It’s all fun and games having a sister or brother to play with growing up, until one of them attacks the other spraying insecticide from a Shieldtox aerosol bottle, and the latter retaliates by punching the former sibling in the mouth.
“There were a lot of physical bonding, growing up,” comments Fariz, the youngest of the lot, and the recipient of said insecticide onslaught from his sister Aida. Their constant brawls when they were much younger would be interjected by the eldest Salleh, Reza, when it got too much — or too noisy, perhaps, to be left at its own demise.
Fortunately, such “domestic violence” did not persist in the Salleh household as they grew older — a by product of many regular family trips overseas to theme parks, zoos and aquariums, which have helped strengthen the bond among the siblings, and perhaps even nurtured a closeness as well as admiration towards one another as adults.
“In terms of core characteristics, I believe we are all very similar, when it comes to how we feel about achievement or hard work, how things affect us, either positively or negatively,” Reza says.
“Sometimes, when I see Fariz and how he goes about his own business, he would remind me of how I used to be as well. Same goes for when I see how Aida reacts to certain affairs, and how they are matters I can relate to,” he adds. “Despite on a more superficial level, which we can seem quite different to people who barely know us, but when it comes down to it, we are all the same.”
The renowned singer/songwriter has been making headways in the local music scene since 2000, performing his mix of folk rock, pop, grunge, jazz and blues, together with his band of sessionists, while providing a platform to the younger and upcoming musicians with musical series, such as Feedback, The Homemade Open Mic Show at The Bee, Publika.
In a way, you could say that Reza has been, for the last 18 years, paving a road for his younger brother, who has recently became more active in the music scene with Battle Bloom, his own indie band.
“I’m very blessed to have Reza, as well as the many people in the local music scene to mentor me on my music career,” says Fariz, whose carbon copy likeness and cheeky nature have on more than one occasion prompted him to carry on conversations with strangers thinking he is Reza and having a laugh about it with his brother backstage shortly after.
“The advice I’ve received on building my stage performance, and better interactions with the crowd, as well as feedback on my songwriting… those are very valuable things to me as a musician.”
For his other sibling, on the other hand, who has found a career as a creative entrepreneur, Reza has instead sage wisdom to imbue, which Aida still lives by for Sunnyside Up Market till today: “In order for you to survive as a self-employed person, you need to service some three to five big clients at the same time, who will always tell you to do something you don’t necessarily like to do, but will realistically, keep you afloat, only to take on the smaller and lower budgeted projects that you may like better.”
The 10-year-old advice has permitted the three-day curated community market at Slate At The Row to persevere over the last six years, drawing in homegrown labels such as Yoke & Theam, Fleuri Flowers and Boru.
“He has given me a lot of life lessons that have saved me from a lot of mistakes I might have done, when I was my younger and naïve self,” Aida acclaims. “He is my sensible arm, my logical arm. I never would’ve survived growing up without Reza.”
Selamat Hari Raya from the Salleh siblings!! Maaf zahir batin ✨ (yes my mother stuffed one too many ketupats down my throat) (yes I’m about to fall asleep at any time thus needing my brothers for support) #sallehsiblingscelebrate (and super duper thanks to @casseygan for dressing me in my festive suits this year!)
A post shared by Aida Salleh (@aidaaaasalleh) on
“My other brother, on the other hand, teaches me a lot about human compassion,” Aida says about Fariz, with whom she used to get into fights with when they were younger. “Countless times, he has taught me patience, kindness, understanding, and looking at things from another perspective other than your own.”
“As much as he’s cheeky, sarcastic and naughty, he’s really baik. I would recommend him to any parent with a daughter to marry off!” Reza chimes in about Fariz with a laugh. “Sure, he’s going to be a bit annoying from time to time, but his heart is in the right place.”
“What I like about us is how selfless and reliant we are to one another,” Fariz adds. “When any of us needs the others most, whenever or wherever we are, we will just drop everything that we’re doing, and come to one other’s aid.”
Photography by Kimmun / Hopscotch Studio
Videography by Andrew Loh
Art Direction by Joyce Lim
Makeup by Joey Yap, Wanning and Rachel Wong
Hair by Derren Fong / Shawn Cutler