Tastemakers: Anton Wirjono, DJ and entrepreneur
18 August 2016
Anton Wirjono, music DJ, entrepreneur and founder of Future10, the founding events company of pioneering outdoor music festival, Jakarta Movement, has proved himself to be a tastemaker in the new music culture in the Indonesian capital.
Anton is also an executive producer of indie pop group Agrikulture and co-founder of The Goods Dept, one of Indonesia’s leading multi-label boutiques. In this exclusive online interview, Anton talks trends, copycats and what it takes to get noticed in Indonesia’s music scene today.
It is hard to explain what good music is, but you will know it when you hear it, especially if it gives you goosebumps.
Who were your most influential mentors when you were growing your brands in the early stages?
I was influenced by the community that forms around music, music festivals & musicians so It was as an early inspiration for building Brightspot Market & The Goods Dept. Then couple of years into the Goods Dept. I was selected by an entrepreneurship organization called Endeavor that matched me with numerous mentors locally and around the world, which was key to our growth until now.
What do you think was the most important decision you had to make that led to your success?
I think it was our differentiation. We focused on a target market that we understood best as we were ourselves the target and built fans, or a community of like-minded customers instead of making opportunistic decisions. The 18 – 35, cool-hunting market was looking for something cooler, harder to find and most times local, and was underserved especially when we started. If we sold the same things the giant retailers were selling we would have lost.
How did you gain traction for The Goods Dept?
I was a DJ and a music festival/event promoter for a while then I started Brightspot, which is a creative retail event. When I started The Goods Dept with the co-founders we already had the following as well as the trust from the music and events side so traction was quicker. I connected the dots. The concept was also what the target market was looking for, so that helped too.
What are some of the biggest changes that you have observed in the event and music scene in Indonesia throughout the years?
Music is now adopted at the speed of internet and the events are reflecting this. There is an interest for so many kinds of music now that diversity is now celebrated and enjoyed. Access to music and music video is so easy that people are so much more informed. The interesting thing is that as music sales go down, festival numbers are up. People are still looking for experience.
What is success to you? Do you think you are successful?
Success is continuously being happy with what you are doing. It’s different for different people. I’m happy and proud of what my team is doing and has done, so I guess it can be called success, but there is just so much more to do.
See also: Tastemakers - Joko Anwar, filmmaker
What is the one trend in the retail, or F&B industry that you agree, or disagree with?
There was a trend of a lot of people copying what we were doing with Brightspot Market to the point where it has oversaturated the appeal of pop-up markets. The good thing is that it forces us to innovate even quicker.
With all the self-marketing and noise on social media, what does it take to get noticed in the music scene in Indonesia these days?
Being different and good musically, adding a dose of being savvy in the digital space. Do something that can go viral.
The interesting thing is that as music sales go down, festival numbers are up. People are still looking for experience.
Are you creatively satisfied?
I’m currently 50 percent satisfied. Running a business is also a creative endeavor and I am quite happy about how that is going, but I still have this hunger to create different things. It could be products or music. I just need to make the time to start.
What music puts you in a good mood?
Good music in any genre puts me in a good mood. It is hard to explain what good music is, but you will know it when you hear it, especially if it gives you goosebumps. My taste is pretty eclectic for listening. Again, the definition of good is different for different people.