Agnes Monica Muljoto known by her stage name Agnez Mo (born 1 July 1986), is an Indonesian singer-songwriter and actress. Born in Jakarta, she started her career in the entertainment industry at the age of six as a child singer. She has recorded three children's albums and became a presenter of several children's television programs. In 2003, Mo released her first adult album entitled And the Story Goes, which catapulted her name back in the Indonesian music industry. Mo's success in homeland encouraged her to set a target to get a career in the international music scene. On the second album released in 2005, Whaddup A.. '?!, she collaborated with American singer Keith Martin for single "I'll Light a Candle". Mo also took part in two Taiwanese drama series, The Hospital and Romance In The White House.
Mo won the award two years in a row for her performances in the Asia Song Festival in Seoul, South Korea, in 2008 and 2009. With her third album, Sacredly Agnezious (2009), she began to get involved as producer and songwriter. In 2010, she was appointed as a judge on the talent show, Indonesian Idol. She signed a recording deal with The Cherry Party, a label ventured with Sony Music Entertainment. Mo has released two international singles, "Coke Bottle" (featuring Timbaland and T.I.) and "Boy Magnet".
In addition to commercial success, Mo is a singer with the most number of awards in Indonesia. She has won dozens of trophies, including 17 Anugerah Musik Indonesia, 8 Panasonic Awards, 5 Nickelodeon Indonesia Kids' Choice Awards, and 4 MTV Indonesia Awards. She achieved a Best Asian Artist Award on the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards in South Korea. In addition, she has been trusted to be anti-drug ambassador in Asia as well as the ambassador of MTV EXIT in combating human trafficking.
Life and career
Childhood and early career
Agnes Monica Muljoto was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, to a family of Chinese ancestry. She is the youngest child of Jenny Siswono, a former table tennis player, and Ricky Muljoto, a former basketball player. Her older brother, Steve Muljoto, is her manager. She attended Tarakanita elementary school and Pelita Harapan junior/senior high school. Her talent in the performing arts has already seen in her childhood, especially in singing. She sang in church and was also sent to vocal courses.
Using Agnes Monica as her stage name, she entered the entertainment industry in 1992 with her first children's album, Si Meong. In 1995, she released her second children's album, Yess!, which includes a duet with fellow Indonesian child singer, Eza Yayang. Her last children's album, Bala-Bala, was released the following year. Agnes also became the host for several children's programs, including Video Anak Anteve (VAN) on Anteve, Tralala-Trilili on RCTI, and Diva Romeo on Trans TV. She was awarded "Most Favorite Presenter of Children's Program" at the Panasonic Awards in 1999 and 2000 for Tralala-Trilili.
Agnes began acting as a teenager. Her first two roles were on the soap operas: Lupus Millenia and Mr. Hologram in 1999. The next year, she starred in the TV series, Pernikahan Dini, which served as a turning point in her career by transforming her image from that of a child artist to one of a teenage artist. The production was well received by audiences, and she received the "Favorite Actress" award at the 2001 and 2002 Panasonic Awards, as well as the "Famous Actress" award at the 2002 SCTV Awards. In 2002, Mo starred in three soap operas: Ciuman Pertama, Kejar Daku Kau Ku Tangkap, and Amanda. Due to her popularity, she became the highest-paid teenage artist in Indonesia.
Agnes started her comeback in music industry with Melly Goeslaw penned songs "Pernikahan Dini" and "Seputih Hati" for the soundtrack of Pernikahan Dini. Both songs were featured on the 2001 compilation album, Love Theme. Agnes signed a record deal with Aquarius Musikindo and began working on her teen breakthrough album. She also collaborated with the Indonesian senior singer, Yana Julio, in the song "Awan dan Ombak" for his 2002 studio album, Jumpa Lagi.
2003–2006: And The Story Goes, TV series, and Whaddup A.. '?!
