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Get to know the artist known as Qwamii

Written by Delwin Keasberry Thursday, 19 October 2017 09:31

QWM Photo 02

Editor's Note: I stumbled upon Naqiuddin Ihsan's music seven years ago, and I have been following his music ever since. We have not yet met in person, but having been a fan of his music for so long, I feel like I have known him for years. That's the power of music.

Read on, dear readers, and get to know the artist known as Qwamii.

What is your stage name, and what do you do?

My stage name is Qwamii. I just got back from South Korea doing an internship for six months at the KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). Now I am back in Brunei to continue my final year in Universiti Teknologi Brunei, majoring in BSc (Hons) in Digital Media.

Other than that, I am also a multimedia freelancer.

Describe yourself in a few words.

I grew up in the Belait district, enjoy cafe-hopping, and love the Ayam Goreng Kremes Telor Asin dish from the Bali Pitstop. I am an outgoing socially-conservative introvert. (Not sure if that makes sense, but that is what I am. Haha). I may not initially come across as friendly but once we get to know each other, things will change!

When did you start making music?

I started producing in 2008. My first few tracks were based on Happy Hardcore and Hard Dance genres. Home-based-studio producers (just like bedroom singers) such as EnV and B0UNC3 from newgrounds.com were the first ones to inspire me to produce music.
Which artists influence your music?

My first few influences were Hardstyle producers which were Blutonium Boy, Showtek and the Dark Oscillators. Then from 2009, I shifted to Tech Dance and Tech Trance because I wanted to produce tracks heavily influenced by Kidd Kaos (a.k.a. Kris Ryeland), an award winning 20-year-old Hard Trance / Tech Dance producer.

Later, I moved towards Electro House, Progressive House, Progressive Trance and Uplifting Trance, following the footsteps of Simon Patterson, Dash Berlin, Armin van Buuren and all other legendary Trance producers.

Now, I produce more towards Future Bass and mainstream EDM. My current influences are The Chainsmokers, sumthin sumthin and Lauv.

QWM Photo 03

What was the first music album you ever bought?

My first album was Linkin’ Park’s Collision Course (2004). I did not know anything about techno, trance or any electronic music back then. My first genres I was exposed to were like Rock, Hip Hop, Rap and R&B.

What do you use to produce your music?

I use a 15” MacBook Pro Retina running Windows on dual boot. I make my music using a Digital Audio Workstation that is currently supported only on Windows. Why a MacBook? This is because I move around a lot when I make music. Most of my time is spent in cafes. (Sometimes people address me as “The Cafe Music Producer”.)
Describe the music scene in Brunei.

Live band performances are popular in Brunei. On the other hand, EDM is also on the rise. Music producers can go to two ends: Public or private (ghost producer) or even both. Nowadays, I can say the multimedia industry is also growing, creating more opportunities and allowing music-related talents to embed their products & services in.

Share a few highlights from your journey so far.

My highlights include winning the Beyond Compulsion Remix Competition by Clayfac3r in 2010, participating in the Signal Remix Competition by Cymatics, and having my tracks played at a few local events such as TEDxYouth(at)Gadong and YES Letop.

The biggest highlight so far? Being featured on Kristal FM. A special thank you to Kueymo and Sushiboy and Kristal FM for dedicating an hour to my tracks! Be sure to check them out as they keep uncovering more local music producers!

Word-of-Mouth marketing is crucial, especially in a small place like Brunei. Have you had the experience of any of your songs going 'viral' in Brunei or beyond?

One of my tracks Adai Adai went viral in Brunei. It was just a random thing I did. I recorded it using my iPhone and then I posted in on Facebook. It exploded to 7,000 views! I really did not expect that it would get so much support. With that, it motivated me to make a full version of the song.

Another track that went viral internationally is my remix of Avicii’s Levels which now has reached over 71,000 listens on both SoundCloud and YouTube. I am still surprised that the number of listens continues to rise to this day!

Sometimes the hit songs are the ones you least expect.

Which social platforms do you utilise to share your music, and why?
Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and SoundCloud. This depends on which platform my listeners are most comfortable with. I want to get my music to my listeners as conveniently as possible.

What are key lessons you have learnt from your journey as a musician?

One, never give up. You don’t fail until you stop trying.

Two, networking is the utmost importance. You never know what new opportunities you open yourself to when you make new connections.

Three, don’t wait for opportunities. Look for them. This was my biggest mistake before.

Complete this sentence "In three years time, I...."

...will keep continuing to and push my music career and penetrate the international market more.


