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Thinking and Talking about Arts and Culture in Southeast Asia

The working processes of artists: Daly Filsuf

“I want to bring all the Asian kinds of music to the world, with our language,” says rapper and music producer Daly Filsuf. In this video, the artist talks about dikir barat as a genre, and how he has fused elements of dikir barat and Malay traditional music into his work with Malay hip hop group Ahli Fiqir, as well as his thoughts on the Malay rap scene. He also shares how COVID-19 has impacted him and how he is motivating himself to carry on.

This video is directed and conceptualised by LASALLE students Anna Khairyna and Athira Maswan, who were exposed to dikir barat in their youth and grew up listening to Ahli Fiqir’s songs. It was only as adults that they started appreciating the complexity and depth of Daly’s lyrics. They liked how Daly “manages to seamlessly interweave elements” of dikir barat and hip hop/rap together, creating a marriage of the classic with the contemporary.

They were intrigued to learn from Daly that it was once compulsory for students to do cultural activities in school.

“For students in our generation and in each generation passing, many of us are evidently losing touch with our roots. The Malay language has become just another subject in the syllabus, and we are becoming increasingly blind to its potential as a poetic device.”

The interview can be found below, as well as on YouTube.

Between February to April 2021, BA in Arts Management students from LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, embarked on an artist documentation project as part of their module History & Contextual Studies. The first-year students were tasked with interviewing an artist to better understand an aspect of their practice, and to produce the result of the interview in the form of a video. The students were given creative freedom in how they executed the brief and shot and edited their videos. Five of the best videos are shown in partnership with ArtsEquator.


This interview with Daly is part of a series of video projects in 2021 by BA Arts Management students of LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore. For past videos in this series, click here.

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