‘Tell us a bit more about the samples you used for Ikhlas, from samples from traditional Malaysian Tamil and Hawaiian Malay music.
So as I was home a lot, my access to samples came from YouTube. You would be amazed to see how much you can find just by searching "old Malaysian songs". It went from there to just any music style I can possible imagine. Of course sometimes searches come out flat but when you do find something, it's a gem. One of the tracks even features a song of a vinyl mix I found by a Malaysian DJ. It was really everything to me. I even managed to find party supporters for PH (Malaysia) chanting when their party won. I just wanted to make this as exclusive to Malaysia as possible.
Were you familiar with any of the songs before you sampled them?
I wasn't! To be frank, it was a lot more fated than I thought. Many times songs would have meanings that friends would tell me about and iconically relating to my life at the moment. It was that sense of Ikhlas (sincerity) for me. All this music felt familiar to me because of my upbringing in Singapore. It just became a lot more real when you hear Malaysia's music historically alongside their own trials and tribunals as a country. It just felt honest.
How'd you name the songs, and sequence the album?
First song made to last song touched. That's how the sequence was. I base my thoughts on fate a lot, so this track list starts off as a story about a person leaving the kampong to see the world and experience life for the first time. Naming it was rather easy. It was about paying respects to the samples and the people involved. Some words have no exact value in their vocabulary but it meant something and that given time.’