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Indonesian pop artist Agnez Mo brings out ‘Long as I Get Paid’ single from her first international record X

October 13, 2017 6:16 pm Published by :
Music
Indonesian pop artist Agnez Mo brings out “Long as I Get Paid” single from her first international record X

Jakarta,OCt13:Agnez Mo doesn’t do anything by halves. On the Pacific Palisades set of the music video for “Long as I Get Paid”—the debut single from her first international record, X—the Indonesian pop artist called the shots, leading a team of dancers through complex choreography and belting out her self-assured “take that haters” anthem at a location she scouted herself. Mo may have had her hands full, but her energy was palpable. “I needed to make sure that what I envisioned really came to life,” she said during a break in filming. “I’m my own biggest critic. I want things to be perfect. It’s not about arrogance—it’s about realizing that I’m evolving and I’m moving in the right direction.”

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With today’s launch of X, a confessional disc that she considers her most personal work to date, Mo enters the next phase of a career that has been exemplary from the start. Though she’s a newcomer in the States, in Asia, where she’s been performing since the age of 6, she has already been a chart-topping superstar for two decades. To her millions of fans there, she’s as beloved for her outlandish fashions as she is for her sexually liberated lyrics set to edgy-yet-pop sounds created with American music industry staples like Timbaland and Danja.

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“A lot of artists love to change up their teams, but I’m not like that because I’ve always believed that your squad should be a family,” Mo said. “I want the people who are there to be there because what we’re creating together is cool, not just because they’re getting paid. [So] when I found the right team, I wanted to stick with them.”

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On the fashion front, that has meant assembling a group of creative heavy hitters. Mo enlisted the talents of stylist Monica Rose, makeup artist Mylah Morales, and hairstylist Larry Sims, to create a series of visual identities for the album’s music videos and to push her look beyond the expected.

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“What I love about all three of them is that they listen to what I want and I listen to what they want,” said Mo, who switches from sleek dominatrix to fresh-faced ingenue in the span of one video. “It’s an exchange of ideas and a true collaboration.” The group, who exchanged references over email and text, cites everything from Who’s That Girl?–era Madonna to Mo’s Indonesian heritage as a source of inspiration. The resulting mélange is distinctive, with baju adat traditional headdresses, Balmain, and vintage Chanel getting equal play.

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“What I love about Agnez is how willing she is to take risks,” said Rose, whose avant-garde selections for Mo are worlds away from the laid-back Calabasas style the stylist helped to popularize.

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“She never says no and she’s always open to suggestions and input, which is a rare quality.” Mo’s adaptability also helps to make the job exciting for Sims. “She’s a chameleon,” he said. “To me, it’s almost reminiscent of when I started to work with Lupita [Nyong’o], because Agnez is just so game and eager to play.” The sentiment was echoed by Morales, who compares Mo to that other pop star turned fashion influencer, Rihanna: “Agnez has her vision of what she wants, and that is essential when you’re working with an artist.”

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