On 8 October 2003, Agnes released her first adult album, And the Story Goes, in which she worked with several famed Indonesian producers and songwriters, including Ahmad Dhani, Melly Goeslaw, and Titi DJ. The album production took a year and a half, including the audition process for the dancers. According to her record label, Aquarius Musikindo, the album sold 35,000 copies before its official release. It was later certified double platinum after selling more than 300,000 copies. Four singles were released from the album: "Bilang Saja", "Indah", "Jera" and "Cinta Mati" (featuring Ahmad Dhani). The album received ten nominations at the 2004 Anugerah Musik Indonesia—the highest music awards in Indonesia. She won three awards for "Best Pop Female Solo Artist", "Best Dance/Techno Production Work", and "Best Pop Duo/Group" for her duet with Dhani. She also won "Best Female Newcomer Artist" at the 2004 Anugerah Planet Muzik in Singapore.
In addition to promoting her debut album, Agnes also starred in several TV series during this time, playing the lead role in three: Cewekku Jutek, Bunga Perawan, and Cantik. She won "Favorite Actress" at the 2003 Panasonic Awards and "Famous Actress" at 2004 SCTV Awards. A special episode of Cewekku Jutek was shot on location in various popular tourist attractions around Melbourne, Australia. A local Latin-Australian actor Maurice Ruiz was hired as a supporting actor to Agnes for the role as director to her music video during the episode. Agnez had the pleasure of filming in and visiting places like the Sovereign Hill gold mine in Ballarat, Puffing Billy Railway, a vintage steam train that runs through the Dandenong Ranges, as well as the Great Ocean Road an Australian Heritage Listed coastal road renowned for featuring The Twelve Apostles it is considered one of the world's most scenic drives.
Agnes launched her second studio album, Whaddup A.. '?!, on 10 December 2005. It featured five singles: "Bukan Milikmu Lagi", "Tanpa Kekasihku", "Tak Ada Logika", "Cinta Di Ujung Jalan", and "Tak Mungkin". In addition to working with Indonesian musicians, such as Melly Goeslaw, Andi Rianto, and Erwin Gutawa, she also collaborated with American singer-songwriter, Keith Martin. Martin wrote two English songs for the album, including the duet "I'll Light a Candle". To promote the album, Agnes held a concert tour known as Clasnezenzation in four Indonesian cities: Bandar Lampung, Surabaya, Bandung, and Makassar.
The album was commercially successful and she won two 2006 Anugerah Musik Indonesia for "Best Pop Female Solo Artist" and "Best R&B Production Work". She also won the "Most Favorite Female" award at the 2006 MTV Indonesia Awards. She was nominated for "Favorite Artist Indonesia" award at the 2005 MTV Asia Awards (beaten by Peterpan), but she grabs the youngest artist of all nominees in Asian category. Selling more than 450,000 copies, the album was one of the top-selling albums of 2006 and was certified triple platinum.
In 2005, Agnes appeared in the Taiwanese drama, The Hospital, co-starring with Jerry Yan, a member of the Taiwanese boyband, F4. She also appeared with Peter Ho in several episodes of the Taiwanese drama, Romance in the White House, and starred in two Indonesian soap operas: Ku T'lah Jatuh Cinta and Pink, both televised on Indosiar. In 2006, she starred in the RCTI soap opera, Kawin Muda. She also decided to take a break from her study in Pelita Harapan University that year to focus on her entertainment career.
2007–2010: Sacredly Agnezious and Indonesian Idol
In early 2007, Agnes was appointed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the International Drug Enforcement Conference (IDEC) Far East Region as an Asian anti-drug ambassador. On 15 May 2007, she was an opening act for American R&B group, Boyz II Men, at a concert in Istora Senayan, Jakarta, and on 23 June of that year, she held her first concert at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She also guest starred in the finale of Asian Idol on 16 December 2007, and performed the song "Get Up".
In 2008, Agnes began working on her third studio album. She released the first single, "Matahariku", earlier than she had planned. It became her best-selling single, with sales of three million ringback tone downloads within nine months. The song received the "Most Favorite Female" award at the 2008 MTV Indonesia Awards and the "Best Female Solo Pop Artist" award at the 2009 Anugerah Musik Indonesia. In September 2008, she released the second single, "Godai Aku Lagi", which she wrote herself. She also released a mini album containing the two singles. That same year, she starred in two RCTI soap operas, Jelita and Kawin Masal.
