The Loss Prevention Manager at W Singapore in Sentosa talks about how metal music fuels his focus, allowing him to excel in his career while pursuing his passion.

“I’m the lead vocalist of a band called, Where the Dead Gather. We’re a metal band. Our sound is influenced by various sub-genres that fall under the umbrella of metal. Our music is heavy, but there are melodic parts. And I feel our overall message is very positive.

We have a new EP called The. Our songs talk about everyday life – things like struggling with insecurities, facing your inner demons, or being affected by what’s happening worldwide. It’s all very relatable, and that’s one of the reasons why I got into metal as a kid.

I was actually a pretty angry kid, but metal helped redirect my energy into something positive. It allows me to see a situation more clearly. I know it sounds funny, but listening to metal is like meditation to a certain degree. It’s very emotionally and mentally grounding.

That’s why it’s strange when people say that listening to metal is bad for kids because it makes them angry or hostile. It’s actually the opposite. Many studies show that people who listen to metal are generally happy people.

It’s also very motivating, especially for someone like me who’s always looking into the message of a song. If you’re going through hardship and a song tells you to pick yourself up, this sort of music really helps you move forward.

Even as a Loss Prevention Manager at W Singapore, I will listen to some metal music when I’m on my way to work. It centers you and gets you in the zone, so you’re confident and ready to get things started when you enter your workplace.

At W Singapore, my role is to ensure the safety and security of everyone at the hotel. But I was already doing security work since I was in National Service (NS). I was a trooper in the Special Operations Command, which is the strategic force of the Singapore Police Force.

In NS, we were trained in riot control and counterterrorism. We were also trained to handle hostage situations. Unsurprisingly, after I finished NS in 2006, I landed my first job as a security officer at a hotel in Singapore.

Since then, I have undergone many courses to upgrade myself, whether optional or mandatory, via the Police Licensing Regulatory Department (PLRD). To be a certified security officer, you need a PLRD Security License.

I’ve worked as a security officer in the hospitality line for about 17 years. However, I’m new to W Singapore. I’ve worked here for over six months, and it’s been enjoyable.

Not many people here knew that I was in a metal band initially. I didn’t want people to know because I didn’t want to intimidate anyone, or have my colleagues think, ‘Oh God, what did they bring into this company?’ I didn’t know how they would react, so I kept a low profile.

But during an ice-breaker session attended by department heads and people in senior leadership positions, I decided to tell them I was in a metal band. The reactions on some of their faces were really funny. One gentleman actually turned to look at me. [laughs]

The great thing about W Singapore is that it really celebrates music. If you had not noticed, music is playing everywhere in this hotel. My General Manager (GM) supports what I do outside of work because someone in his family also loves metal.

It’s very important to have interests outside of work because, ultimately, what are you doing if you don’t have a passion? Whether it’s baking, collecting stamps or dancing, it’s good to be passionate about something that makes you feel alive.

I would feel mentally tired after a long day at work, but knowing that I’m meeting my band members later that evening for a jamming session drives me. Some power reserve will kick in out of nowhere and I’d feel energised again.

Obviously, it’s essential to strike a balance. I’m a son, husband, father and employee of a company, so constant communication with the people in my life is key to juggling my responsibilities and life as a musician.

There are days when I would need to apply for leave because I have an upcoming show, and my GM is very supportive, as long as I ensure the hotel is safe. And that’s the beautiful thing about a brand like W Singapore – they really just let you be you, and that’s awesome.” – Kassim Ibrahim

Interview by Arman Shah