Dee Kosh talks jail time, life lessons & views on new generation of creators in ‘last interview’

Embracing "Dee Kosh 2.0".

Natalie Teo |
June 1, 2023, 2:51 pm

We’re not starting a cult but some followers on Instagram would be nice. Thank you.

Dee Kosh, or Darryl Ian Koshy, has given his “last interview”.

On May 31, Singapore-based infotainment site Singaplex uploaded an episode of its “After Office Hours” podcast featuring Darryl.

This came about two weeks after Darryl said in an Instagram reel that he would not be doing any more interviews, after an interview agreement document was leaked by a potential interviewer.

Dee Kosh addresses terms to interview him after someone disclosed his T&Cs to the media

In this podcast episode though, Darryl and host Jonathan Leong clarified that Singaplex had indeed signed off on the agreement.

Darryl added that since the document was only sent to two parties, this meant that he also knew the source of the leak.

However, he declined to reveal their identity.

“Dee Kosh 2.0”

Host Jonathan posed the question to Darryl: “Who are you today?”

Darryl responded that people around him have referred to this era as “Dee Kosh 2.0”.

He said that after thinking about it, he realised: “Who I am sort of hates who I’ve been.”

Darryl explained that at the peak of his career, he had to keep up a persona which was “sassy, bitchy, very dynamically strong, opinionated, always on the hype train… always trying to stir something…”

But after the experience of jail time and being cancelled, he no longer felt the need to keep up that persona.

“Dee Kosh 2.0 is actually the real me,” he said.

 

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He also added that many of the friends that stuck by him knew him as a person, not just for his persona.

Now that his income no longer comes from social media, Darryl also revealed that he is less concerned about metrics, something which he considers “liberating”.

Detoxing from social media

Darryl spoke about seeing an origami crane while serving time, and how it felt “free” to him even though it was behind bars.

At that point in time, he said, it mirrored how he felt.

Even though he was incarcerated, he felt free of the pressures and expectations of the outside world.

For him, Darryl said, “outside was worse”.

Jonathan also asked if he considered his time in jail a “social media detox”, a sentiment that Darryl agreed with.

He went on to add that as someone who “lives and breathes social media”, a detox is a “must”.

Darryl went on to say that this was the opposite approach from many younger content creators who create content from almost every moment in their lives, adding that he was “afraid for their mental health”.

He also addressed viewers who are parents, saying: “You need to watch out for your kids and what they see on TikTok, and who they follow.”

Views on the new generation of creators

The difference between his generation of creators and the current one, Darryl said, is that his generation is more capable of detachment.

The newer generation, he suggested, was less likely to be able to as they grew up on social media.

“I’m going to get cancelled for this, but I’m just going to say it. I think the new generation is tired of the politically correct culture,” Darryl said.

 

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He added that he felt that younger people were sick of being told what not to do, and were looking for a broader perspective.

On the other hand, older creators like himself who could have been considered “revolutionaries” back in the day were now “more neutral”.

More revelations about jail time

At one point, host Jonathan quipped: “Everyone’s trying to find a less stressful way to live.”

“Go jail lah,” Darryl jokingly responded.

He went on to describe some of the perks of jail, including three meals a day, rent-free accommodation, and having friends around him all the time.

The most valuable currency in jail? “Bananas, soap, bread, magazines.”

There is also allegedly a “mythical happy book” consisting of a “compilation” from “predecessors”, which inmates use to “relieve themselves”, whatever that means.

The book is moved every few days from cell to cell, also allegedly.

On a more serious note, Darryl said that he had found a “silver lining” from the experience.

“Now I feel like I’ve grown as a human being,” he said.

Darryl also talked about the differences in rooming with “short-termers” versus those who were there for longer jail terms.

For the “short-termers”, conversations often revolved around when they would be released, which was “stressful” for him, especially when Darryl had months to go on his sentence while they would be out in a matter of weeks.

He felt more “at home” with the long-timers, he said, as they regarded the prison as their home and were more “settled”.

Darryl also described the sadness he felt when he was the only one in his cell who was not eligible for an early release programme.

Different priorities

Darryl revealed that he is now no longer as stressed about social media metrics and finances, as compared to his previous life.

“Once you’ve lost everything and learnt how to survive you realise that actually you don’t need that much to survive,” he said.

While he used to buy multiple pairs of name-brand sneakers in one shopping trip, Darryl said that now, “actually slippers is (sic) fine leh“.

“Nothing is going to teach you how lame materialism is unless it is forcibly removed from you,” he concluded.

Prior to the saga, he said, his goal in life was to put his parents in a big house and make sure they had everything they needed with no necessity to work, and “let them lead the life they never lived before”.

Now, however, his wish is just for them to be happy.

Darryl went on to share that when he used to purchase a new iPhone and Apple Watch for his mother every Mother’s Day, but this year, he was only able to get her concealer.

Despite the changed circumstances, Darryl said there was a “certain beauty” to it as she tried it on for his brother’s upcoming wedding.

“My parents were… they still are very, very, very, very conservative, very religious. But her queer son just put makeup on for her other son’s wedding,” he said.

It is these “human experiences”, Darryl said, that makes him happy now.

If he could go back in time

Host Jonathan also asked Darryl where he would go if he could transport himself anywhere in his life.

Surprisingly, Darryl said that it wouldn’t be to the time when he started sending messages to boys online.

Rather, he picked the day he made his first viral video.

Darryl said that he would tell past him that it would be an “interesting journey”, but he would leave out the information about being cancelled.

He would have also told past Darryl that “that mohawk is damn ugly”, referring to a past hairstyle he used to sport.

Darryl also said that he would have chosen to be more open about who he really was.

New perspectives

Darryl had previously spoken about how some of his friends had chosen to stick by him, while some had attacked him.

Despite this, Darryl said: “Don’t hold it against humans for being humans”, adding that he had chosen not to hold anger or lose sleep over it.

He also talked about “giving each other space to be human”, and expressed regret for not doing so in the past, such as in the case of the Eden Ang incident.

Moving forward, Darryl clarified that he was not “staging a comeback”.

He also said that he’s learnt not to plan and to live life from day to day.

While he clarified that there was nothing wrong with embracing the hustle, there was also no need to lose sleep over it.

“Balance yourself out,” Darryl advised, though he acknowledged that not many might accept it.

You can watch the full video here:

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Images via SINGAPLEX/YouTube.

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