Tell us about yourself.
Hi! my name is Shaiful but people just call me Shy! Even though I'm not really shy in person. I’m a photographer based in Singapore. I live and breathe anything that's community driven! I’m obsessed with people and a shutterbug, documenting anyone I meet given the opportunity.

Tell us about the inspiration behind this shoot.
For this shoot I wanted to highlight the two individuals in the photos by placing them in environments that’s familiar to their upbringing. The models, Alif (barber) and Deon (creative) both growing up in Singapore, a city that has a rich mix of cultures and heritage which reflects on the landscape. Shot along Telok Ayer Street famous for their (still intact) Tian Hock Keng Temple which is just a few shophouses away from Al-Abrar Mosque. Both sites still stand through the test of time. Telok Ayer Street nowadays is famous for being an epicentre for restaurants, bars and even barbershops and specialised gyms. All in the middle of the city district of Singapore. Even though Singapore is a first world modern country, historic places like Telok Ayer still preserve the heritage of its people.



What else are you interested in? 
Other than photography, I'm a sucker for good live music, and attending gigs be it live local bands or DJ sets. I’m also a chess enthusiast, and I run a local Chess club with my friends! We aim to break the barrier of intimidation and make chess accessible to everyone. Lastly, my favourite pastime is to cycle and people watch while listening to music, committing to a specific album anytime I ride so that my whole environment becomes a music video 😂


Who inspires you?
My current influences are a few people. First up, Tyler the Creator. He’s unapologetically himself and has built his whole world around him, from music to fashion, shoes and even fragrance, slowly making an empire without ever compromising his style. Second, rapper Lupe Fiasco who, just like Tyler, is a Grammy winning rapper, entrepreneur and creative. I’ve been a fan of his since his younger days when he had his big break moment featuring on Kanye West’s song "Touch the Sky". Lupe’s never ending strive to be honest never fails to inspire me. His refusal to conform to his Record Label at the time, only wanting to release music he’s proud of, resulted in hacker group “Anonymous” threatening Atlantic records who then released his album Lasers. That whole saga inspired me to always stay true to my art, even if the masses don’t understand you.

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