Men. Who doesn’t love them?
A lot of people apparently, as we found out from feedback we received in response to Nazreen Abraham‘s piece last month.
Back in May, The Daily Seni published a piece titled ‘5 Young Creative Malaysian Ladies Who Are Out of Your League‘ which featured the likes of Nadia Jay and Talitha Tan. Despite being one of the most popular postings in the history of our little establishment, it garnered us some negative attention and we were soon enough deemed “misogynistic” and “sexist”.
We just want to take this opportunity to clarify that 1) we give our writers bylines so they can bear the full responsibility of their own writings, and 2) of course there would be a version featuring the boys, silly!
This time however, we took on board all the Facebook messages and fan-mail to come up with better methodology. This time, we selected our candidates based on talent, level of exposure, looks (yes, we know, looks are subjective, but can’t we all just have a little bit of fun) and future potential.
You want a bad boy? We’ve got that. You want a posh kid? We’ve got that. You want a bear? Got. Model? Got. Law student turned social media-based English teacher also got. Everything also got.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at our June line-up. Yes, we might consider making this into a monthly thing. Surprise!
This 22 year old Sunway-graduate has been making appearances in TV commercials and print ads around the country, but he tells us that his life is “not really that glamorous” just yet. As someone who’s just entered the industry, we asked him to explain to our readers what it’s really like trying to be an actor.
“It’s not easy to get jobs — you have to rajin and cari the jobs (sometimes online) and have to rajin go castings and all that,” Fahad Iman explains.
“Also there’s the rejection part. I remember when I first started going for castings, I didn’t get any jobs. You kinda feel sucky for a bit and ask yourself what you’re doing wrong. Now however I’m OK with rejections. Sometimes it’s just that you’re not what they’re looking for, and there’s always a next time.”
This year alone he’s done a number of adverts and most notably, will have a small role in Chiu Keng Guan‘s OlaBola on top of playing an extra on Tunku Mona Riza‘s Redha/Beautiful Pain. He recognizes that it’s going to be a long, rocky journey to the top and reminisces for a bit.
“I remember my first telemovie shoot [Cerita Sebenar Mengenai Bibah]. I got a really small part and my scene was short, my calltime was 6pm, and I only got to shoot my scene after midnight. The wait was long and I remember one of the crew telling me, welcome to production.”
“As someone new, I didn’t know what was really going on or how things work. But you just have to learn how to adapt; adapt to whatever that’s going on.
“All and all, its not really glamorous, but it can be fun.”
Not very motivational, we must admit.
In his spare time, Fahad does some photography, a field in which he thinks he has a legit shot. He has a preference for portrait shoots and his fashion photography is pretty snazzy, we think.
Fun fact: every picture featured in this segment of the article (bar the promo image for We Were The Best) was taken by Fahad himself. This is a very underrated thing; photo-crediting is a writer’s nightmare. So thank you, Fahad.
“My mother said that I have The Eye“, he notes (we think she could actually have been referring to that movie about seeing dead people).
What’s next for Fahad?
Well, he’s going to keep on pursuing a career as an actor and do more TV and film in the future. He also wants to do some stage acting as he’s a huge fan of theatre.
In fact, he was at W!LD RICE‘s Another Country (he wants people to know that it was quite amazing) and you’ll probably bump into him at the next proper show in town.
“I’ve mainly been involved with theatre as an audience member, but I hope to be a stage actor/performer too. And I aspire to be a director one day, so I might be directing my own little projects down the line.”
Why is this macha on the list you ask us? Because he’s one hell of a funny guy and he has one of the best beards around town.
Prakash Daniel used to be one of those people in advertising (you know the ones) before he quit everything to focus on photography and comedy. He says it’s been a real struggle, but we think it’s paid off greatly.
For one, he smiles a lot more these days. In fact, when was the last time Prakash wasn’t seen with a smile on his face?
Well ladies and gents, there lies a deeper reason behind this: Prakash believes a man’s best asset is his smile and confidence.
