Naufal + Bastard of HOAX Are Living Proof That the Kids Are Alright

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It’s a tired argument by now. “Them young folks, what do they know about ?” is a perennial question asked by the Generation X, usually with seething rage. But the Baby Boomers before them posed the same exact query to their generation. Nowhere is this cycle more insidious and observable than within the music scene in Malaysia, specifically hip hop and electronic/dance. There’s only one response to such reactionary condescension of today’s youth, and Naufal Anwa (20) and Bastard aka Farhan Fauzi (19) knew exactly what it was – start your own movement. HOAX Vision was formed last year to give likeminded kids – and older kids (*cough* Mushroom Buttons *cough*) – a platform to play, or just fuck around and have fun with a crowd that likes the same music as they do. With a forthcoming fourth edition of HOAX, called HO4X, JUICE thought it apropos to interview the two founders on their thoughts about mostly old people and old people shit.

The first HOAX really surprised us – there was a good crowd (all young’uns) and even better music played. The kinda shit we dig but hardly hear elsewhere. The kind club promoters would tell us would never sell or garner a crowd. So a big fuck you to them – where did you guys come from and how did HOAX come to be?
Bastard I started this music thing when I was 17 called REVOFEV – it was more non-electronic…
Naufal … it’s super gay (laughs).
B … and more acoustic music, but we had a falling out. Then I started talking to Naufal – to talk about shoes and shit (laughs). I didn’t know how it worked out but we just… oh, no! We were working with them (REVOFEV) for the first event.
N REVOFEV was involved but then like…
B … we still had a falling out [at the time] though.
N But that fat fuck, by the way. I need to address this, I really need to address this (laughs)…
B They kind of owe me something. We were just asking them for the leverage that they have – technically it (REVOFEV) was mine, but I quit – so I was just asking them for their help in promoting (N They were really lazy) our first event (N Fucking useless!). So that was how our first event worked out – I met this guy (Naufal) through Twitter and we wanted to do something [together].
N The internet is a cool place.

HOAX isn’t just a series of parties and gigs though, you guys described it as a ‘platform’ for electronic/dance acts here. Is that something that you feel is lacking in the local scene, an entity or initiative that actively helps to cultivate the scene?
B Yeah, that’s what we want to do, to cultivate… not the scene, but the culture. To tell people to do shit, cause I’m 19, he’s 20, we don’t have jobs, we’re studying, don’t have a fucking future but we still do this shit…
N … I have a future! I want to marry a white girl (laughs).
B We’re not getting money from this. If people look at us and they be like, “Oh, cool. Who are these kids? Why isn’t anyone else doing this?” I don’t know, anyone else can do it! It’s not even that hard. It’s quite fucking easy when you have the right experience.
N If a bunch of minors can do it, why don’t these…
B … old people (laughs).
N … aging [people] do it? I don’t see it at all. Most of these people, they only see money and what can sell. I don’t want to throw out names, but yes.
Zamaera Too original fi dem pawdie.
B We just want to do shit – cause we do give a fuck, and a lot of people don’t give a fuck. So yeah, bro, do give a fuck about shit.
N When we say “a platform for electronic acts,” we’re not just talking about producers and DJs. We have bands playing for HO4X who have electronic influences as well.
B The reason [we put] electronic is because it’s kinda a more forward thing instead of going back and listening to old shit that people tak habis-habis reminisce on. We can’t give a shit about that, cause it’s not going to inspire kids to do shit because it’s old – for old people.