On 4 October 2008, Agnes was invited as the Indonesian representative at the Asia Song Festival in Seoul, South Korea. She performed with 24 artists from 12 Asian countries at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. The event was broadcast to 30 countries. She performed two songs from her upcoming album, "Godai Aku Lagi" and "Shake It Off". During the performance, she incorporated elements of Indonesian traditional dance from Bali. Her performance received positive responses from the Korean media and won the committee's "Best Asian Artist Award". The following year, she was invited again alongside 14 Asian artists and performed three songs: "Shake It Off", "Temperature", and Michael Jackson's song, "Heal the World". As was the case with her previous performance, Agnes received good reviews and earned the "Best Asian Artist Award".
Agnes launched her third studio album on 1 April 2009, Sacredly Agnezious. This time, she was involved more in the album production. She worked with the renowned musicians: Erwin Gutawa, Dewiq, Pay, and DJ Sumantri. She also acted as producer and songwriter. In addition to "Matahariku" and "Godai Aku Lagi", the album yielded two more singles: "Teruskanlah" and "Janji–Janji". At the 2010 Anugerah Musik Indonesia, she won three awards: "Best Pop Album", "Best Female Pop Solo Artist", and "Best of the Best Album". On 23 May 2009, she appeared as a guest star at the "Festival of Life" in Garuda Wisnu Kencana, Bali. The celebration commemorated the 50-year anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Japan.
In 2010, Agnes joined the judging panel of the season 6 of Indonesian Idol. That year, she was also appointed as an ambassador of the MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) organization, which combats human trafficking. In addition to her role as a spokesperson of MTV Exit Indonesia, she also performed at concerts in Surabaya and Jakarta. In late 2010, Agnes was chosen as an international red carpet host for the annual American Music Awards On 21 November 2010 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Several months after that appearance, she announced that she had signed to Sony/ATV Music Publishing and was working on her international debut in London and Los Angeles.
2011–2014: Agnez Mo
In early 2011, Agnes recorded a duet version of "Said I Loved You...But I Lied" with American singer Michael Bolton, for the Asian edition of his compilation album, Gems: The Duets Album. Her slogan "Dream, Believe, and Make it Happen" was used in a 2011 cultural conference to inspire young people organized by the US Embassy in Jakarta. She was chosen to perform for the 26th SEA Games 2011 Opening Ceremony, with KC Concepcion from the Philippines and the Malaysian singer, Jaclyn Victor. Their performance of "Together We Will Shine" was the highlight of the event.
Agnes ended her 10-year relationship with label Aquarius Musikindo by releasing her first greatest hits album, Agnes Is My Name, on 2 February 2011. The album compiled ten hit singles of the past decade with two new songs, "Karena Ku Sanggup" and "Paralyzed". The album was sold via Indonesian chains of fast-food restaurant KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), where the CD was bundled with chicken package purchase. This marketing strategy boosted the album sales to one million copies within three months, earning her the Million Award. She followed it with two non-album singles, "Rindu" and "Muda (Le O Le O)"; the later was free to download for simPATI subscribers.
Agnes won Anugerah Musik Indonesia for Best Female Pop Artist category for two consecutive years, in 2011 with "Karena Ku Sanggup" and in 2012 with "Paralyzed". She was among the Worldwide Acts Asia Pacific nominees for the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards. In March 2012, she was nominated for Favorite Asian Act at the 2012 Nickleodeon Kids' Choice Awards. Still in the same year, she won the Mnet Asian Music Awards for Best Asian Artist from Indonesia and the Shorty Awards for The Shorty Vox Populi Award.
Agnes starred in soap operas Pejantan Cantik (2010), Marisa (2011) and Mimo Ketemu Poscha (2012). In 2012, Agnes returned as one of the judges for the season 7 of Indonesian Idol. The next year, she became a judge on NET's talent show named after her, Nez Academy. In December 2012, she gave the opening and closing speeches at UN Global Youth Forum and performed her unreleased song "Show a Little Love" with American rapper Timbaland. They also performed the song at the pre-Grammy launch party in Los Angeles.