“At end of the day no matter what fancy thing you try to come out with, girls love a guy who has a smile that can make their day,” he tells us.
Sorry, boys. Yes, we know he goes around taking pictures of hot men for beardsofmalaysia (which he also curates!) but this one’s practically straight and taken. Oh, but we can tell you that there will be a photo exhibition next year featuring the best from his bevy of beautiful bearded men.
Don’t be mistaken by the photos of him we’ve chosen to feature; he’s not the brooding, mysterious type at all. Prakash Daniel is an Indian stand-up comedian in Malaysia and he couldn’t be more proud of it.
Does he think there’s a good representation of the Indian community in the local creative scene? Yes it’s fair, he says, but he sees a much bigger picture.
“I personally feel there should be an integration of people in the local creative scene. Not just me as an Indian – I view myself as a Malaysian, which is way stronger than being Indian,” he explains.
“We need to collaborate and do more things and not be stuck in the same circles. The reason the creative industry is called as such is so that people can create new ideas and generate better content and that only happens via collaborations.”
“Also ‘jangan kedekut ILMU‘ when people ask you things. You may ask me for photography tips and I will gladly share them because no point hiding as you aren’t gonna bring all that knowledge to your grave right?” he ends, serious.
If there’s one thing we love about Prakash, it has to be how Malaysian he seems. His stand-up comedy remarks on every ethnicity in our country, no matter how minor or major; Prakash isn’t one to discriminate.
His popular ‘Indian Jesus’ joke is a great example of his knack for coming up with material that resonates with local audiences, but we’ll leave it to you to chase after him for the punchline.
As of now, he’s busy writing new material on top of coming full circle with One Mic Stand in PJ Live Arts, the very place Prakash chose to kickstart his comedy career. It’s an open mic show he hosts with good friends Keren Bala Devan and Brian Tan, it’s on every Tuesday at 9pm, and you won’t want to miss the three of them on stage.
Faizal Shahrin has been in the industry for a while now and he’s known by many names. Some of these are Raksasa, Maharajalela and Mamak.
Faizal’s a recording artist and sound engineer, and he’s not one to mess around with; Faizal knows his shit. He’s done some work for Malay radio-pop (which he tends to shy away from) but hey, whatever pays the bills right?
He’s a real mystery, and from what we gathered, has quite a troubled and complicated past but we shan’t tell you none of that. No sir, what we can tell you is that this scraggly-looking, hoarse-sounding man is not actually a hobo.
If you bump into him on the streets, say hello. He may reach into his jacket and you may be afraid that he’s going to whip out his parang, but trust us – that’s just where he stores his CDs.
Faizal is one of rare few (perhaps even the only one) marketing himself by going table to table at restaurants and cafes. In fact, he’s been banned from The Curve already and we all know that being banned from a place signals forthcoming rockstar status.
“If I had my CDs in record stores, they’ll cost at least RM30. Like this, I sell them for RM20 and use the money to print more albums,” he explains to us in his trademark vocals.
“Sometimes, out of twenty tables I will get one buyer. It’s all a matter of timing; it’s easier to sell when there’s more people out.”
Faizal records as Raksasa, and to date has two full-length albums (his debut, jualbeli tanggapan and follow-up jualbeli niat) under this name. His music is a mixture of rock, experimental and electronic, echoing influence from genres ranging from ambient to post-rock and to pop. It’s dark, lush but occasionally hopeful.
Faizal’s boozy, raspy singing style is somewhat reminiscent of Trent Reznor and Thom Yorke, and you can get a good sense of how he sounds like through tracks like “Muafakat Membawa Bangsat” and “Dengan Kelaku“, both from jualbeli tanggapan.
Faizal also runs a recording studio with a group of friends in Damansara Perdana where he does serious things like audio engineering and mixing.
As for future plans, he’s currently working on his upcoming art installation which is set to combine audio, visuals and glitter to evoke something that’s representative of who he is as an entity.
