The Hirzi Show, Act 2, Solo Chapter
One of the hottest names in the local YouTube/entertainment scene. CATCH interviewed Hirzi Zulkiflie to find out what his future plans are after going solo
Written by Kimberly Ann De Silva | Photographs By Hirzi Zulkiflie
If you’ve not heard, Munah and Hirzi are going their separate ways. After a decade together as one of the biggest duos in the local YouTube scene, they’ve established themselves as individual acts. This coupled with their clever and candid mix of incorporating humour while addressing current issues.
For the uninitiated, several key achievements of the duo include, writing for the “The Hossan Leong Show - Flying Solo”, to starring in “Happily Ever Laughter”, hosting their very own Suria television show titled “Munah & Hirzi: Action!” and a collaboration with The History Channel network.
As the saying goes, “All good things must come to an end”, Hirzi Zulkiflie, 29, is embarking on his transition to a solo artiste and comedian.
Now known as Hirzi Zulkiflie, he said: “It’s a change, for once you are responsible for your own branding and not the collective branding of you and your partner.”
He elaborated: “There are things you miss about your partner and then there are just things you learn about yourself all over again. Your sense of self becomes heightened.”
Hirzi and Munah have known each other since their polytechnic days when they first started making videos together. It has been a memorable chapter for the duo, however, they felt it was the right time to embark and pursue their individual interests.
For Hirzi, it was clear that he wanted to continue in the comedy scene and to do more stand-up gigs. He said: “Comedians have the longest shelf life. I have such a strong sense of my character that it would be silly to keep it out of whatever endeavours I pursue post Munah Hirzi.”
“Beyoncé is forever introducing new things to how people would otherwise consume their art form, that’s something I’d like to take after her. Whatever she does once, I will attempt to recreate in my capacity,” Hirzi continued, citing his Hari Raya parody of Lemonade and Pink Dot Homage as inspired by Beyoncé’s Lemonade music video and Beychella performance.
Beychella referring to Beyoncé’s spectacular and explosive headlining set at Coachella earlier this year. She made history by being the first black woman to headline at the festival.
Apart from Beyoncé, Hirzi also draws inspiration ranging from Charlie Chaplin, to Harvey Milk to P Ramlee.
Having been in the entertainment scene for a while now, Hirzi gives his honest and raw thoughts on it. “It’s so exhausting and frustrating in Singapore. I think many are still not bold enough to explore new ingenuity,” he said.
He went on to explain that old narratives and formats that have been done before are still being rehashed. It has become boring and “it seems we are working in the parody field instead of the creative and entertainment field”.
Referring to himself, he added that it is also a tough feat for a ‘”brown minority” kid who is born from the heartlands attempting to make it as “we are often unnoticed in the entertainment scene”. Having overcome the odds stacked against him, he said: “Unless you’re from a certain class, or part of the large majority race, you can almost immediately assume you’re running a rat race with a broken leg in this scene.”
When asked where he sees himself in five years’ time, Hirzi said: “Hopefully, I’m a little more assured of myself in the industry. Who I am, my reach, and my audience.”
He added: “I want to be a household name that transcends online presence to live shows. I want to bring all these young Internet crowd to the stage and get them to experience the evolution of my works in a different platform altogether.”
“I’ve learnt from going solo, that there are other dynamics and artistic chemistry I haven’t explored,” said Hirzi on what he aims to achieve.
As for now, Hirzi has plenty of projects that he is working on, such as a web series with Benjamin Kheng of The Sam Willows called ‘The Benzi Project’, a BBC reality travel show as well as hosting stand-up gigs once a month. He is also working on a big milestone project that will be announced some time in January next year.