On 1 June 2013, she released her fourth studio album, Agnez Mo, which introduced her new stage name instead of 'Agnes Monica'. Produced by Tearce Kizzo, it is her first album where she co-wrote all the songs. The album was originally recorded as her demo which was sent out to record labels in the United States in order to secure a deal for her international debut. Although all songs were composed in English, the album was released for Indonesian market only. It was released digitally via Souniq Music (bundled with local coffee brand, Kopi Kapal Api) on June 2013. Two months later, the album was released physically via Indomaret. She also released her first-ever "eau de perfume" line, Rêve, meaning "Dream" in French.
Mo landed her US record deal with The Cherry Party, a label ventured with Sony Music Entertainment. Her debut international single, "Coke Bottle" featuring Timbaland and T.I., premiered in September 2013 in a hip hop radio station in Los Angeles, Power 106 FM. "Coke Bottle" was released digitally on 8 April 2014, and was serviced to urban radio stations in the United States on 20 April. Despite being voted as MTV Iggy's Song of the Summer, "Coke Bottle" failed to enter any Billboard charts. In November 2014, it was announced that Mo joined the Wright Entertainment Group, a management owned by Johnny Wright who has handled some of the big names in the US entertainment industry. She embarked on the Keep Walking Tour in several cities across Indonesia. The tour was sponsored by whisky brand Johnnie Walker.
2015–present: Upcoming album and The Voice Indonesia
Mo produced two projects in Indonesia, The Freaks and Chloe X. The Freaks is a singing group which contains Indonesian young stars. The album which titled THE FREAKS too, will contain 8 songs consisting of the group, duo, and solo. The first single from their collaboration titled "Jatuh Cinta Tak Ada Logika" is a mash-up of two songs titled "Ku T'lah Jatuh Cinta" and "Tak Ada Logika". Besides The Freaks, Mo also produced her niece named Chloe X and wrote the single, "Vroom Vroom".
On 20 September 2015, Mo, together with The Wahid Institute and thousands of prominent figures and supporters, together read the Declaration of Peace Movement which titled the 'Oath of Love'. This was held at Balai Kota Jakarta, as a celebration of International Peace Day. On 15 October 2015, Mo released a single, entitled "I #AM Generation Of Love" which premiered in 250 radio in Indonesia. This song is a continuation of the Oath of Love campaign. On 17 October 2015, Mo re-launched her clothing line named ANYE. The brand name is taken from her "childhood nickname", given by her father.
On 13 November 2015, Mo released her second international single, "Boy Magnet". It is available as a digital EP on iTunes, featuring remixes by John Dish, Xavi Alfaro, Hector Fonseca and Tommy Love. Mo's international debut album is slated for release in early 2016 under The Cherry Party.
Mo has been noted as a powerful soprano with a vocal range spanning four octaves. Agnes' songs can be classified as pop, R&B, or hip-hop. She has stated that Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Fantasia, Brandy Norwood, Lauryn Hill, Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé have influenced her music. In addition to her singing skills, she is also known as a strong dancer and actress. She is the only Indonesian soloist with a personal dance group, known as Nezindahood. They auditioned during the development of her first album in 2003. She has also written some of her songs and produced her own music videos. She has been described as a perfectionist with a variety of talents by Indonesian commentators.
Throughout her career, she has often been controversial in Indonesia. When she was a teenager, her frequent comments about her goal to break into the international market was viewed by some as a pompous proclamation. In 2010, however, she began work on a debut English studio album. Consequently, her slogan "Dream, Believe, and Make it Happen" was used in a 2011 cultural conference to inspire young people organized by the US Embassy in Jakarta.
