Hanggini Purinda Retto, or Hanggini for short, has forged a successful career in making music and lifestyle vlogs. She’s only 18 but her YouTube channel has racked up over 500.000 subscribers, making it clear that her influence is unwavering. She’s warm, cheerful and authentic, qualities which we believe have made her where she is now.

We caught up with the young lady to talk about career, making music and summer holiday.

Text by Lulu Nisrina. Photographs by Ila Schaffer.

Can you tell us a bit about when did you first have an interest in singing?
I’ve enjoyed singing since I was little, but only started taking it seriously when I was in middle school. Back in the day, my friend and I made this duo. But later, we found out that we were more focused on doing soap operas. So, we parted to pursue our career in acting and long story short I started my YouTube channel and singing!

Who inspires you most, musically?
I would say Tori Kelly, Ariana Grande and another one from Indonesia, GAC.

Can you tell us about your single “Lebih Darinya”?
The song tells a story of a person who feels that their lover doesn’t give the attention they needed and they just have no idea on how to tell their partner. And being in that kind of situation somewhat reminds them to their past lover who cared more. Well, the creative process itself, Alhamdulillah, was quick. The workshop took around two hours and it all happened while the electricity was down. If it wasn’t because of that ‘accident’, the song wouldn’t be here today! Then it took two months for mixing and mastering.

Were the lyrics based on your personal experience?
No, it wasn’t. [The idea came from when] I used to use live story feature on Instagram as a way to chat with my followers. My friends even experienced it too, so I guess it would be cool to send ‘signals’!

Do you plan to release an album in the near future?
I really want to! I was thinking about the end of this year, but I guess it’s a bit of a rush.

Anyway, since it’s already that time of the year where everyone has planned a summer vacation, have you planned one?
Oh, yes! But I haven’t planned where to yet. So sad. I really want to go to Bali again, because I feel like Bali is a great place to forget about your problems.

What’s your most memorable holiday experience?
I’ve had some. But one of my favorite memories was this one trip I did with my boyfriend and best friends to Bandung. I’ve never been a person who travels a lot with friends and it was my first time traveling without my family. So, yeah, that was the best one!

What’s that one place you have in mind when you heard the word ‘holiday’?
Japan! I wanted so bad to visit the country one day, but it feels like the perfect time hasn’t come. Every time there was a good chance, something happened like the schedule didn’t match or I lost my passport.

Anything exciting news that we need to know?
Earlier last month, I’d just released a music video for “Lebih Darinya” and I’m currently working on my second single.

When is it going to be released?
I don’t know yet [laughs].

Before you started your YouTube channel and career in music, you started an actress. Which experience do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy doing them all. Every single experience taught me different things. Like in acting, I was able to play characters who weren’t me, I could play funny on YouTube and express my feelings when singing.

Do you think your personality differs on- and off- screen?
[Laughs] I’m actually a pretty quiet person behind-the-scenes. I don’t really like going outside to have fun. I’m more like a homebody. But when I’m in front of the camera, I can be this really loud and cheerful girl. So, I guess that’s the other side of me that you didn’t know, that I’m a quiet person.

Do you have any advice for our readers who are interested in getting into the entertainment industry?
Don’t give up easily. I mean, when you want to get into acting, you would look up and do castings. And if you fail in your first try, don’t give up. It means that you gotta do better. The same case with starting a YouTube channel and making music, you have to stay creative and productive.

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