Up-and-Coming Creatives from Sunway To Check Out

From a self-taught musician who plays four instruments to a future Parsons graduate, Sunway University has more than a few promising students whose artistic talent surpasses their young age. It’s just a matter of time before they become big names in the arts and culture scene, and not just locally – we’re talking on a global scale here!

Here are the budding creatives from Sunway that you should definitely keep an eye out for:

Arman Faiezal

Tell us about yourself!

I’m Arman Faiezal, a Capricorn born on 24 December, 2002. I’m in Sunway’s American Degree Transfer Program, and in Fall I’ll be transferring to the Parsons School of Design in New York!

In my art, I mostly use acrylics, coloured pencils, papers, but honestly I use everything I see. I also like photography. To put it simply, I do all kinds of art, like traditional art, digital art and photography, and all these creations mean something to me.

How did you get into art?

When I was little, like 6, I hung out often with my neighbour, and we were always trying to create art. We loved Powerpuff Girls, and we tried to draw them. I often hung out with my much-older cousin too, who’s an animator now. When I was 12 and she was about 20, she would always teach me about drawing. I thought it was cool and fun, and that’s how my interest in art started. 

What, or who, inspires you?

I gain inspiration from my past life and from people! But, also my sadness, and I use art as a form of expression when I’m sad.

As for people, Dhan Illiani and Adlyn Sofea. Dhan Illiani, who’s my mutual friend online, is a multidisciplinary artist who is very distinctive and very experimental. It’s weird, but I like it very much. Most of my art is inspired by her! Her art is meaningful, and I think everyone should look at it. Not everyone likes her art, but if you understand the meaning behind it, you will really like it.

Adlyn is my muse! I became friends with her about a year ago, because we have a mutual friend who reposted her art and I thought, wow, she’s cool. So I followed her and she followed me back. But we didn’t talk much until we found common interests that we really bonded and became close over

What is your favourite piece of work so far?

That would be Dhan Illiani’s Berbuka Party. I love how experimental it is as I wouldn’t have thought that ‘berbuka puasa‘ (breaking fast) could be turned into art. So it’s weird, but also very cool to see. The way that she did it, it’s traditional and nostalgic. 

My own favourite piece of work would be Lelaki dan Mimpi. This is a very personal piece derived from my past life, sexual orientation, dreams, femininity and life experiences. The piece is very ‘kelam-kabut’ (hectic), just like my own life. So I turned all this into a piece of art, not for people to know how I feel, but as a way of turning my pain into something beautiful. It’s also my largest piece of work. 

Any projects in the works right now?

I’m currently doing illustrations for a fashion brand, UnimaginableImpact. They are in the midst of planning the launch. Keep a lookout!

Some adjectives to describe your work?

Colourful, experimental, quirky, complex, dreamy and nostalgic.

If your work was a food or drink, what would it be?

It would be pasta, specifically meatball pasta. It is a complex dish that is just delicious. Every time I do art, I eat pasta. It’s a contrast to the style of my work too, as it’s a simple dish, unlike my art. 

Any other hobbies?

My brand, Hijau Bumi! I design jewellery and also do complex necklaces, anything that involves fashion and brings out the creativity in me.

Check out Arman’s socials here:

Arman’s Instagram | Behance

Shawn Samuel

Tell us about yourself!

I’m Shawn Samuel, a filmmaking and production major in the American Degree Transfer Program. I do filming and production work, and I’m normally behind the camera.

I also do scene design, such as handling lighting and the subject to best tell the story, and storyboards. I lean more towards the visual aspect of filmmaking – cinematography. I like working with lights and camera angles!

How did you get into filmmaking?

I was, and still am, a big fan of literature. But because I was in a government school, I didn’t have much of an opportunity to explore it. When I transferred to an international school, my education dove deep into literature, learning about juxtaposition and such. And I loved photography too, so filmmaking is the perfect combination of both.

I started off with personal passion projects, using my family’s compact camera to film random scenes. When I did this, the goal was to make every single scene wallpaper-worthy. My work, GONE GONE / THANK YOU is an example of that:

From there, I branched into music videos and promotional videos, which only fuelled my passion further.

What, or who, inspires you?