Speaking of which, there was palpable anger in Naufal’s recent post about the upcoming HO4X. Do the older folks from our scene make it difficult for new kids to ‘make it’?
N For me, I’m in the scene, so yes, I know a few people [like that] – [but] they are nice to me, I don’t know about them talking behind my back or whatever. I don’t know about the other guys though. What do you think?
B Yeah, old people don’t give a shit, old people like old people (laughs). That’s the problem; they don’t like young people because they like old people. They think, “Oh, we’re so much better, look at our offices and look at our fancy taste in music.” (N They don’t trust the young) These are the same people who are like, “I can’t listen to Young Thug cause all he says (gibberish and Thugger ad libs).” Fuck you man, music is constantly growing and if you’re old and you keep sticking to your old people ways, all I can say is the new kids aren’t going to fuck with you.
N You’re so bitter, man. What the fuck? (Laughs)

What’s the most absurd thing you’ve been told in your career as a musician so far regarding your being a ‘kid’?
B I’m not a musician, I’m not a rapper, I just do shit for fun cause it’s fucking easy to do it. I learnt Ableton like last week (as of the time of this interview) and I did three songs. [They were] fucking awesome as fuck. Shout out to Orang Malaya for teaching me that shit.
N Shout out to Metro Boomin for giving out free kits.
B See how simple it is to just make music? But I’m not a musician, I don’t have a career as a musician, and this Bastard name has been stuck with me since I was 15. So it’s not my rap name. I’m not a rapper.
N For me, recently I was offered residency at this A-list club in KL but we intentionally declined during the audition. Because the first track was ‘Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye’ and even then right after the audition, the manager or something said our set wasn’t commercial enough, and I told him, “I’m sorry, I’m just being honest with what I do and what I play, and if you don’t like it, it’s alright with us,” we’re still getting good gigs though. They only see money, most of the people that go to these clubs, they just drink and drink and drink – they don’t really care about the music, they don’t care about who’s behind the decks. Like let’s say 20 years ago, the crowd or the management, whoever’s watching, they treat these DJs or performers like gods.

We feel that the “bitter twats who cannot accept new music” in question are also the same dudes who ‘control’ the scene due to their influence (be it promoters, organisers, DJs themselves, etc.). Could it be that the influx of younger DJs got them fearing a change in the status quo?
N Of course, no shit! These guys cannot get over it, like these Mambo Jambo DJs, mainstream DJs – shout out Hitz FM, whoever the fuck’s playing there, yeah, you’re one of them, I’m sorry. They just don’t want to let go what they have – what they had. In their minds, they’re just like, “Oh, I still got this, I’m still controlling the minds and the ears of the masses.” But no, they’re wrong. Step by step, we’re going to take over – whatever the fuck happens, we’re going to take over.
B People, sometimes, when they’re big enough they have this leverage that they think, “Okay, since this is what we did to get there and get money, we’re just not gonna change our ways and treat it as a challenge.” Fuck, music is constantly gonna change, might as well you change your fucking list instead of being so committed… it’s the same shit lah! Old people and corporate people, they’re almost the same thing. They like their shit better than everyone else’s shit and old people like their old taste, corporate people like their money.
N Shouts out to Leng Yein as well.
B By the way, HOAX is not making money. We’re not making shit. Zero. Luckily, most of us are not broke or kampong people, but you get what I mean. We have some money to give us that luxury to do this shit, but a lot of other people have that luxury as well and they’re not doing shit!

There’s a youthful rebellion to HOAX that reminded us of the early days of Odd Future; angry but not self-serious, humorous but not without meaning. This punk-esque attitude isn’t something we see in the electronic scene often – are we accurate with this assessment? 
B Not really. The main purpose of HOAX is not to make music or to be this group that does shit, we’re just trying to create a dent on things (N Trying to motivate people). We’re not doing this for anyone except for the culture and the kids. Just something for people to look at and be like, “Oh, I can do that too.” That’s the only big purpose of HOAX. We’re not a group like Odd Future – maybe our approach is similar in the way we just fucking do it.
N I think Farhan is just being in denial, he was a big fan of Odd Future three years ago.
B That’s how I got the name Bastard by the way.
N What was I going to say? Nothing, right?
B Our approach! The approach is like Odd Future but we’re not like them in the sense that they’re musicians in a group and shit.
N Our approach is like, look at what’s coming out of HOAX Vision. Look how heavy producers are sampling Metro Boomin (laughs)…
B You don’t see that in the electronic scene cause (N You don’t see the positive energy [that] we have in the circle!) we don’t have that electronic music culture in Malaysia. So I guess [we] fill the gaps (N Step by step).

