The Ride of Life

Like a seasoned driver, Al Ghazali races through life’s circuitous routes. He carries the weight of memories, both cherished and challenging, and overcomes each obstacle fuelled by a spirit of adventure. Now, he finds joy in the ride of life, steering as if every curve and bend were meant just for him to conquer.

By The Time Place Magazine

Imagine a charismatic young man. He exudes a laidback vibe, always cool and collected. Beyond his attractive features, he possesses remarkable talent: he’s the lead vocalist of a band, a skilled guitarist, silver screen actor, and he creates DJ beats that ignite the dancing crowd. These are the thoughts that come to mind when you envision Al Ghazali. 

At a glance, it seems that life is a breeze for the 26-year-old man, showering him with love and opportunities at every turn. That is because, when you imagine someone like Al Ghazali, the first impression unfortunately does not reflect the deeper reality underneath. Despite the outward appearance of apparent ease, Al has engaged in deep reflections and contended with inner contemplations, “I did go through a quarter-life crisis,” the young man admitted.

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“Last year, when I turned 25, a milestone age where one is expected to have a clear vision of the future. It was a phase that nudged me towards maturity. I used to believe in simply enjoying life, and going out with friends without much thought for the future. Now, I understand that life is about more than just oneself. I’ve faced hardships and challenges, but I’ve chosen to accept them and let them strengthen me rather than consume me and keep me living in the past.”

Having been born to renowned musicians in the Indonesian music industry, Al has learned to remain calm and composed, even when his personal life is perpetually exposed and his every move scrutinised and observed from all angles. “From a young age, it feels like I’ve always been in front of the camera, so I’ve grown accustomed to gossip and people talking about our lives. However, I’ve learned to let that be their concern; as long as I remain unmoved by the opinions of others. I’ve allowed people’s words to wash over me like water, treating them as mere background noise with no power over me. This mind-set is something my parents instilled in me,” the actor stated.

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Growing up under the spotlight has often led people to form preconceived notions about him, but Al proves them wrong with his down-to-earth and introspective nature. “I am 26. I still do not know many things in life. In the grand scheme of things, we are merely specks of dust in the vast universe. So why should we be arrogant about anything, especially materialistic things that can be taken away so easily? Humans can only be arrogant if they can kiss their own elbows,” he jokingly adds. “On a more serious note, in a world so quick to judge, let’s always choose to see the good in others.” 

Fortunately, his upbringing was also steeped in musical influences in which he quickly found solace and creative liberty, “I grew up listening to metal music, and The Beatles were a big part of my playlist. However, I do enjoy a wide range of music genres—I’m not too picky,” he disclosed. “One of my favourite musicians is John Lennon because, in his writings, he often explores philosophical ideas, and I appreciate visionary thoughts like his.”

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Al welcomed music like a sanctuary from the constant glare of fame until he turned it around, and decidedly basked in it as he pursued a career with Lucky Laki, a band he founded with his brothers El and Dul. Al took up the role of vocalist and guitarist, El the backing vocalist and drummer, and Dul the backing vocalist and bassist. “It’s great to have El and Dul in the band with me. We share the same music taste, so exchanging ideas and reaching agreements is effortless,” the musician elaborated. Together, their hit single “Superman” gained widespread popularity after its initial release in 2009.

When asked about what goes on with Lucky Laki nowadays, Al easily replied, “We are currently focused on releasing singles. Last year, we released ‘Pantaskah’. This year, we are working on another single, which will likely be released in either June or July.” With music coursing through his veins, Al possesses a natural talent for crafting captivating beats and concepts. “I’ve always been the one creating the beat for our songs,” he explained. “Dul is usually the one who writes the lyrics; he’s the songwriter among us.” 

It would be natural for Al to also develop an interest in becoming a DJ, considering his ability to produce such infectious beats. What began as casual experimentation at parties with friends evolved into a professional pursuit for the young man. He started performing at prominent clubs and events, and his career as a DJ skyrocketed. “I’ve always been fascinated by the ability to express ourselves, particularly through various forms of music. Zedd has been a favourite of mine as a DJ. His approach to composing music is intricate and challenging. Skrillex, on the other hand, is revolutionary in my eyes. He transformed the industry by blending rock with dubstep and electronic music into dubstep.”

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Despite Al’s notable achievements in the music industry, he harbours a deep-rooted dream of pursuing football. “I do have one regret,” he confessed, “That time when I did not pursue my dream of playing football professionally by going to London, as I was caught up in school social life. It’s difficult to break away when you feel so connected to your friends,” he reflected wistfully. “Although, I am now content with my life. I’ve settled down and have found peace.”

It appears that something exciting is underway for Al. After much introspection and overcoming his quarter-life crisis, he has become dedicated to an upcoming project. Once again, this new venture stems from one of his hobbies—drifting cars. “I’ve been into drifting since junior high school,” he revealed. “Recently, I connected with a friend in the automotive industry, and we both thought it would be a good idea to start a drifting automotive company.” With a circuit in place, a suitable partner, and his own expertise, Al is admittedly excited to launch his new project. “Here’s the secret—I’m naming it ‘Seven Speed Motorsport’ because I have a fondness for the number 7,” he revealed with a smile. “We’re aiming to launch it around June or July this year, so stay tuned!”

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The man sure dabbles in diverse passions and adrenaline-fueled experiences, and his love for drifting is proof of his adventurous spirit. It is no surprise that the timepiece adorning his wrist is a TAG Heuer, as the brand’s illustrious history in motorsports racing serves as a constant inspiration for him. Just as every second counts in the world of motorsports, Al also intends to bring the same level of excitement into his life and many ventures. “To me, TAG Heuer represents freshness yet has timeless appeal across generations,” he shared. “Its technical strength and durability under pressure are unmatched.” He expressed his admiration for the brand’s Monaco watches and is particularly drawn to their vintage classic shapes.

From the very start, Al Ghazali has always been the one at the wheel of his own life, initially uncertain about navigating through the bumps, twists, sudden turns, and close-calls. Now, he’s steering with a heart brimming with gratitude and a newfound sense of self-awareness that keeps him in control. “Everything is transient,” he mused. “Nothing truly belongs to us; if it can be lost, it was never ours.” With this realisation, Al feels the rhythm of the gas pedal, the purr of the engine, and the traction of the tyres, and eases into twists and turns like a seasoned car drifter, knowing that through whatever crises come his way, he has both steady hands on the steering wheel, and eyes straight towards the road ahead.

Creative Direction: Erika Tania of #TheTimePlaceMagazine
Photography: Vicky Tanzil
Fashion Styling & Text: Charlene Atalie of #TheTimePlaceMagazine
Grooming: Arimbi
Special Thanks to Porsche Indonesia

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