NYC as a center for underground fashion and music never fails to surprise in its style metaphorization, especially when one pays attention to the new waves and sometimes smart recycling of the old school. NYC’s coolest and cutest couple snuggled in the expansive queer club community very well might be Cheeky Ma and Nar Angel Rokh. Resembling some fashionable Future/Past Gregg Araki cocoon, wrapped in glorious cellophane, emerging dew-like, glittering alien babies, they are the queer power couple dreams are made of.
“It's already hard enough to be queer but even harder to exist within a society that have institutions in place meant to crush us from succeeding and/or finding happiness.”
Repping slick gear from fetish wear to throwback tracksuits, Cheeky told WUSSY in May 2018 that being “a self proclaimed ‘multi-talented freak’” is easily the best way to describe all the various things she does day to day. Her work as a hair stylist and artist, even in collabs, are cohesive and recognizable, close to her personal style a la alienoid angel. Cheeky has modelled for Ashton Michael, Kaimin, LEUNI, John Yuyi, amongst others, all in pieces and for photoshoots that challenge the cis male het gaze. An all around style maven, Cheeky recently assisted on the genius King Kong Garcon SSION shoot and just recently turned 21. Born and raised in an NYC artist family, everything she touches is with informed thoughtful creativity and curation. Her elfin beauty is cut with a slight ice princess steeliness from afar, but is visibly melted, even thru the spectator’s view, in the mere presence of her boyfriend, NAR.
A multi-instrumentalist since 7 years old, NAR is a visionary mind and soundscape entrepreneur, quite the match for Cheeky’s look-creation, innovation and electric eclecticism. From grade school orchestra and jazz band in LA to an extensive study music theory around college, NAR hooked up with an opportunity to tour the US and Europe before solidifying the work he loves most: producing and DJing. Along with some modeling, Charli XCX asked NAR to partake as backup dancer in the Jimmy Fallon “Boys” set then performed alongside Charli again for the POP2 performance in NYC. He has had a vocal journey with HRT, top surgery, and has generously shared the internal process just as much as the external with a public show of support to other trans kids. His music, whether thru headphones or in the booth, is hard hitting, haunting, yet ethereal and atmospheric. A trippy montage with abundant samples and tinges of Middle Eastern motifs, perhaps an influence from his Iranian-American family, have padded his fire tracks for the past 5 years.
Along their respective paths of creating cool shit, the two met upon chance and, as if connected by glistening golden strings, have been attached ever since. Their appreciation of one another through social, sweet and cooing forth in a wire-tangled nest, radiates and reverberates with genuine energy… and it’s not just love energy. As NAR was approached by Fenty Beauty to provide music on their commercial campaigns, the couple recently worked together on an infectiously catchy and super sassy track with Cheeky on vox and NAR as the producer. “Saucy”, featured on the Fenty Beauty advert for the Stunna Lip Paint shade “Uninvited”, was also made into an individual video, directed by NAR, which is of course fun AF and we can’t wait to see more collabs between the two in the future.
As both individuals express their happenings thru social media airwaves, a platform NAR believes is important for queer voices to use, audiences have been humbled by their creative fire and boundless love for one another and their community. Cheeky’s vision for the future is largely based in freedom, hoping young queers “won’t have to fear for being themselves, that they don’t have to try to blend in to feel safe; they can enjoy their youth, being loved for who they are.” Chiming in, NAR holds similar values:
“My hopes for genderqueer youth are that they can openly live as their truest selves without fear and/or violence, that they can become widely accepted throughout mainstream society and have protections and shelters in place, just in case they don't have a home or family to take them in anymore. It's already hard enough to be queer but even harder to exist within a society that have institutions in place meant to crush us from succeeding and/or finding happiness.”
Follow them on Instagram — @cheekyma + @narrokh
Sunni Johnson is a writer, zinester, and musician based in Atlanta, GA.