“I’m an account executive at a tech startup, but for me – and I’m sure it’s the same for you and many others out there – a day job is just a day job; it funds my other passions. At night, I’m a DJ at a club called Empire, but I’m also training to be a pro wrestler on the side.

I’ve been a DJ since I was 18, so it’s been about 10 years now. I did try deejaying full-time, but that life is not for everyone. I realised that if you keep doing something for the money, you’ll start to lose that spark. That’s why I’m limiting myself to playing only twice a week.

Your body is also naturally awake in the day and asleep at night, but it’s the reverse when you’re a DJ. I thought that’s not good for me in the long run, so I only play on weekends now. I believe less is more sometimes.

Pro wrestling was something I got into a few years ago. I’ve been a wrestling fan ever since I was a kid. I remember falling in love with all of these larger-than-life characters with rockstar personalities, so as the pro scene started getting bigger in Singapore, I signed up with Grapple MAX.

My wrestling character is called Party Starter. He wears white tights and obnoxious gold knee pads. He’s a babyface, which is what you call the good guys in wrestling. He even has his own entrance music.

It’s an original my friend produced specially for my character. The music plays as soon as I step out from behind the curtains, and that’s when the switch happens. I psyche myself up and get into the zone because I know it’s time to go out there and put on a show.

For me, it all boils down to the principle of entertaining. If you’re the good guy, you’re supposed to get cheers; if you’re the bad guy, you’re supposed to make the good guy look good and get booed.

The same applies to deejaying. I drop a good song and everyone cheers; it’s all about crowd reaction. That’s why I love these two so much; they fuel my passion to entertain, and I know I’ve done a good job when I leave the club or arena after getting the reaction that I want.

Challenges? Well, I used to be a fat kid, so I wasn’t very fit when I first started out as a wrestler. Although the training is progressive, my body wasn’t ready for it. I had a minor slipped disc which forced me to put my wrestling dreams on hold for a year.

But if you have dreams, you have to keep at it; you cannot give up. I reminded myself that injuries are part and parcel of being an athlete and managed to come back stronger than ever. I now have a total of two international and 10 local matches in the time span of a year.

To live your dreams, you need to be disciplined and know your priorities. People always say they don’t have time, but that’s not true. You have 24 hours in a day; how are you going to spend it? There’s always a way to do the things you love; it’s simply a matter of whether you want to do it or not.” – Asykal, 28



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Arman Shah

A former travel writer with fond memories of solo adventures in Southeast Asia, Arman is now Founder of The Everyday People. He's also the co-host of Channel Empathy, a podcast about the marginalised in Singapore.