5 Lagu with Australian Alumni of Note, Manual Jakarta’s Hadi Ismanto

For our next few editions of 5 Lagu, in anticipation of G’DAY MATE! A gathering for Australian alumni and friends, we will be featuring some Australian alumni of note, those who have achieved success since graduating by going their own way and doing something they love. For our first alumni of note, we are honoured to have Hadi Ismanto share his 5 meaningful songs.

strike a pose


Since graduating from University of Melbourne, Hadi has founded Manual Jakarta, a lifestyle guide to the best food & beverages outlets, fashion, culture, nightlife and events around Jakarta. It didn’t take long for Manual to grow and establish a respectable reputation as the go-to guide for finding the best that Jakarta has to offer. So let’s find out Hadi’s picks for 5 Lagu:

1. What song that first got you into music?
Qing Tian – Jay Chou
Staying true to ma roots! I have to admit that I was absolutely clueless about what the song was all about. All I know was that this song is catchy; it answered to my emotional instability as a youth and it’d be a darn cool thing to be able to play that guitar part in the beginning of the song.”
2. What’s your go-to karaoke song?
In The End – Linkin Park
There’s just something about a “high-school you” that wished to be as cool as these guys. That spiky hair and that angry but smooth kind of rap. I knew that I couldn’t be as cool in appearance, but hey I could try to rap and voila (after 123915912 hours of practicing and rewinding the old cassette player) I managed to memorize my first ever rap. Of course, when the opportunity to show it off arrives, I take all the chances I can get, naturally.
3. What song reminds you of your time in Australia?
Home – Set Sail
I think one of the things that I’ve really missed about Melbourne is the ability to spend my weekend in the city, strolling around the streets and enjoying the occasional but darn talented buskers. The sunny, yet breezy weather; the original (re: large) sized Boost’s Blueberry Blast on my hand while enjoying gig like this.
4. What song do you listen to while you’re working?Pure Imagination – Jamie Cullum
I listen to various kind of songs while I’m working. They are usually somewhere along the line of Sinatra, Mayer or Corinne Bailey Rae. But this one, this rendition of Pure Imagination by Jamie Cullum simply nails it, every single time.”
5. What’s your favourite Indonesian song?
Firasat – Raisa
“One of the Indonesian songs that I can’t seem to get tired of is Firasat, originally sang by Marcell. I think I just miss those songs that are so well thought, both in its musical and lyrical arrangement, especially the latter part.”
Thank you, Hadi for sharing the songs that make up the soundtrack of your life with us!
Meet more alumni of note at our event, G’DAY MATE! A gathering for Australian alumni and friends featuring Australian band The Jungle Giants and Indonesian artists (and Australian alumni), Neonomora and Elephant Kind.

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