We here at Neue believe that every person out there has a story to tell.

This week, we’ll find out What’s Neue with Kurapak, one of Brunei’s most popular social media influencers.

The Neue team recently sat down with him for a #Neue9to5 interview at Avenue 41 in Kiarong.

Check out the video below to find out what he had to say:

The full transcript of our interview with Kurapak is as follows:

Part 1 Of #Neue9to5 Interview: First 9 Questions

#1. The name ‘Kurapak’. What’s that?

Kurapak was founded in 2006. Actually, it’s a long story. But I will shorten it for you.

Back in 2006, my father asked me if I could help him set up a blog as my background was IT-related.

I was given just a day to set up the blog, which I later named ‘Kurapak’.

Why Kurapak?

This is because when we were kids, my father would tell us bedtime stories. So, the name ‘Kurapak’.#2. How has your life changed after ‘Kurapak’?

For me, I was not personally aware of the gradual changes (as a social media influencer) in my life.

But I can tell you that it did change the way I intereact with others as I have to maintain the (Kurapak) image and brand.

#3. What was your proudest social media post?

I can’t exactly pinpoint a particular one but there are lots.

For me, I wouldn’t say ‘proud’ … but what’s important is the result of the posts.

#4. The Internet can be a very cruel place. How do you deal with the ‘haters’ online?

Ah! The haters! Yeah, actually I love my haters. They are one of my main ‘backbones’ in doing this advertising business of mine.

It’s like the English saying, “Bad publicity is good publicity.”

Thank you guys! Thank you haters! I love you … mini love.#5. Bad publicity is good publicity. Thoughts?

For me, this is a secret. Don’t tell people … we’ll keep it among ourselves, okay?

This is part and parcel of the media world. So for me before I start anything, I have to learn how to make people happy, how to make people angry, how to make people feel sorry … or how to basically evoke any type of feeling.

So we must know how to ‘spark’ (trigger) people’s feelings (emotions).

#6. What is something that you wished people understood more about social media influencers like yourself?

Ok guys! This is one of the most important things you must know.

In truth, my platform ‘Kurapak’ is not 100% real (as it seems). Actually a lot of it was ‘set up’ (staged). For example, if my clients want something funny and their target audience is of a certain type. Then, for this instance, I would have to produce content for this specific group of people.

So this is why a lot of people are confused about my style. Like one minute I am seen as someone who is pious. Other times, I would act matured or childish, etc.#7. The future of media is digital. Thoughts?

This is also important for everyone actually. It is important for everyone is to be in tune with the times. It’s like back then we started with (social networking sites) like ‘Friendster’ and then ‘Community Zero’.

Now, imagine if we had just stopped right there and never bothered to move on adopt new technology or tools. There are those who still prefer to stick with traditional media like newspapers or billboards.

But if we are able to embrace all forms of media platforms, we’ll be able to tap into a wider audience.#8. What advice do you have for anyone who has dreams of becoming a social media influencer?

If you guys can do what I’m doing now … for me, I would say try not to rise to the top too fast. Because if you start straight at the top, the fall will also be quick.

For myself, I started from the bottom (being an underdog) and slowly made my way up and then fell … and then kept on working my way up … down … up … down …

Before all this, I would only do this (Kurapak) thing part-time. Back then, when I had an office job, I was not able to do this (Kurapak) thing full-time.

It was only in 2016 when I decided to start from scratch with my good friend, ‘Aliq From Brunei’ (@aliqpombunai), who’s actually with me here on the set today. We both started from ZERO! And we slowly worked our way up. Back then our rates were not that high … 10 dollars, 20 dollars, 50 dollars at most. But nowadays, well …#9.Who means a lot to you in your life?

For me, someone who means a lot to me in my life would have to be none other than my late mom. This is because my late mom taught me what the meaning of … she taught me the true meaning of patience (‘kesabaran’ in Malay). I think I can’t continue on (with this question).

(Photos courtesy of Kurapak)

Part 2 Of #Neue9to5 Interview: Last 5 Questions

#1. Once COVID-19 is under control around the world, where would you like to spend a vacation and why?

Apart from holidays. another thing that is very important to me is visiting my in-laws in London. So I’m going to bring my family and of course, my sidekick, ‘Aliq From Brunei’.

#2. Please share with us a memorable or funny moment you experienced during your travels.

There’s a lot! There’s a lot! One of my favourite moments would have to be when we were in Russia.

Davai! Davai! Russia! It was during the World Cup that we travelled there.

There are too many things to tell.

Maybe you guys can DM me or to go my IG and ask me from there!#3. What does it take to have a food ‘Kurapak-approved’?

This is a very good question. Ok guys! In truth, I’m not a food reviewer, ok? I’m just a lifestyle blogger to be exact. But yeah, we do dabble with travel from time to time. We are ‘hype creators’.

#4. Tell us something surprising about yourself.

I consider myself lucky. Alhamdulillah, I got the name ‘Kurapak’.

Because back then, no one seemed interested in that name. Maybe it’s because the word is “too Bruneian”.

Back then, when people hear a word associated with Brunei, they (may seem less interested). But you are wrong roy … you are wrong! This is because my background is in marketing and branding. So even when it comes to working on videos such as this I’ve studied all this back in university.#5. The floor is all yours. What would you like to say to our Neue readers out there?

Ok! To everyone who is watching this and if this is your first time meeting me, I just want to say … If you do see me acting crazy on Instagram, I just want to come clean that it’s all an act.

Truthfully, I’m a nice person. It’s true! If you were to meet me in person, you’ll see a different side. Those who truly know me like close friends, business owners or marketing people … they’ll know that what I do is not real. All I’m really doing is creating hype.

So if any of you think that the things I’ve done are harsh (or if I had inadvertedly offended you), I would like to say sorry. It was never my intention to hurt anyone. It’s just that my job required me to do so.

Come on! It’s a job! I have to eat too, okay? I have to provide for my wife, milk for my kid … Goat milk … Faleeq. My kid drinks that. I also drink milk, but a different one … Dutch Lady.Nominate the next #Neue9to5 interviewee

Who would you like Neue to interview next? You can drop in your nominations by getting in touch with the Neue team via e-mail Lance.Thoo@Hoco.Agency or WhatsApp +6738124126.