COOL KL 2020: kekabumi On Telling Personal Stories

Text and Interview Aina Nur Sarah Photography Arifah Hadirah Styling Lim Lee Ann Art Direction Keisha Ryman Wardrobe Talent’s Own Videography Lucas Moujing


The ladies of kekabumi. L-R: Lyla, Connie, Nani, Kasih, Lizzie, Jipa and Mimi.

In this 2020 edition of COOL KL, we look to individuals making a change creatively and the youth who are impacting society in every way. 

Storytelling is an art of its own. Painting a picture/scene in one’s mind, letting the plot flow through with words while conveying emotions isn’t an easy feat. But kekabumi does it effortlessly. 

The creative collective started off as a passion project initiated in 2017 by Lizzie Zany, Lylatul Qadrina, Jo Yee and Jipa. The collective’s aim was simple, to express themselves creatively out of work– to create original features, collaborate and provide creative services across disciplines.


It’s a sisterhood


The key to great storytelling? Vulnerability. Scroll through kekabumi’s site and you’ll be presented with an array of stories that’ll intrigue and tug at your heartstrings. Our favourites, ‘Stories About Women from Women’, a collection of stories for International Women’s Day — it’s simple, yet filled with anecdotes that linger in your mind and ‘retrospection: 19 going on 20’, a poem that touches on the love we give ourselves and have been given over the years. 



How you’ve so fiercely loved this world and the people in it.


How fiercely this world and the people in it love and continue to love


With all the noise in the world, everyone’s looking for something real. “Vulnerability has this real graceful strength to seek genuineness in expression,” they explain. 



What’s the creative process like?

Each of us has a different role in the collective and we have a bi-weekly meeting that we try to attend religiously despite day-job commitments. Usually, we’d bounce off ideas on the go but now when we sit together in a room, we stay on point as much as we can. 

It’s crazy how much work we can sort out in just two hours! And if there’s a shape we could use to represent our creative process — it would be a circle because we are on a roll!


What’s the one message you hope people take when they come across Kekabumi?

We don’t think there’s a specific underlying message. We’re here to tell stories through different projects and want to be remembered for great storytelling.

As storytellers, it’s no surprise that kekabumi has a killer eye for visuals. They’ve worked with an array of local artistes like Lunadira, Spooky Wet Dreams and Jetcetera. 


What’s one project you’ve done that’s your absolute favourite?

We love all our projects but most recent would be “21st Century Spy” for Lust! It was our first time producing a music video and we handled everything from pre to post-production. Shout out to them and the band, Spooky Wet Dreams! Spooky Wet Dreams has been significant in our creative growth. We did their album campaign, from visuals to designing their uniform. Thanks to them we had our first installation at their album launch in The Bee under Urbanscapes.



Your pieces are very personal, do you think vulnerability plays a role in expressing one’s creativity?

Definitely, we feel that being vulnerable is being real with yourself and others, and everyone’s looking for something real. Vulnerability has this real graceful strength to seek genuineness in expression.