Culture, Lifestyle

Iqie of Insomniacks: A subversive iconoclast who goes off the beaten track

Iqie of Insomniacks: A subversive iconoclast who goes off the beaten track

Pictured above: Coat, MSGM; Skirt, Rick Owens; Boots, Versace; Goggles, Stylist’s own

There is little holding back Iqie, the rising musician has maintained his unapologetic elusiveness by finding the commercial in the artistic. His style — while being whole-heartedly Malaysian yet undoubtedly “international” in its appeal — provides a unique lens through which we can examine a new rise of anti-pop stars in Malaysia. For Iqie, it meant pushing himself to be visible in a genre that often gravitates toward the invisible. But what is it like to be young and talented in a scene that often rewards conformity, where it is easy to be an outcast so long as one stays away from the status quo? Perhaps, the only way to find out might just lie in asking the wrong questions.

“I’m not the one chasing fame; fame has to chase me,” says Iqie, the lead singer of local pop rock band, Insomniacks. As a musician, there is little harm in bringing some attitude to the table. Think Kurt Cobain or Björk, who have shown just how being a tinge out of the ordinary may land you the chance to be seen. Likewise for Iqie — the 26-year-old has amassed an audience entranced by his personality just by being his wayward, carefree self. He even maintains that his hair is a blank canvas that he switches up every few months for wild styles — uncommon seeing that most male musicians in Malaysia would prefer a more classic demeanour. “Because why not?”, he comments. Not worried about what others might think, his most rebellious state would be the way he has embraced his fame. Having been known through the band where he serves as its lead, Iqie has embraced the fame that came with it.

Vest, Emporio Armani; Skirt, jeans, belt, gloves all Versace; Earrings, Swarovski; Boots, goggles, Stylist’s Own

If you could switch lives with any celebrity for a day, who would it be and why?

Iqie: I would roll with Drake. I bet the dude has a nice crib, so I would just chill there, stay-in and relax. Or maybe Jungkook, and spend the whole day admiring myself in the mirror.

One bad advice you will never give?

Iqie Financial advice, definitely. I’m no money expert. Other than that, I’ve got your back with the best advice. Trust me!

If your music was an ice cream flavour, what would it be?

Iqie: Something like strawberry for the sweet and cute lyrics, and throw some sour lemon for those sadder moments. Let’s say, strawberry lime flavoured ice cream.

Hoodie, pants, sneakers, all Ferragamo; Sweater, MSGM; Goggles, Stylist’s Own

What’s a guilty pleasure song that secretly rocks your playlist, but you’re a bit shy to admit?

Iqie: Honestly, I’m not too embarrassed about any of my song choices, but there are some songs I would only play in the car when I’m alone. For me, it’s the soundtrack from the old Disney Movie Shows that used to be on TV. I’m talking about “Gotta Find You” from Camp Rock and “Scream” from High School Musical 3.

Any Bizarre item you have autographed for a fan?

Iqie: Not much out of the ordinary, but I did sign someone’s hijab — which was pretty unusual. But hey, I appreciate the enthusiasm.

Describe your dream collaboration, even if it’s totally out of this world.

Iqie: For me, Insomniacks with Dean or Frank Ocean would be mind-blowing. Heck, they don’t even need to collab with us; they could just make music together. Anything works, I just want them to release new music for real.