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Putri Ariani, sight-impaired young Indonesian singer “Never fear to dream – and strive to achieve it!”

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Jakarta, IO – Young singer Putri Ariani went viral after she was given a “golden buzzer” from Simon Cowell, the notoriously sharp-tongued and hard-toplease judge of “America’s Got Talent”. The buzzer is a special mechanism that allows a contestant to go straight to the Semi Finals. 

Born “Ariani Nisma Putri” on 31 December 2005, in Bangkinang, Kampar, Riau, she is the eldest of Ismawan Kurnianto and Reni Alfianty’s three children. Putri was born premature at the age of 6 months 18 days, because her mother suffered from placenta previa. After her birth, she spent the first three months of life in an incubator. Right out of the incubator, she was diagnosed with cataracts. When her parents took her to Singapore for treatment, she was found to suffer from premature retinopathy and underwent surgery on her eye, but to no avail – she was declared fully blind at the age of three months. 

Putri’s singing talent appeared when she was two years old, when she frequently imitated the sounds that she heard. She never took any formal lessons; all her musical and vocal skills are self-taught. She started performing on stage at the tender age of seven. 

In 2021, Putri entered National Vocational School Number 2 Kasihan, or the Yogyakarta Musical High School (Sekolah Menengah Musik – “SMM”) in the Regency of Bantul, Special Region of Yogyakarta. She majored in the flute, and she also performed as a solo vocalist in SMM concerts. 

Before her “America’s Got Talent” performance, Putri Ariani expressed her wish to study in the Juilliard School in New York. After her glorious performance, the Minister of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology Nadiem Makariem expressed the Ministry’s support of Putri through the Advancing Indonesia Scholarship (Beasiswa Indonesia Maju – “BIM”). “Putri Ariani is a great inspiration for the nation. Therefore, we are helping her to realize her dream of studying in her dream campus – one whose entry selection criteria are very strict – through the Beasiswa Indonesia Maju scheme,” he declared in a written statement made on Tuesday, 13 June. 

The Ministry’s assistance includes help in preparing for selection entry and a full scholarship for her studies in the illustrious Juilliard, as well as a recommendation letter that explains her achievements to the School. “Thank you so much! I am so happy… It has always been my dream to study in the Juilliard School since I was a child,” Putri declared. 

Despite her talent, Putri was frequently bullied because of her disability and difference. She expressed this pain in the song she sang for “America’s Got Talent”, her own work titled “Loneliness”. 

“The song ‘Loneliness’ was created when Putri felt really guilty towards herself. Putri was down because so many people underestimated her. They say, ‘Putri can’t make her own songs, she’s so talentless!’ So Putri wanted to prove to them that she could do it,” she said, using her name to describe herself instead of “I” during her interview with Viva. 

Music is crucial for Putri in her everyday life. She uses it to speak out, to talk about her thoughts and feelings and experiences. “Music is just a great part of my life,” she declared. 

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Through her “America’s Got Talent” performance, Putri hopes to inspire her fellow youths, especially girls and the disabled. “Putri just wants young people to never fear to dream, and never fear to try to achieve them. Please believe that it can all come true,” she said. 

However, Putri admits that she still has a long way to go at the “America’s Got Talent” show. “Therefore, Putri is asking everyone in Indonesia to pray for her and support her so that she can continue to give an optimal performance,” she said. (rp)

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