WANTED: A TALL, BEARDED MUSCLE MAN, PLEASE !
WITH A NEW SINGLE AND ALBUM, SOUTH ASIAN-AUSTRALIAN ARTIST SIKI DAHA IS READY TO TAKE HIS MUSIC TO THE NEXT LEVEL. A THROBBING-HOT BOYFRIEND WOULD NOT BE OUT OF THE QUESTION, EITHER! INTERVIEW BY MARC ANDREWS
DNA: What have you been up to since last time we spoke to you?
Siki Daha: I took a break after my last album, Love Or Logic, and have been running amok and having a ball. I travelled to Pakistan, Vanuatu and backpacked around Asia. I spent most of the year taking time out for myself. You made a big splash in our pages when you first appeared.
Firstly, thank you for giving me the opportunity. For years I’d dreamt about being the first Pakistani to be featured in DNA. Your blog and social media pages were gracious enough to recognise we had made a bit of history so I’m truly grateful for that. Let’s talk Sydney, the city and Sydney, your new song. Why create a song about Sydney’s dramatically shrinking nightlife? A lot of people are trying to fight the good fight [to save Sydeny’s nightlife] by getting rid of the new lockout laws for starters. On top of that, we have the fight for marriage equality and more recent government bodies trying to make abortion illegal. Sydney has been my home for most of my life. I’ve travelled the world, but nowhere compares to the beauty, depth and history this city has. I wanted to talk about what is going on and, through the lyrics of the song, bring to life the diversity, beauty and people who represent this city.
What should Sydney do to get its shine back? Listen to the people! The government don’t
seem to care much about what the people have to say. It’s time for a change so it can be the vibrant city it once was.
What’s been the reaction to the song so far? Amazing. I’ve had nothing but awesome and positive reviews so far.
You have a new album on the way too. Talk us through that.
The new album is titled Emerson. It’s named after Pauline Emerson who has been in my life for the last 15 years. She has been like another mother to me and helped me in so many ways. The album talks about addiction, politics, peace, relationships, the gay world and, of course, love. This is my most challenging album so far vocally and lyrically, so I am super excited to get it out.
Do you see yourself competing in the singles charts against the big names?
I’m just happy to get recognition as an independent artist and have people hear my music and recognise me as an artist. I want to get a publishing deal, a distribution deal, take over the world and change it along the way. Not too difficult, right [laughs]? Would you ever do a reality TV show?
I want to say no, but never say never [laughs].
Let’s get sexy. What turns you on the most?
A huge, throbbing… tall man with a beard who goes to gym and takes care of himself! Mentally, someone who is goal-driven, honest and loving. That’s very attractive, and pretty simple, yet still hard to find. I feel like I’m filling out my Grindr profile all over again [laughs].
We’re getting a seriously single vibe from you… are you attached, or looking for love in all the wrong places?
Not attached but definitely questioning how and where I meet men sometimes. Some guys are off on their own planet, so it’s hard to meet your equal but I won’t give up.
What’s your best/worst feature?
I’m constantly working on myself, physically and mentally.
At the beach – would we see you in speedos, boardshorts or naked?
Naked or speedos. I’ve only recently gotten into speedos and into being naked because who doesn’t want to flop out their thing and run free?
When did you come out to your family?
When I was 17 and it was the best thing I ever did. It’s still rare for men who are Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern or Arabic to be openly gay and have not brought shame onto their family. I feel it’s important, as someone who is out in public, to discuss these things, to let others know it’s okay and moving forward it will always be okay.
In that respect, does that make you feel like a trailblazer or a role model?
At this point in time I would say neither. I’m just a guy from Perth trying to show the world that you carve your own lane, and ride the wave as long as you believe in yourself and keep your sense of self in check.
What issues are important to you and worth fighting for?
At this point in time, through my song Sydney, bringing to light Sydney’s lockout laws is superimportant. I hope to achieve that along with giving everyone equal rights. It’s 2017 in Australia and we are still fighting for issues that should have been resolved five or ten years back.
You are getting better and sexier with age. Discuss…
[Laughs] That is very kind, thank you. I’m just trying to take care of myself the best way I know how.
If you were one of the contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race who would it be?
[Laughs] I love RuPaul and all he stands for. His story as a drag/music star is such an inspiration as someone who carved their own lane.
What’s something that might surprise people about you?
I recently travelled to Pakistan to do my very first documentary about The Tarik Kamal Foundation. It’s called Siki Daha: A Journey Through The Slums Of Islamabad.
Anything important we’ve missed?
Can you find me a tall, bearded muscle man [laughs]? Yes, we can! But, meanwhile, what’s your message to the readers of DNA?
Don’t sit on your ass waiting for opportunities to come your way. Make shit happen. Know your worth and make that change.
The new album talks about addiction, politics, peace, relationships, the gay world and, of course, love.