Zim Ahmadi



What do you do?

I’m a music journalist interested in documenting the subcultures and countercultures of Malaysia while tracing those communities to the time and place they represent. I’m also a highly adaptive writer – from writing press releases for artists to op-ed essays and poetry. As a part-time job, I was a debate coach and a public speaking instructor for high school and university students. Currently finishing my MA in Critical Media & Cultural Studies.

Why do you do what you do and how do you convince people that you love what you do?

I believe there is art not only within its creation but also its context and criticisms. If art is the creation of mirrors, what is reflected is equally as important.  It’s important not to let these reflections of culture fade under the ebb-and-flow of capitalism, political upheaval, and/or hate. It’s extremely intriguing and enlightening to see why tastes change and what aesthetic preferences remain the same. I convince people I love what I do by showing them my work for Awful Track Record and The Daily Seni including all the interviews I’ve done with so many creatives I admire. I also just reveal my true colors when people talk to me about movies and music, where I’m more interested in listening to their perspective than to impose mine. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I talk a lot, and you can usually tell when I’m really into something lol.

What’s your birth chart and which one do you resonate most with?

My sun is Virgo. My moon is Aquarius. The former.

What’s your best skill, and one skill that you wish you had?

Writing. Video editing.

What’s a quintessential signature you that many can be familiar with?

Unkempt hair, plaid shirts, and the inexplicable combination of being the most talkative person in the room while also being the shiest. The guy you call when you need some extra brains in a trivia game. I know I’m probably not that complicated but I also don’t have any part about me that’s a ‘signature’ or a ‘signifier’? Wait, lemme ask my friends. Oh, they say it’s how I curl my hair when I’m nervous.

How did you get to where you are now and what were some of the fall backs that you had to go through?

By graduating from law school and realizing I don’t want to live my life just for stable income anymore, so I pursued the dream I used to have when I was 14 – to write about music. Then around 2017, I was lucky enough to be given the chance at the Daily Seni, an art & culture portal, which stoked my curiosity for all form’s arts and humanities in Malaysia. With support and love from my family and friends is another answer to that first question. Some of the fallbacks I’ve experienced include my long slump of unemployment after graduating law school, having to separate my personal identity from my professional identity in many occasions, my general lack of motivation, the death of my favourite uncle.

What’s your favorite photo in your gallery and why?

My sisters, Aisyah and Atiqah, shaped my creative passion, my sense of confidence, and my most reliable support system. I love them with my whole heart. They are, in a way, my oldest friends. When home can sometimes be a version of purgatory, they were always there for me.

What’s your pet peeve?

People who interrupt other people for absolutely no reason other than their own impatience.

Describe to us what your ideal collaboration and client is. Also, who would you want to work with?

A project to archive and document the history of experimental music in Malaysia involving a collaboration between Arkib Negara and Projek Rabak (and other art collectives, someone like Kamal Sabran maybe)

How should one approach you to working together?

Email me at awfultrackrecord@gmail.com / zimahmadi@ and then we’ll chat over text or a video call! Most preferred way to contact via social media is Instagram