Written by: Aida M. Toro @aidamtoro / Photography by: Jana Schuessler @Janaschuessler / Lead Stylist: Aisaju @aisaju, second stylist: Sofia Popkova @iamsofiapopkova, assisted by: Dmytro Moseikin @dm_mosse / Hair by: Jenn Lagron @jennlagron / Makeup by: Nova Kaplan @novakaplan Produced by: Great Social Club @greatsocialclub / Hair products: R&Co @randco /
Makeup products: MAC Cosmetics
“Being an artist is hard…I say this all the time,” said AGNEZ MO. “Especially a real one.”
Indonesian R&B powerhouse, Agnes Monica Muljoto, professionally known as Agnez Mo is an all-inclusive artist from Jakarta, Indonesia who is celebrated throughout the planet for her talents as a singer, songwriter, and music producer. She began making her mark in the international music industry with her debut single “Coke Bottle” (feat. T.I. and Timbaland), that dropped in 2014 and has blossomed her into the soulful and alluring sounding artist she is now.
“I remember my team told me that Timbaland’s camp had reached out and I was already in L.A. at the time to work with Dick Clark’s Production office for the American Music Awards (AMA’s),” said Agnez. “I was the co-host of the red carpet for the AMA’s, and then I flew out to Miami to work with him and the whole team.”
For Agnez, working with a prominent American record producer and artist like Timbaland was one of the best experiences she’s ever savored. Timbaland was one of the first heavy hitters in the industry to recognize Agnez’s talent in the U.S. To this day, he supports Agnez, as he reposted her recently long awaited single “Patience” on his social media platform.
“Patience” is a transition from her buoyant single “Overdose” (feat. Chris Brown), which was released in 2018 and gained over 20 million clicks and listens on Spotify. “Patience” is a single consisting of its own recognition and portrays Agnez’s facile falsetto and vocals reduced down to the essentials. The music video analogues this progressive sound and illustrates her in a state of observation to address love with vigilance.
“I remember I had just gone through some shit that month and I kind of had to put my foot down to make a grown up decision based on what to compromise and what not to,” expressed Agnez. “Some people are just not used to hearing the word ‘no’, but I’m cool.”
Agnez continued with a chuckle, “The song was inspired by me telling the guy to be okay with me taking my time, not rushing into anything, and getting to know each other first before moving into the other things. “‘Patience’ is about the vulnerability of a bad bitch.”
As she’s released this new track, Agnez also talks about her overall journey as an artist and how she’s handled the ride thus far. She mentioned being an authentic artist comes with its turbulence. Agnez explained that being an artist is more than just fame and money.
“We are encouraged and demanded to be in touch with our feelings a lot when it comes to our craft,” she explained. “We wouldn’t be able to create without our emotions being involved, however, at the very same time, the world seems to demand us to do exactly the opposite, which is to be heartless, to not take anything personally, and to not show any emotions when we are being judged left and right.”
Agnez mentioned that artists speak their truths for the world to see in today’s VERY judgmental world, which is a hard task. Nowadays, it takes so much courage for artists to speak their truth, and again, civilians seem to forget that artists are human beings as well.
“We can’t be a robot by diminishing our feelings entirely in order to do our job,” said Agnez. “That’s why you see a lot of people lose themselves, their identity, and sight of what makes them happy.”
In order to balance out being a human being as an artist, yet still having to express truths out to the world, is having acknowledgement that whatever is done or said will be judged nonetheless, stated Agnez. At the same time, not taking things too personally is key in order to not break down in shambles.
“That is a TOUGH job,” she expressed. “I always remind myself to know what’s real and what’s not, such as what life is about, what your real priorities are, who’s your real friend, or who’s just there when it’s ‘exciting’, and what the real definition of happiness is. Keeping those in mind makes me grounded and makes me not forget who I am and what I actually am looking for in life, versus not what people expect me to do.”
Agnez also takes pride by spreading philanthropy throughout Asia via her appointment by the joint forces of the Indonesian Anti Narcotic Police force and the U.S’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). She is an anti-drug ambassador in Asia and the ambassador of MTV EXIT in battling human trafficking. When she was appointed as the anti-drug ambassador, her way of performing the duties of the role was by showing her fans that she could be successful and live her life to the fullest without having to live on the edge. During Agnez’s younger years, many thought it was ‘cool’ to live irresponsibly and on edge, which she actually had a different perspective on.
“I am never a big fan of being a ‘preacher’, meaning I’m big on being an example and an influence by showing them through actual examples,” explained Agnez. “I hate telling people what to do, but I love to SHARE my experience.”
Agnez continued, “Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t talking about taking risks in general because I am a big risk taker, but I’m calculated. There are some risks not worth taking, and one of them is drug abuse.”
She also encourages up and coming artists to not base FAME and MONEY as their end goal. After 20 years, Agnez continues to stay on top of her game because she is still excited to do what she does, which many cannot express when it comes to their work.
“I focus on the right thing…Fame and money will come after,” said Agnez. “Fame and money shouldn’t hinder your focus from creating your legacy.”
As an artist, Agnez continues to think outside the box, finding what works for her, and more. She also has a second version of Patience dropping in the beginning of April, which she is very thrilled for as it will be featuring a friend of hers who is an amazing rapper and lyricist.
“Just find what works for you and find the right inner circle,” she said.
To listen to the first released version of Patience, you can visit Agnez’s artist page on Spotify and for more updates on the second version of the song and on the artist herself, follow her on Instagram over @agnezmo.