songwriter for other artists, including Maia Ahmad, Agnes Monica, Alexa Key and Mulan Jameela. He has won numerous awards including the IMA for best musical arrangement, best producer, and many other awards as a member of Dewa 19. His success made him one of the most influential musicians in Southeast Asia.
Born in Surabaya, Ahmad Dhani is the first of three children of Sundanese father Eddy Abdul Manaf, a diplomat, and Joyce Theresia Pamela Kohler, an Indonesian of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. His grandfather, Jan Pieter Friederich Kohler was an Ashkenazi Jew born in the Dutch East Indies in 1883. Dhani's stepbrother, Dadang S. Manaf, is an acknowledged Indonesian musician and was a strong influence on Dhani's musical interest since his childhood. Dhani's father bought him a keyboard when he was young and paid for music lessons, encouraging him and hoping that Dhani would excel in classical music. He was highly influenced by the British rock band Queen.
Dhani's musical talent began to show when he was in secondary school. Along with his friends Andra Junaidi, Erwin Prasetya, and Henry Juniarso, he formed the band Dewa in 1986. Dhani was the group's vocalist and keyboardist. Dhani often skipped school to jam with his friends at Henry's house in the Airlangga University complex.
Early in his Dewa career, Dhani became interested in jazz music, resulting in Dewa changing its name to Down Beat. Down Beat won the Youth Jazz Festival in East Java, and became the winner of the inaugural Festival '90, a high school band competition at the Djarum Super Fiesta Musical. But by 1991, the band had resumed playing rock music, now calling itself Dewa 19, with the addition of a new vocalist, Ari Lasso.
Since there were no adequate recording studios in Surabaya, in 1991 Ahmad Dhani moved to Jakarta to look for a record deal for Dewa 19. According to Dewa 19 lore, Dhani had little money at this time and relied on public buses to travel from one record company to another. Having been rejected by a number of labels, Dewa was signed by Jan Djuhana from Team Records. Their first album Dewa 19 (1992) became a huge success with a number of hits such as "Kangen" and "Kita Tidak Sedang Bercinta Lagi". The album was the best-selling album of 1993 and Dewa was awarded Best Newcomer in the Indonesian Music Awards.
Dhani helped to produce the band's 11 albums, which included Dewa 19 (1992), Format Masa Depan (1994), Terbaik Terbaik (1995), Pandawa Lima (1997), The Best Of Dewa 19 (1999), Bintang Lima (2000), Cintailah Cinta (2002), Atas Nama Cinta I & II (2004), Laskar Cinta (2004), Republik Cinta (2006), and Kerajaan Cinta (2007). Although it went through several personnel changes, Dewa 19 remained one of the largest forces in the Indonesian music scene, mainly with Dhani as its driving force, until breaking up in 2011.
His popular album Laskar Cinta (Warriors of Love) was praised for having "challenged militant ideology".
After Dewa disbanded, Dhani joined forces with Australian heavy metal band, Hospital The Musical, to form a band named The Rock. The band's first album, "Master Mister Ahmad Dhani I", sold more than 150,000 copies in Indonesia. It contained three new songs and seven covers of Dhani's earlier songs. The hits from the album were "Kamu Kamulah Surgaku" and "Munajat Cinta".
Dhani next appeared in a band named "TRIAD", an acronym for The Rock Indonesia Ahmad Dhani. This band's personnel included Dhani's studio musicians substituting for previous members of The Rock. Unlike The Rock, TRIAD has five to six members unofficially appearing onstage and even sometimes four members with different personnel, in which Dhani performed as lead singer and rhythm guitarist. The TRIAD first album - which can be counted as The Rock's second album - was named TRIAD and sold 500,000 copies. It contained four new tracks including "Selir Hati", "Benar Salah IDolaku", "Mama", and "Sedang Mikirin Kamu" and seven cover tracks including "Mustapha" of Queen.
