Indonesia's president releases third pop album
By Pip Freebairn
JAKARTA (Reuters Life!) - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, suffering from falling domestic popularity despite winning plaudits from investors, has found time to release his third album of pop songs in Jakarta.
The president's album, entitled "I'm Certain I'll Make It," comes as his government's popularity has declined over the expensive bailout of a local bank in 2008.
"In my struggle to serve the country, sometimes during my leisure time, I express my feelings in the form of arts," the Monday edition of an English-language newspaper, the Jakarta Post, quoted Yudhoyono as saying.
Andi Mallarangeng, the Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs and a former presidential spokesman, told Reuters on Monday that the president found singing and composing songs meditative.
"He has been doing this since high school, and while he was in the military," Mallarangeng said.
He said the President composed the nine songs on the album over the past 18 months.
"He gets inspiration anytime anywhere, including on plane trips abroad and also at the Presidential Palace," Mallarangeng said.
The president, who in the past has crooned onstage during election rallies, chose not to sing on the latest album but collaborated with popular local artists, including a former winner of Indonesian Idol and the 2009 winner of favorite male artist at MTV Indonesia Music Awards. Continued...