Sarah Meirizka Hardiany Sechan
The media gave me the name "Chilli Padi" (God knows why!)
Date Of Birth:
May 9, 1974
What strikes you most when you meet Sarah Sechan is surely her sense of humor and her dynamic personality.
Born in the year 1974, Sarah spent her childhood all over the world -- including Pennsylvania, U.S., and London, U.K. Her family then proceeded to live in New York where Sarah completed high school. However, she soon felt the urge to leave the Big Apple and return alone to Indonesia in 1993.
The philosophy that Sarah lives by is: "Do what you want to do and never have any regrets!" So far, Sarah hasn't had any regrets yet in her time with MTV.
The press dresses you up as this sex symbol.
: That's just media hype. First of all, a lot of people think that when someone is sexy, it's all about being physically sexy -- tall, big breasts, big butt, whatever. My body is very typical Indonesian -- small. I don't consider myself sexy, but then again, some people's idea of sexy has nothing to do with physical attributes. It comes from inside, the way you talk, the things you know, and having a sense of humor. I'm sure they think I'm sexy in a different way vis-a-vis Sonia (Couling).
Before you became a VJ, you were a well-known radio presenter.
: I think radio is more challenging. I did it everyday from 6 to 10. You have to wake up so early in the morning that that itself is a challenge (laughs). My partner and I came up with the topics of what we were going to talk about that day. My audience was typically aged 25 and above, so we could talk about naughty things and what I thought was funny. It was also more challenging because people couldn't see your face. You have to be able to talk a lot. So I was constantly talking and making jokes to make the show good, because ultimately, you'd want the whole of Jakarta to listen to you.
MTV is still being perceived as one that plays a lot of boy bands and teenybopper stuff. Care to comment on the channel's musical direction?
: But that's what sells. That's what kids are listening to in Asia. The audience may be as young as 13 and they listen to mainstream pop. I think MTV does play some alternative stuff. In parts of Asia, teens like alternative music. In Indonesia, they're into ska. Most of the kids like pop and that's what MTV is giving them. Slowly and surely, MTV is exposing them to different kinds of music.
You've done a lot of celebrity interviews.
: What I learned is that the bigger the stars are, the more down-to-earth they are. Like Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (Sarah interviewed them in London, 1998). Ken Ishii is also very nice -- a nice, quiet guy who didn't see himself as a celebrity. Some boy bands are also very nice, but I've come across some groups (no names mentioned) who are quite snotty. Some girl groups have their noses in the air all the time, but the new ones are actually very nice. Usually, the new acts and the veterans are the nice ones to interview. The ones in the middle are a bit... (Sarah makes a funny face.)