HOAX has booked (and continues to book) older (and lesser known) cats like Mushroom Buttons and Pradana, how did you guys come to know about them?
B I knew Mushroom Buttons through Naufal.
N I actually went to one of JUICE’s gigs (I don’t remember what it is) somewhere in Changkat and I watched Jason (Mushroom Buttons) and he was fucking dope. I don’t really know him, I wasn’t really confident, Pradana was in the lineup but I didn’t get to catch him. So yeah, me being an idiot – not an idiot lah, just being lucky – me and Farhan booked both of them for the first HOAX and we watched their [whole sets]. We were in front the whole time, they were so good, I mean like, macam mana ah? Like you wouldn’t expect this shit coming from a 28 to 30-year-old – I don’t really care how old you are, God (laughs).
B He’s the type of person who’s old but fucks with the young people, so he’s not that old actually…
N And I made a research; he’s ex-Rogue Squadron (shout out to Rogue Squadron), part of CSBTEA with Jin and Al Caponey. That was dope. Jason being behind these kinds of beats, I think that’s cool. During HOAX 2, this was 2014, because of him, I discovered the song ‘Look At Wrist’ by Father and iLoveMakonnen. I’m half-lying but it’s okay.
B He played ‘Look At Wrist’ in September 2014, so catch up fuccbois, catch up!

source: Naufal + Bastard

These guys are mad talented since before, but very few promoters care about them back then. Even now you hardly see DJ-producers playing club gigs. Do you think there is a lack of focus on acts who both DJ and produce here? 
B People look at DJing as a job nowadays. It requires some talent, then you just DJ and get booked or whatever the fuck it is that you do.
N They only wanna see the surface – you’re the surface, not what you have, not the broad knowledge that DJs and producers have. Yeah, shout out to Leng Yein again for having big titties and getting 10 to 50k per night.
B But the difference between that is that the producers have a sense of originality in their own songs and shit, it’s hard to put them in a specific box if they don’t treat it like a job. They don’t treat producing like a job because they just like what they do.
N Let’s say my manager, he’d tell me please market yourself, spend some time marketing yourself and I’d just tell him, “Why can’t I just do whatever the fuck I want?” He’d tell me, “You’re wasting your time.” And I’d ask him, “Am I wasting my time?” It just goes on and on, it’s never over. There is no solution to that except to just have a tiny bit of progress. Example would be HOAX – it is a platform, I wish there were more platforms like this coming in earlier but no one’s doing it.

The HOAX Facebook page listed pretty much everyone who ever performed at a HOAX gig. Who are in the core group though?
B We don’t treat it like that. We’re not a group. We’re not a group of musicians. We’re not really a collective. It’s more of a culture, movement type thing – whoever’s involved is involved.
N HOAX Vision can be anything, anyone, anywhere. The internet!
B The people who produce their shit like Dái-Kan and Orang Malaya, we just got to know them and then we hooked up, became friends, they made music with us, we helped them out, gave them a platform to promote their shit. It’s not an exclusive thing where this group of musicians is under this group called HOAX. We don’t really have a core group, but we do have certain people who we promote because we’re close to them and they do it with us. They’re like Dái-Kan, Orang Malaya, Afaro, Aliuddin, and the newest one is ZSYIA. She studies in Johor by the way.
N A lot of people, you just mentioned a few.
B That’s the group of musicians, we have other people who help us for the fuck of it cause they like HOAX. But yeah, essentially we’re not really a group.

