IF you were an avid Vine user before the six-second video-sharing mobile app shut down in January, the name Luqman Podolski should ring a bell. Inspired by social media jester turned stage performer Faiz Dickie, Luqmanulhakim Kamaruddin started making and uploading Vine clips in 2014. From which, he is also known to have coined the phrases budak wicet (WeChat kids) and campak kamus (dictionary throwing), together with his friend Adib Hakim, also known as Adib Alexx. With 1.1 million followers on Instagram at the moment, Luqman is clearly unfazed by the downfall of Vine. In fact, the 19-year-old has starred in advertisements, performed live, and was even nominated in the Social Media Celebrity category at the 2016 Anugerah Pilihan Online (Online Choice Awards). His appearance at last December’s edition of Raising The Bar (RTB) – a monthly live platform for emerging hip hop talents – proved the popularity of this Internet sensation. “It started off as a joke,” Luqman recalled. “Jin Hackman tweeted us an invitation to RTB, and we were quite surprised because he’s a rapper, so naturally I thought that they were just joking and I said yes. They turned out to be serious, and the whole time we were just like, ‘What? Is this really happening?’” Name a highlight during the event. Luqman (L): I’m not very sure. I was really nervous and worried about whether I could nail it, but I sort of lost myself onstage. Adib (A): Yeah, we were quite concerned if he could hype up the crowd and what he could add into the show. But the moment he went on, the crowd went crazy. Also, I guess the highlight of the event was that all the artistes knew Luqman Podolski – they were all asking for him. Luqman, you were still a student when you started. How did you balance between your studies and a budding Internet fame? It was difficult because I’m not very academic. I’ve always had an inclination towards entertainment, so I focused on making videos more than on my studies. I did that because if I were to juggle them, I would most likely do badly at both. So I went with what I liked. What does your family think about your Internet stint? My parents didn’t know about it initially, but during Hari Raya one year, a cousin asked my mum if I were the one that’s been making funny videos. It was then that she discovered what I was doing. So far, they are quite supportive. What inspired the Luqman Podolski look? Honestly, I intended the character to be female, but I felt that the headscarfwearing female narrative is too common, so I decided to go with a wig. It looked fine on the store’s mannequin, but when I tried it at home, I ended up looking like a rocker. Just like everything that we have done with Luqman Podolski, this was random as well. You have over a million followers across your social media platforms. With that kind of influence, what would you like to achieve? I want to change the world! (Laughs) What I’d like to do is change mindsets. The prevalent mindset is that there is something wrong about everything. For example, instead of celebrating Faiz Subri’s win of the FIFA PUSKAS award, many people chose to criticise his subpar English. We need to stop that. But as we try to go against the current, negativity will inevitably arise, hence we need to step up on our mental strength. We have received a lot of bashing, but we choose to hold our ground. What’s next for Luqman Podolski? We just signed with Paranormal Group. The plan ahead seems huge. We hope to increase the quality of our production. There are also plans to expand our presence to more social media platforms – to grow what we already have on Instagram, and maybe to Youtube. TRIVIA Football club he supports: Manchester United. Childhood ambition: Rapper. Comedian he looks up to: Harith Iskander.