KUCHING PEEPS: Have you met… Kiyoshi?
The Kuching Peeps series is about getting to know our home-grown inspiring individuals by asking them all sorts of questions, shuffling from the basics, the intense, the thought-provoking and the just plain random; all through an e-mail.By Karen Chin @karenevachin
WHEN KIYOSHI first appeared on the airwaves, his name was an attention-grabber for me. I thought, “Who is this Japanese dude hitzFM hired? Did they create a fictional character to spice up their shows? What sorcery is this?!”
Turns out, Kiyoshi is an actual, real live person (he’s dating singer-songwriter Ezriana Razali who gigs with me every once in a while). He gives off a skater-boy vibe – cool and chill – and is extremely humble and nice (this adjective makes it sound like I have no better word to describe him, but ‘nice’ is really the most accurate word).
Well, that is just my opinion. Read on for the online interview with hitzFM Kuching radio announcer Kiyoshi, and I dare you not to love him!
Please state your full name, age, place of birth.
Name: Kiyoshi Aihara.
Age: I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours ;p
Place of Birth: Singapore.
You have an exotic name there, I am sure many have asked you before, tell me about your roots.
“Exotic” is definitely one way to describe it among other things. I just call it messed-up (in a good way). I really hope you have time because this is going to be LONG and COMPLICATED.
I remember it just like it was yesterday; when bellbottoms, scrunchies and disco music reigned supreme. At that time, my dad Steven Satoru Aihara (of Japanese/American descent) was working right here in Sarawak and so was my mom, Molly Johar, who is of Malay/Chinese descent (who also happens to be my favourite!) Some might call me a “mummy‘s boy”, but hey, if I can’t love my mum who can I love? She carried me for 9 months in her belly, and that’s some amazing stuff right there!!
(A big shout out to my parents for taking time out of their busy schedules to “make” me! Love you loads!)
So here is my long and “complicated” (but most definitely interesting life story). I was born in Singapore but I’m a Malaysian citizen. My family moved around a lot for a couple of years due to work until they finally made Kuching our home.
Given my racial background, growing up back then wasn’t really a walk in the park, but because of that and the diversity in Sarawak, I became the person that I am today and I’m really grateful for that.
(Shout out to all the schools that molded me even though I was a handful at times; Ong Tiang Swee Primary School, Batu Lintang School, Maktab Rendah Sains Mara and Tunku Putra International School!)
Since I was the only child, things can get pretty boring at times, so whenever I had the chance to make or meet new friends I’m there like white on rice. I guess you could say that contributed to this MOUTH of mine.
I’m pretty sure you’re dozing off, if not already asleep reading this so, I’m going to do you a favour and stop right here. If you feel like I’ve missed out anything that you would REALLY want to know, the next time you bump into me, fire those questions away! 🙂
Do you like your own name?
I wasn’t given much of a choice, was I? If you google the meaning “kiyoshi”, you’d be surprised! LOL
What about work? What do you do and where?
In a nutshell, I talk into a microphone (hitzFM radio announcer) for a living; sometimes by myself (which is not weird at all) but most of the time I will have my partner-in-crime Meng and we host the hitzFM Drive-Thru show, every weekday from 4pm to 8pm.
It’s pretty much a party with only the both of us and it gets pretty out of hand at times considering we’re two boys locked inside a room for 4 hours. You can expect a lot of celebrity gossip, music to suit your mood or even get you in the mood, and a whole bunch of randomness!
When did you start and how did you get the job?
I started working at hitzFM in mid-2012 and I got the job just like any other job out there; I went for an interview ;p
How was your first day as a radio announcer?
The feeling was like going to school for the very first time but multiply the excitement level by 100!
Give the public an insider’s view, what’s a typical work day like?
I’ll sum it up in a song, “Ylvis – What Does The Fox Say”. That’s a typical day at the office.
Are you naturally a conversationalist (made for the job) or did you have to practice and develop skills for it?
Well, you definitely NEED to have the kind of ‘social-butterfly’ personality where when you’re put in a roomful of strangers, you’re able to connect and make conversations. Once you’ve got that in the bag, that’s only half the job done because just like everything else in life, with proper guidance and practice it all falls in place!
Best and worst experience on the job?
Best experience would have to be the time I freaked Greyson Chance out in 2012 when he was here in Kuching for the HitzFM Birthday Invasion.
The worst would have to be when I ran head-first into a door and it was captured on video. The door and I haven’t spoken since then. You can check out the video on the Hitz Sarawak instagram page!
What are the weirdest things fans have done?
I do not consider myself having fans unless, you’re talking about “kipas” which in that case there this one time, I turned the switch on but the fan wasn’t there. That was really weird. *joke fail*
But seriously though, I do not consider myself having fans. They’re more like friends that I haven’t met yet and for that I appreciate the support, because if not for them I wouldn’t be doing what I love.
How have things changed for you with your family and friends, since you became a public figure?
The most obvious thing off the top of my head right now would probably be the fact that I have a job as opposed to not having one? LOL
When the news finally got out, my friends and family were really supportive and proud, and of course, there’s the occasional tease but its all in good fun. As to being a “public figure”, I’m still the same guy as I was before I joined hitz.FM. I feel that everyone including YOU reading this right now is a “public figure”. The biggest public figures in my books are the parents.
If you could interview one person for your show, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Akira Toriyama the creator of Doraemon. I mean, what was he on? A cat with no ears pulling out unimaginable things from his pouch? ‘Nuff said!
Tell your most embarrassing moment in your work.
To most people it would be embarrassing but I loved every second of it. Also, it was all for charity! It all began with Meng and I trying to see who is fitter so we had a public showdown at The Spring shopping mall. We each had our own team and the team with the least registrations had to run in their boxers in the mall.
Guess who the lucky loser was 🙂
5 years ago, what did you think you would be working as now?
To be honest, this is going to sound bonkers, I thought I was going to be some top DJ travelling and playing at the biggest festivals around the world, no joke. But instead of that, I got something MUCH better. So if things do not go as plan, don’t panic, it just means life has got something better in store for you!
What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
Skateboarding and just chillaxing at home watching movies
Describe yourself 10 years from now.
Hopefully still alive, living it up in a huge mansion somewhere in the Caribbean!
If you were a superhero, what powers would you have?
Is there anything about the opposite sex that you just can’t comprehend?
How about everything, like how many outfit changes does one have to go through before deciding on one or why do you need all those pair of shoes that you don’t even use?
What was the best live concert you have ever been to?
I wouldn’t consider it the best concert but it was definitely the most memorable one. It was the time Hoobastank came down to Kuala Lumpur and my mom really wanted to go so she dragged me along. Just remembering my mom head-banging with me in the mosh-pit still cracks me up until today!
What’s the best piece of advice someone has given you?
Treat others how you would like to be treated!
You are walking to work. There is a dog drowning in the drain on the side of the street. Your boss told you if you are late one more time, you are fired. Do you save the dog?
I’ll save the dog with my “teleportation” powers, killing 2 birds with one stone!
What do you think of social media and do you publicize or privatize yours?
Social media is like a weapon, when in the wrong hands it could do damage beyond repair but it also could be used for the greater good of humanity. To answer your question, its public!
How can we stalk you then? 😛
Instagram – keeyushee
Twitter – kiyoshi aihara
Facebook – kiyoshi hitz
Thanks so much to Kiyoshi for being such a sport and answering these questions! Kuching is proud of you and wishes you lots of awesome blessings in your life and lots, lots more adventures to come!
Thank you for inspiring us!Photo credits: Kiyoshi Aihara