During the day, Shufitri Shukardi attends classes at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM). At night however, this 23 year old chooses to be anywhere but Shah Alam: often travelling all the way to Petaling Jaya to get involved in theatre (often with popular local troupe Revolution Stage) and sometimes, he even models.
I mean, look at dat face. Shufitri has like the perfect composition of regional Malay features. Hailing all the way from the town of Sungai Petani, Shufitri Shukardi is proud to represent the state of Kedah Darul Aman!
Was it tough leaving all that for the insomnia and lure of Kuala Lumpur life?
“Well it’s just another city,” Shufitri sheepishly states.
“I wouldn’t have thought that I’d be in scenes, doing whatever I’m doing, putting myself in awkward situations where I meet a lot of new people. Because I feel like I’m reserved but at the same time I want to do all these things as an outlet.”
If there’s one thing KL has done to him, it has tempted him to leave his comfort zone and live life.
As a result? Brands which have discovered him are using him to their full advantage: he’s currently the face of local streetwear Kasturi.
He’s also had the opportunity to work with infamous photographer Ridduan Ismail, more commonly known as TTGFA. Care to dish some dirt, Shufitri?
“Well, being human, sometimes people may get carried away. So it’s important to stay humble because you never know tetiba it’s Marina Mahathir. Don’t put this in,” he states. Whoops.
“Ridduan is very passionate in what he’s doing. He has a powerful drive and I’m glad we’ve met. I wouldn’t have met so many other people without meeting him first,” he adds diplomatically.
On the stage, he’s played Tan Beng Hock in Hariry Jalil‘s Beng Hock, and he was in the supporting cast of Rumah Anak Teater‘s stage adaptation of best-seller Awek Chuck Taylor, as well as a slew of Revolution Stage productions.
Shufitri is a man with many interests, many of them art-based (a characteristic often endemic to TESL students like himself). From the time we’ve known him, he has dabbled in visual art, fashion, performing arts and even music.
Despite all this, he’s one of the funniest, nicest and most soft-spoken people around town and should you ever see him, make sure you say hello and give him a hug because he’s all about the good spirit, bruh.
Abd Qayyum Jumadi
In a list that comprises an actor, stand-up comedian, musician and part-time model, we saved the coolest for last.
This is Qayyum, the man behind (and on top of) Englishjer, one of the few things in the world that gives us the hope we need to continue operating.
First up: what is Englishjer?
Well, it’s a “social media initiative to make youths more comfortable about using English”, according to Qayyum. It started on Twitter but has since stepped up on offline efforts.
In an age where you have people arguing that English is destroying the nation, Qayyum is downright inspiring. What this ambitious 23 year old is doing is that he’s trying to make youths see English as just another language.
“We have done charity book sales, workshops, exhibitions, and even camps,” he tells us.
“Englishjer aims to shake off fear and prejudice people might have about the English language, as I believe we still have some problems. And maybe the solution is changing the method of teaching and making it more inclusive.”
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. We particularly like Qayyum’s approach in tackling these issues; he gets the job done largely using social media, and at Cooler Lumpur earlier in the month, Englishjer even set up their own display and put up short stories by aspiring writers.
But what’s with all this language talk?
“I have a fascination with language, but not an academic fascination,” Qayyum admits.
“I’m more interested in the cultural side of language, i.e. why and how we speak the way we do. It gives us a lot of input on how society – in terms of education and culture – developed. That’s what I am most interested in, and that’s how I teach.”
If all the other guys we’ve featured have their talent to back them up, this one has an impressive thinking capacity that will sweep you away. For one, despite having a preference for speaking in Malay, he’s fluent in both languages.
Qayyum, popularly known as Qayzr on Twitter, is currently working with PopDigital where he also serves as in-house translator.
He hopes to continue doing what he’s doing and look deeper into the way youths learn, but he insists these aspirations only represent the boring side of his ambitions.
“I want to create content to cater to a growing niche of Malaysians who are tired of the mainstream narrative of things,” he muses.
“Maybe a crazy talk show or a sitcom… who knows.”
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