HO4X will feature live bands as well. Are you guys expanding to beyond just electronic music or is this a one-off thing?
N That really depends because Farhan won’t be here for HO4X, he’ll be leaving for Berlin a week before. That sucks, he’s being an idiot. (Note: Farhan has since left for Berlin)
B Okay, that’s not a point (laughs). The answer to that question; it’s not a genre-specific thing. HOAX is not really electronic, it’s more the future of music, the future of what kids are gonna fuck with. If they’re gonna fuck with Jaggfuzzbeats, folk rock shit, they fuck with that. We just don’t want any old attitude…
N … no old attitude, that’s accurate! Cause we have seniors in the scene as well, like Mushroom Buttons and DJ Biggie. Shout out to the HO4X lineup, you guys are great for agreeing to do this. It’s like a pro bono thing but it’s not, because people are buying tickets – we are not making any profit, trust us, we’re not! (Laughs)

You guys seem big on ATL, so are we. Who are some of your favourite acts from that scene and what is it about Atlanta that’s so reinvigorating to the rap game?
B Young Thug
N Gucci Mane, guwop!
B Waka Flocka.
N I don’t like Waka Flocka (someone shouts “Fuck!” in the background), Makonnen’s okay.
B Makonnen, Father, the whole Awful Records, Future, Mike WiLL Made-It.
Everyone Metro boomin wants some more, nigga!
B London on da Track, 808 Mafia.
N Sonny Digital, Peewee Longway… who the fuck else? So many… T.I.!
B I don’t fuck with T.I., [I like] more off the wall stuff. We don’t really fuck with Childish Gambino kinda shit. You get the attitude and culture of Atlanta because they’re more, “Fuck you guys, we’re doing our own shit.” Right now, the big thing about Atlanta is that people are treating it like the new punk cause of all the DIY shit, especially Awful Records, they’re doing it themselves; they’re recording their music themselves, they’re recording their videos themselves, they’re doing their gigs and tours by themselves. So why can’t we do that shit? We don’t need no corporate labels or anything like that to help us out do that. Shout out to Atlanta and the kids in general.
N Oh yeah, Big Boi, Andre 3000. You forgot to mention them because you’re young and you don’t want to accept old people! Outkast, we love you. Shout out ATL!

React to these words accordingly:

Wrist, wrist, wrist, wrist… 
B I hurt my fucking wrist doing donuts in the six!
N Got my wrists so cold, pneumonia in my fist. Whoever that is not familiar with that term, please get out of your cave.

Everyone Honja x23
N Bastard wants to flip a table… he just flipped a table. Shouts out to Slug Christ.
B Fucking Slug Christ is amazing, he’s a white boy, a skinny white boy with a fucking mullet, weird ass facial hair, and he made a song with Keith Ape from Korea. Whatever the fuck he does is dope as shit and it’s new. Shouts out to the drugs he’s taking.

Still on the subject of rap, what do you have to say to supposed ‘real hip hoppers’ who are hating on cats like Young Thug and Gucci Mane?
B Gucci Mane is old (laughs), by the way. He’s been making hits! What was the question again? Fuck old people, fuck old attitude. Mushroom Buttons – I’m not saying he’s that old, because he’s awesome, but he knows what’s gonna pop and what’s going on. [He] just treats new music with an open mind and shit (N Jason’s old, dude). Young Thug is exactly the same as Lil Wayne, and Lil Wayne has been making hits for your clubs since I don’t even know when.
N Just adapt and accept!
B Young Thug is awesome, and Gucci.
N Shout out to Gucci, free Gucci!
B Free Guwop!

Imagine the GoPro thief is reading this, leave a note to him.
B Fuck you. Dude, that wasn’t even ours. That was a friend’s friend’s one, it was a fucking borrowed GoPro. HOAX 2 was the only time we ever made profit and it wasn’t even enough to cover back the GoPro, we used that money to buy the new one. Fuck you, you don’t understand our feelings; we do this shit for you and you take our shit and make it harder for us to serve you guys new music, fuck you. Can JUICE swear? Can they write fuck?
N I don’t really care.
B Fuck you, GoPro thief.
N Go somewhere else. I hope your mother masturbates with the GoPro, I hope that happens.
B I hope we don’t ever know who the fuck you are, cause if it ends up being one of our close friends, whoever…
N … I would actually punch you in the face. Your mother sucks!

HO4X will go down on Saturday 15 August ’15 at Black Box, Publika.