Bistro Chez Fio

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 16:41

ProflEditor's Note: Greetings Readers! Here's a write-up by Brunei's own Angelyn Choo. Her Instagram profile (@angelshameless) reads "I followed my heart and it led me to my fridge." She also has a tumblr you can check out - ChooingOnThis (hah!). I asked her for a short snippet about herself.

"My name is Angel Choo, and I am 22 years old. I enjoy long romantic walks to my fridge, and I like my coffee black. While working and finishing up my final year in Universiti Brunei Darussalam, I go on food adventure around Brunei (and across the oceans) to try all kinds of everything. Occasionally, I document things as I go. The world is delicious."

Bistro Chez Fio

By Angelyn Choo

This is the third time this week that I've visited Bistro Chez Fio [bis-troh; shey; fee-oh].
Tucked in between Netzone Cafe and Bridgelink Enterprise, Bistro Chez Fio also sits right across Petlink, Kuilap.


I'm always welcomed by Fiona's warm hello and the smell of freshly baked (flavour of the day) muffins.


In one word, Chez Fio, is quaint. Wooden tables and chairs, jazz swimming through the air and two Canadian flag sitting proudly at the front counter.


According to Fiona, “Bistro Chez Fio started off as just a dream that one day I would open a business in the food industry.” Having lived most of her life in Vancouver, Fiona brings her heart for Vancouver to share with us here in Brunei.


To start, I had my usual order of miniature coffees. A tray of four different styles; latte cappuccino, macho and one with a little surprise.


I know I always talk about decreasing my caffeine intake, but now that Chez Fio is just within a ten minutes drive from my way to work, it's really hard to say no.


Since her opening in January, Chez Fio changes her menu once in every few months. Keeping the Canadian favourites like poutine and constantly adding in something new for her customers to try, as well as for the chefs to make. Good to keep everyone on their toes.


PB Extreme Burger is my current favourite on the lunch menu. Sink your teeth into a juicy beef patty, topped with cheese, a crunch from the crispy beef rashes and a unique peanut butter sauce that just gives it an extra punch of delicious.


Even though Hui Ting, Abi and I were stuffed after sharing two mains and two sides, I could not resist ending our meal with the dessert special of the day; Chez Fio's signature cheesecake. It was love at first bite.

I quickly called Fiona over and asked her what she added into the cheesecake. She answered, “cinnamon and.. sweet potato” Sweet potato! And my heart swooned. I love it when a not so typical ingredient is added in something we're all so used to.


It's easy to lose track of the world outside while you're in the bistro. There have been times when I leave the out the door, and I have forgotten how hot it is outside or where I parked my car.


Kudos to Fiona and her team for making an effort to serve every meal with friendly smiles and warm conversation (which to me, is just as important as the food and ambience). All that said, I already look forward to my next visit and definitely to explore the rest of the new menu.

Bistro Chez Fio (Facebook)
Unit 13, Ground Floor,
Block A, Q-lap Complex,
Kg. Kuilap, BE 1518
Mon – Sun, 8am – 6pm
Closed on Fridays, 12pm - 2pm

223 4933
instagram: @bistrochezfio

Royal Brunei: Behind the Scenes

Written by Delwin Keasberry Monday, 07 April 2014 19:57

Check out this video from the photoshoot of Royal Brunei's new heritage inspired uniforms.

Introducing Ibrahim Kamit

Written by Delwin Keasberry Tuesday, 24 June 2014 09:21

Hi Folks! Check out Ibrahim Kamit's YouTube Channel. I stumbled upon it recently, and it is worth sharing. His About page says it plainly and simply: "My dream is to be big so please share, subscribe, like" I like that.

I remember my dad telling me as a kid, "Don't take yourself too seriously." That message still rings true today. It is a healthy sign when we are able to laugh at ourselves. It shows openness and tolerance, which comes along with maturity.

I have a feeling this fella is going places.

Media Release: IEEE Tech Maker Programme training Curtin students to be mentors

Tuesday, 17 January 2017 15:49

2 Group photo of participants with their completed solar lamps

Group photo of participants with their completed solar lamps

Miri – 16 January 2017 – A workshop aimed at training undergraduate students to become mentors for primary and secondary school students was recently organised by the IEEE (Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Curtin Sarawak Student Branch in collaboration with the University Life Department of the university, All Aboard Young Leader Centre (AAYLC) and DreamCatcher, a company that provides technical training to the electrical and electronic industry.

The four-day IEEE Tech Maker Programme Workshop was attended by over 20 undergraduate students of the university.

With the theme ‘Making Technology for a Better Community’, it was also aimed at equipping the students with the necessary technical skills to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to secondary school students.

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