Honors and awards
Mo has become the most-awarded Indonesian singer. Notable awards she has won, including 17 Anugerah Musik Indonesia, 8 Panasonic Awards, 5 Nickelodeon Indonesia Kids' Choice Awards, and 4 MTV Indonesia Awards. She has also received many international awards, including 1 Anugerah Planet Muzik, 3 Asia Song Festival, 7 JPopAsia Music Awards, 1 Mnet Asian Music Awards, 1 Shorty Awards, 3 Social Star Awards, and 1 World Music Awards. For her contribution and support to Indonesian music, she was given the 2011 Nugraha Bhakti Musik Indonesia (NBMI) award from The Minister of Culture and Tourism, and Association of Indonesian Singers, Songwriters and Music Record Producers.
Relationships and personal life
Mo has conducted fundraising activities for victims of the 2004 Tsunami in Aceh and the 2006 earthquake in Java. In 2009, Agnes visited Situ Gintung, where a dam failure had caused flooding. She also donated a sum of money to relief efforts and performed several of her songs for the victims. Agnes also helped to raise over Rp 400 million (approx. US $44,000 as of December 2011) for Persis, an association football team based in Surakarta, through a benefit concert held at the Diamond Convention Center in Surakarta. In 2011, she participated at The Save A Teen Charity Concert in Jakarta, a benefit concert to raise money to help teenagers who have dropped out of school.
- Si Meong (1992)
- Yess! (1995)
- Bala-Bala (1998)
- And the Story Goes (2003)
- Whaddup A.. '?! (2005)
- Sacredly Agnezious (2009)
- Agnez Mo (2013)
|1992||VAN (Video Anak Anteve)||Herself||Host||ANTV|
|1997–2000||Tralala-Trilili||Herself||Won — 1999 Panasonic Awards for Favorite Female Kids Show Presenter|
Won — 2000 Panasonic Awards for Favorite Female Kids Show Presenter
|1999||Mr. Hologram||Putri||Lead role||Indosiar|
|2001–2002||Pernikahan Dini||Dini||Lead role|
Won — 2001 Panasonic Awards for Favorite Drama Series Program
Won — 2001 Panasonic Awards for Favorite Actress
Won — 2002 Panasonic Awards for Favorite Actress
|2002||Diva Romeo||Herself||Host||Trans TV|
|2002||Kejarlah Daku Kau Ku Tangkap||Ramona||Lead role|
Won — 2002 SCTV Awards for Famous Actress
Nominated — 2003 SCTV Awards for Famous Actress
|2002||Ciuman Pertama||Chelsea||Lead role||Trans TV|
|2002||Cinta Selembut Awan||Melati||Lead role||SCTV|
|2003||Cewekku Jutek||Zie||Lead role|
Won — 2003 Panasonic Awards for Favorite Actress
Nominated — 2004 Panasonic Awards for Favorite Actress
Won — 2004 SCTV Awards for Famous Actress
Won — 2005 SCTV Awards for Famous Actress
|2004||Bunga Perawan||Novia||Lead role||RCTI|
|2005||Ku T'lah Jatuh Cinta||Riby||Lead role|
Nominated — 2005 Panasonic Awards for Favorite Actress
|2005||MTV Ampuh||Herself||Guest host||Global TV|
Won — 2006 Panasonic Awards for Favorite Actress
|2006||Romance in the White House||Po Ni||Taiwanese drama||CTS|
|2006||The Hospital||Zhang Mei Xin||Taiwanese drama||CTV|
|2006–2007||Kawin Muda||Sera||Lead role|
Won — 2007 Panasonic Awards for Favorite Actress
|2008||Kawin Masal||Sachiko||Lead role||RCTI|
|2010||American Music Awards||Herself||Special abroad guest host||ABC|
|2010||Pejantan Cantik||Marisa||Lead role|
Nominated — 2011 Panasonic Gobel Awards for Favorite Actress
Won — 2011 Festival Film Bandung for The Commendable Female Main Character
|2012||Mimo Ketemu Poscha||Mimo||Lead role|
Won — 2012 Festival Film Bandung for The Commendable Female Main Character
Nominated — 2013 Panasonic Gobel Awards for Favorite Actress
|2015||La Academia Junior Indonesia Season 2||Herself||Guest Judge||SCTV|
|2016||The Voice Indonesia||Herself||Judge||RCTI|
|2016–present||The Voice Kids Indonesia||Herself||Judge||Global TV|