Honestly, I grew up without anything that really inspired me, so I would actually say I am my own inspiration, as narcissistic as that sounds. I draw inspiration from myself and my interests in my work. I didn’t have clear goals I wanted to pursue, and I did a lot of things simply because I had to, not because I wanted to. And when I finally found something I really wanted to do (this), I pursued it.

But, Greig Fraser is a cinematographer who has served as an inspiration in recent times. I really like dark and dirty aesthetics in movies, like Fraser’s work in Batman. I strive to achieve something similar to that. 

What is your favourite piece of work so far?

Visually, the 2022 Batman movie.

My personal best work would be a teaser video I made for my friend’s album, titled Jaded. It was in my early, embryonic stage. But looking back, I realise that I was ahead of my time. Then, I didn’t know that I would continue to film my work in that style. Even looking back now, it is something I would make now.

Any projects in the works right now?

So far, my crew is working with a company to produce content for them. Personally, I am thinking of doing a short film or another music video. All these will be found on Instagram or YouTube once they are released.

Some adjectives to describe your work?

I would call it self-centred and cinematic. Oh, and gritty, but at the same time, clean.

If your work was a food or drink, what would it be?

Coca Cola, because it’s dark, and can be hard to swallow at times – much like my work.

Any hobbies besides this?

Cosplaying. I like to dress as Batman. I don’t do it often, but when I do, I go all out. 

Check out Shawn’s socials here:

Shawn’s Instagram

Harez

Tell us about yourself!

I’m Harez, and my major is Contemporary Music with Audio Technology. Hopefully, I’ll continue my studies at the University of Colorado Denver or the Berklee College of Music. Personality-wise, I’m a very introverted person, but I am slowly forcing myself to become an extrovert. Because otherwise I won’t get to know many people, and for my career I need to be outgoing. 

I like music-making and production. (Harez gestures to the crowd around the college foyer, where I’m interviewing him.) You know how you can hear the sound of the crowd? I can make this into ambient sound or even change the key and make it a melody. I play the guitar, piano, drums, and bass, which is slightly different from guitar. All are self taught!

How did you get into music?

All my life, music has been something I’m interested in. It served as a distraction from work and school. Then, I decided to take it seriously and pursue it. There’s no point in doing something that you don’t love, which is why I’m doing something I love now.

What, or who, inspires you?

The rapper Aminé inspires me. And Kenny Beats, a producer. They don’t limit themselves to anything as their new releases always differ from their past works. It really shows that in music, you can do whatever you want. Kenny Beats came from electronic dance music (EDM), but now he does trap, R&B and pop!

I take inspiration from interesting and unusual sounds. If I hear something unusual that clicks in my ears, I’ll want to make music from it. I remember, when on holiday in Redang, there was an annoying frog outside my hotel room. So, I recorded the frog and made a beat out of it.

What is your favourite piece of work so far?

I like J Cole’s No Role Model, Kendrick Lumar’s King Kunta, Aminé’s Dr Whoever, Emotional Oranges’ West Coast Love. These songs have been a highlight throughout my life, and they play a big role in my journey of wanting to take music seriously and my own appreciation for music and production.

I am really proud of Let Me Go that I released with my band, Aisle 3. The production for that song came out of nowhere, as I sat down and simply decided to create something. And somehow, it became the song we released with my band. It even played on Hits FM.

Any projects in the works right now?

This one that I’m currently working on, is going to be interesting because I am going to switch genres. Before this, we did trap and hip-hop, and our latest song is R&B. With this song, we are trying out pop rock. 

Some adjectives to describe your work?

Perfectly imperfect. You know how you see a crack in a vase, and it looks weird but nice, as if it’s part of the design. None of my work is particularly organised, I just put in what I like.

I would also describe it as bouncy and upbeat, sometimes chill. 

If your work was a food or drink, what would it be?

Laksa. Because there’s so many variations, you can’t really pinpoint which is which. And also because I like laksa. I don’t like to stick to one genre – I want to learn more about new genres I haven’t touched yet, such as EDM.

Any hobbies besides this?

I love sports. I play basketball, soccer and recently, I’ve been into flag football, where instead of bodily contact, they have flags you can pluck. 

Check out Harez’s socials’s here:

Aisle 3’s Instagram | Aisle 3’s Spotify

Written by: Natalie

Edited by: Jamie

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