Happy Together: Fathia Izzati x Iqbal Angga Kusumah
On this month’s instalment of our couples series, we caught up over coffee with Fathia “Cia” Izzati AKA kittendust and Iqbal Kusumah, both of Reality Club fame - to talk stability in opposition, friendship-relationships, and hope for the future.
Arriving in monochromatic outfits, the two sat down with us on mismatched couches in the corners of Blok M’s Kopi Oey. This is hilariously apt, as mismatching opinions is the definite theme of the day. It was like watching a real-life When Harry met Sally, even down to their decades long will-they-wont-they tension.
“I liked him since elementary school, legit, we went to the same elementary school and I had the biggest crush on him,” Cia says.
(“No way!” said Iqbal. “It’s my rendition of the story!” Cia retorts.)
“I was actually kinda into her as well, she and her white headband, it was real cute,” Iqbal says.
“But we didn’t talk. He was like the ‘it guy’ and I was ‘the nerd’. And then, we met again in middle school but because I was a goodie-two-shoes and he was the ‘bad boy’, we didn’t talk then either!” Cia said.
Ad infinitum, this goes - through high school and then to university - where things started to turn around.
“We started chilling, and then in sixth semester, which is October two years ago, we sort of confessed to each other,” Cia said.
“When we actually started talking I just found out that she’s really interesting, and she had the cutest accent,” Iqbal said.
Cinematic similarities aside, there was a sneaking suspicion that was fully proven during our chat, that by every definition….. Cia and Iqbal are two very different people. It’s in their music tastes, their social approaches, and their interests, not at all like the share-taste-in-everything-heavy hallmarks of modern “relationship goals” couples. But yet, here they are, the very embodiment of two people in a very happy relationship.
“We don’t listen to the same music and we’re not in the same scene. I’m very into Youtube and social media, and he’s not like that at all, like he doesn’t care. He has that rock star attitude,” Cia says.
“Opposites attract. It really does,” Iqbal said.
“We compliment each other’s strengths and weakness, fill in the spots where each of us lack alone - stuff like that,” he continues.
“That’s kind of the beauty of it,” Cia adds.
Growing up together meant leaving wild pastimes (“We were such delinquents,” Cia said, “But now, we’re more mature, so our habits back then aren’t really potent anymore”), and they are starting to enjoy more chill habits like frequently going to the movies and eating out at their favourite haunts.
“He was so skinny before, and now he has a belly… which is healthy… I guess.” Cia said, laughing as she patted his arm.
“It’s because I’m happy now,” Iqbal said.
The two are also in a band called Reality Club. Their relationship-infused lyrics made us curious about how having a couple in the band affected the dynamics and songwriting process of the group.
“I thought that it wouldn’t make much of a difference since they’re two really separate things,” Cia said.
“But he was really cautious at first to be around other band members. He didn’t want us to act like a couple in front of everyone else and make the other guys uncomfortable,” she said, to Iqbal’s laughter.
The songs penned by the band are usually a collaborative effort, with Cia writing the lyrics and Iqbal coming up with the chords.
“Fatal Attraction” is a song written by Cia, and it is a homage to the early days of their courtship and eventual relationship. It is a story about two people who (despite instincts to play the field) found their attraction to each other too strong to ignore.
“We were both kind of pessimistic, and how we looked at love was different than what it is now,” Cia explained.
“Before, we both played [dated] around — and that’s how the song “Fatal Attraction” came around, it’s like there’s always that one person who anchors your attention."
Hilariously, this was all new information to Iqbal - who insisted that he never knew the song was written about them (which led to another round of very cute faux fighting).
“I didn’t know this,” he said, matter-of-factly.
“I told you this before!” Cia said, to his laughs.
Aside from their band, Cia also spends her time as a Youtuber. But unlike the usual Youtube relationship dramz (see: the now-legendary Awkarin vid and the saga thereafter), vlogging has no negative effects at all to their relationship. If anything, it was Iqbal’s “rockstar” nonchalance that had helped it flourish into what it is now.
“Before, I was with someone who didn’t allow me to do Youtube videos at all, and that was limiting my creativity. It’s a good thing that he [Iqbal] is not too into it, he doesn’t try to manage me and lets me do my own thing. So that’s good,” Cia said.
“Work is work,” Iqbal said, oozing that “rockstar” attitude.
Dating a Youtuber with more than 300k subscribers means that being identified as “The Boyfriend” couldn’t have been easy.
“There was this one guy who kept spamming us on Instagram and Twitter saying how he’s gonna beat him [Iqbal] up and stuff,” Cia said.
“But in a way, that made us stronger,” Iqbal said. “It makes me feel like I don’t want to lose her, you know?”
A chorus of ‘awws’ and a pile of laughter later— we soon found our table full of empty coffee cups and headed out to explore the underground music market, Amazone arcade, and the Instagram-loved Blok M rooftop. It was during this adventure that we first-handedly spotted the well-built foundation of their relationship, as the two acts like a team. Whether it was Cia needing behind-the-scenes pictures for her social media (a.k.a actual work), Iqbal not knowing how to start up his boom boom car, or one of them finding a music album the other loves, they were always there for each other.
At this rate, their first anniversary in January will only be one of many, and as part of our February theme, we had to ask them, - what are they Hoping for in the future?
“I kinda wanna marry her, but that’s the long-term goal.” Iqbal said, all smiles and certainty.
“I hope we keep growing together and keep trying to impress each other, because that’s when relationships stop working - when you lose interest and just stop trying. It takes a lot of effort,” Cia said.
“You have to work for it,” Iqbal said.
“Yeah, that’s it!” Cia replied.
Finally, an agreement.
TMH: What’s your favorite place for dates?
C: Probably a restaurant.
C: Oh yeah, he likes pho a lot.
I: And sop buntut (oxtail soup). You can call me sop buntut connoisseur.
C: It’s funny, I’ve never dated anyone so into Indonesian food. We went to this really fancy place, and he suddenly wanted to order sop buntut and I was all “hell no, we’re not eating that here!”
TMH: You guys mentioned earlier that you have very different musical tastes, do you share any similarities at all?
I: We both love Tame Impala.
C: The Beatles, stuff like that. But basically he’s really into rock, metal and hardcore. Super rock star taste, whereas me, I’m more into alternative, indie stuff.
TMH: We noticed that you (Cia) don’t post a lot about each other on social media, is there a reason why?
C: Not as much, it’s because we don’t feel the need to expose too much. We’re already together most of the time. Now, everyone is into ‘relationship goals’ and stuff and I’m not really into that. But I think in the beginning of our relationship that was a thing, but now we’ve calmed down a lot.
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