An American-Indonesian pop singer with a warm, sweetly melodic style, Stephanie Poetri released a single with sibling duo Goodbye Felicia as a teenager in the mid-2010s before making her solo debut in 2019. Her subsequent single, the heartfelt ditty “I Love You 3000,” was a Top Five hit in Indonesia.
Stephanie Poetri- Early life
Born Stephanie Poetri Dougharty in Jakarta in 2000, Poetri is the daughter of Indonesian pop star Titi DJ and American Andrew Hollis Dougharty. While she enjoyed singing as a child, she only became interested in the idea of music as a career after starting to write her own lyrics in high school. As a 15-year-old in late 2015, she sang on Goodbye Felicia’s cover of “Bimbang,” a song originally by their musician parents, Melly Goeslaw and Anto Hoed. “Ever since I was born, pretty much, people expected me to do something in music, but I wanted to be rebellious,” Poetri says. “I was like, I’ll never do music.”
Poetri made her performance debut as Stephanie Poetri with the bilingual Bahasa Indonesia and English “Appreciate” in April 2019. The Indonesian number-two hit “I Love You 3000” followed on 12TONE/88Rising in June 2019.She’s signed to the label and Asian music collective 88 Rising, and today, will release her latest song “Picture Myself”. The track – and its accompanying music video – arrived on streaming platforms on
(January 13). It tackles the topic of long-distance relationships from the perspective of the singer-songwriter, following her personal experiences.
Directed by Eileen Yoon, the music video depicts Poetri wandering the streets of New York alone, snapping pictures of scenic spots and ripping into a heart-shaped pizza on her own.
The track takes Poetri’s love for classic singer-songwriter fare (an acoustic guitar, thoughtfully placed lyrics, her melodic voice) and puts a pop spin on it—think Olivia Rodrigo without the heavy drums.
Poetri says she has gotten to a place where she has found her own sound and acknowledged what she needs to put out on the planet, artistically talking, “until the end of my life.” It was difficult, and involved something of an indirect excursion to show up where she is currently.
A self-described “multi” K-pop fan, (“I just love all the bands. I support all of them,” she gushes,) Poetri was obsessed with the genre—especially the bouncy, house-inflected production on songs like “Really Really” by Winner. She signed up for a production class that would teach her how to make music like that. In the class, she wrote a song that would become her first hit, “I Love You 3000,” (the title is based on a line from the film Avengers: Endgame.) It immediately blew up, garnering over 125 million views on YouTube and topping Spotify’s Global Viral 50 for over a month. She also won the Best New Asian Artist – Indonesia award at the 2019 Mnet Asian Music Awards after “I Love You 3000” dropped. Wang, the star known as the frontman of the much-beloved K-pop group Got7, took notice—and jumped on a remix of the track soon after it released, called “I Love You 3000 II.”
As Poetri’s big moment started to pick up steam, the pandemic crept around the corner. In March 2020, the singer had just moved to Los Angeles to pursue her musical career, but she returned to Jakarta to be with her family once Covid-19 hit the United States. “I was so happy to be with my family, but I definitely had some moments where I just felt stuck, like I’m not going anywhere,” she says. To combat the feelings of ennui and stagnancy, Poetri worked on what would become her 2020 EP AM PM. She’d log on to Zoom with producers early in the morning or late at night and write songs, doing weekly sessions and workshopping with other artists. But she still felt lingering anxiety to deliver another smash hit and impress the big wigs throughout the process.