After months of public silence and supporting the records of other artists, in 2010 Dhani sang with Ari Lasso at concerts in Jakarta and Bali. This led to rumors of a Dewa 19 reunion. In Bali, Dhani announced he would form a band with Judika, a solo singer who had won Indonesian Idol 2007. A few months later, Dhani declared the new band would be named Mahadewa, which would substitute Dewa 19, which he said still existed but in a vacuum. He dismissed rumors that Dewa 19 was finished. "I will focus on Mahadewa, my new band, and Dewa 19 still exists," he said. In January 2012, Mahadewa announced that its debut album would soon be released, containing five new songs and five covers of Dewa 19 songs. The album's first single, "Cinta Itu Buta", was released in mid-2012. The complete album's release was stalled because Dhani was preoccupied with his role as a judge on Indonesian Idol (season 7) and X Factor Indonesia (season 1). However, he still found time for some reunion shows with former members of Dewa 19 in several big cities in Indonesia. Mahadewa's long-awaited debut album, "Past to Present", was released in 2013.
Dhani married Maia Estianty in 1996, after a long relationship when Maia was still in secondary school at SMA Negeri 2 Surabaya. They have three children, named after prominent Sufi leaders whom Dhani admires, namely Ahmad Al Gazali, El Jalaluddin Rumi, and Ahmad Abdul Qodir Jaelani. Since late 2006, Dhani and his wife had been in an affair of 'accused alleges' that led to the divorce suit filed by Maia Estianty. Their marriage was annulled on September 23, 2008, by South Jakarta Sharia Court.
Dhani has been cited as being one of the richest performers in Indonesia.
Child's car crash
On September 8, 2013, Dhani's 13-year-old son Abdul Qodir Jaelani, better known as AQJ or Dul, was illegally driving a Mitsubishi Lancer at 176 kilometers per hour and crashed into a Daihatsu Gran Max minivan carrying 13 people on a Jakarta toll road. Seven people were killed and Dul was injured. Police refused to charge Dhani over the accident for allowing his child to drive a car. State prosecutors in June 2014 recommended that Dul be sentenced to two years probation.
2014 presidential election controversy
On May 21, 2014, Dhani announced he was supporting ex-general Prabowo Subianto's campaign for the July 9 presidential election. Explaining his decision, Dhani claimed: "Almost every manly man [lelaki jantan] votes for Prabowo. If a man doesn’t vote for Prabowo, his masculinity [kejantanan] must be questioned."
In June 2014, Dhani released a video clip in support of Prabowo and his running mate Hatta Rajasa. The clip featured Dhani and three Indonesian Idol contestants — Husein, Nowela and Virzha — covering Queen’s “We Will Rock You,” and included the lyrics “who will awaken Indonesia from its misery if not us? Prabowo-Hatta!” The video was widely condemned because Dhani wore a replica of the jacket worn by Nazi Germany's SS and Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler, who oversaw the genocide of six million Jews. Dhani was also criticized for dancing in the clip with a golden Garuda — the mythical bird that is Indonesia’s emblem. Time magazine's website ran a critical article headlined "This Indonesian Nazi Video Is One of the Worst Pieces of Political Campaigning Ever". Prabowo thanked Dhani for the song, saying: “This video is boosting our fighting spirit!”
- Munaf, Virania. "Ahmad Dhani: Searching for talent with a killer instinct". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "It's back to the drawing board". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 April 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Ahmad Dhani, Juri Baru 'Indonesian Idol 2012'" (in Indonesian). detik. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 8 June 2012.
- "Dhani Akhirnya Ngaku Punya Anak Dari Mulan". August 6, 2013.
- "Ahmad Dhani’s 13-Year-Old Son Speeding at 176kph Before Killing Seven". The Jakarta Globe. 17 Oct 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Ahmad Dhani’s son has driven since 6th grade, say police". The Jakarta Post. 22 October 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Ahmad Dhani Will Not Be Charged in Son’s Fatal Car Crash". The Jakarta Globe. 11 Nov 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Two-Year Probation Sought for Ahmad Dhani’s Son in Fatal Wreck". The Jakarta Globe. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Berger, Dominic. "Prabowo and the art of being tegas". New Mandala. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "Prabowo Campaign Disgraced by Ahmad Dhani’s Shameful Nazi Music Video". The Jakarta Globe. 25 June 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Kwok, Yenni (25 June 2014). "This Indonesian Nazi Video Is One of the Worst Pieces of Political Campaigning Ever". Time magazine. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Official website
- "Republic Cinta Management"
- "Ahmad Dhani Meets With Children at Rumah Belajar", US Department of State
- "Eddy Abdul Manaf Interview"
- "Ahmad Dhani, Yahudi, dan Lagu Cinta"
- Ahmad Dhani on Twitter