Short Interview with Dira J Sugandi


Short Interview with Dira J Sugandi at Surabaya’s Dji Sam Soe Urban Jazz Crossover

dira, interview, incognito, bluey

Dira J Sugandi made big headlines  when she performed together  with Jason Mraz on the same stage in a beautiful duet at the previous Java Jazz Festival 2009“Wow! Who is she? Who is Dira?” Those were the questions around the venue at that time by  many people who hasn’t heard about her yet. Her high range and powerful vocal made a lot of Java Jazz attendance got curious  and tried to know her more. As a matter of fact,  Dira has started her singing career about 10 years ago in Bandung, her hometown. She was found by Peter Basuki, the promotor that brought Incognito to Indonesia back in 2001.

From a  fan  turns into a star, that describes  her journey until now. As a huge fan of  Incognito, she definitely didn’t have any problem singing their songs.  When one of the band member gave her microphone to sing a long at that concert, her fantastic vocal got  Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick’s attention. And look at her now! Dira has involved in many Incognito concerts as one of the vocalist whether in Indonesia, Singapore or Japan. What can we say then? She got the talent and the full blessing voice that could place her as  next Indonesian diva.

Her amazing performances through Dji Sam Soe Urban Jazz Crossover tour stunned the audience of 5 cities. And yes, she got many more fans now. Everyone could easily see the quality she has. Here is the short interview after the show of Urban Jazz Crossover – Surabaya  Edition, 29 May 2009.

Hi Dira, Surabaya thanked Dji Sam Soe to held this amazing Urban Jazz Crossover here, so we could hear your amazing voice.
Thanks a lot. I’m glad  to be here for this event and I’m so proud to be a part of  this great team. Urban Jazz Crossover has given  me a big opportunity  and lots of experiences. This is my very first time to perform in Surabaya.

What do you think about the audience here in Surabaya, as the last city for this event?
Amazing ! I consider  Surabaya’s audience as the coolest from 5 city we’ve visited. They all had high spirits and enthusiasm that gave energy to all the performers to give an all out performance tonight. I think it was the best decision to make Surabaya as the last city from this tour.


We know that you are still working on your first album. Could you tell us about it?
Hmmm….I am so excited about it. The album is still going through the mixing process in UK and my producer Bluey from Incognito lives there as well. So that’s why I have to manage my time for being in two places, Indonesia and England to finish it.  There will be 12 songs in this album, almost all of them are in English and only two songs in Indonesian. Bluey and some of his friends wrote the songs  for this album. There is one song that I’m going to sing  with Omar, a famous jazz singer from British.

Wow, sounds great! When will it be released then?
I hope that it will be done by the end of this year. The process takes some times though, because like I said, I have to travel back and forth, UK – Indonesia, in order to do it. Just wish me luck okay…

We’ll pray for your success…we are sure that your upcoming album is going to  be the most wanted by Indonesian Jazz Lover. By the way, we heard that Incognito will have their big  concert as  anniversary celebration? Would you tell us about it?
Yeah! It’s going to be Incognito’s  30th anniversary on August 22nd and according to the plan,  I will go to UK around the end of July to finish my album, also to come to their party. It will be great!

You have an amazing voice and as we can see from your performance, this Urban Jazz Crossover tour must be quite tough and taking up your stamina. How do you take care of it?
Yeah. It’s very hard to keep my stamina on top, especially in this tour, since our big team had to travel across five cities. But I always try to give enough time to rest, doing some exercise and most importantly, I’m not drinking any sweet drinks. I never drink coffee or tea, I just take water. I think that’s it, nothing special.

Okay Dira, thank you for your time and your wonderful performance, We wish you all the luck & success for your album.

Thank you to and thanks Surabaya!

Interviewed by: Apey Idris
Photographer: Eghi 25, Novan  Yahya Renatal
Editor: Riandy Kurniawan