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The patches on their jackets look fierce, with the gothic-style letterings proudly proclaiming their name — Skulls of Nox.
Yet S.O.N.S, as they refer to themselves, have one simple objective – to support communities in need.
Aldrich Jai Kishen started the club officially in 2021 with his childhood best friend Savin Nair.
Jai explains that his interest in such bike clubs was sparked from a young age. Savin, on the other hand, recalls when he was eight, a bike club visited their housing estate and arranged food for the residents at a communal area. Everyone was invited for a makan session. Jai vividly remembers the food and conversations, and kids like him and Savin excitedly standing next to the bikes and snapping pictures.
It was this kampung spirit that they wanted to recreate with S.O.N.S.
Coming from all walks of life, the club’s members are social workers, tattoo artists, software engineers, distillers and brewers.
Explains Jai: “All of us have lives outside of the club, but the club serves as a lighthouse for all of us to come back to.”
Jai himself is a youth worker by day, and a bar owner by night.
On a regular day, you would find him on the streets of Singapore, identifying possible youths at risk. He would talk to them, offering emotional and practical support. Over the past six years, he has helped young people with their family struggles, troubles with finding a job, school applications, and even housing.
Start of a love affair with bikes
Jai’s interest in choppers began as early as when he was five. His dad, who has since passed away, loved bikes, and they would watch documentaries about clubs in the US together.
This interest turned into motivation years later, when he had long commutes from Jurong to Tampines for work. Jai decided he needed a more efficient mode of transport, so he learned how to ride.
To celebrate getting his licence, Jai got a tattoo from Savin, a tattoo artist, who saw his friend’s excitement and decided to get his licence too.
Says Savin: “Since I was a kid, that was my interest. I never went on a normal path. Every day, when I went home, I would just draw on my hands, I would listen to Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, and I guess that’s where the whole subculture came in for me.”
When Savin later got his licence, the duo got their first choppers (customised motorcycles), got matching tattoos, and had the same thought: “We should start a bike club!”
The First Ride
While every motorcycle club has its own purpose and objectives, Skulls Of Nox’s is to support communities.
Their first charity ride in 2020 was in collaboration with a local preschool for Children’s Day. Calling the charity ride “PizzaPanda”, the S.O.N.S delivered pizzas to the homes of these kids to brighten their day.
Since then, says Jai, “we got addicted to the ability to make people happy”.
The S.O.N.S ended up doing another Children’s Day ride the following year. In between, they made other food deliveries as well as their first fundraising campaign.
That fundraising campaign was in 2021, during the thick of Covid-19. Many people were suffering, and the elderly in nursing homes could not see their friends or families. The S.O.N.S saw an opportunity to raise funds for nursing homes to enhance programmes that would lift the spirits of the elderly.
The masks were designed by one of the tattoo artists in the group, Tommy Seow. After finalising the design, the group took it to a local supplier to print, and sold the masks through word of mouth and on Instagram.
Says Jai: “We all pooled money to create these masks. The thought process was – we can either donate $500, or we could invest that $500, create something worth selling, and donate $1,000 instead.”
The club ended up raising $2,100 for the nursing home.
Going to “Church”
Every last Sunday of the month, the S.O.N.S will come together for a meeting that they call “Church”. During these meetings, they sit down and discuss the charity projects that they have ongoing. Each member is assigned different roles for these projects, and administrative matters are also sorted out.
Of course, since it’s a social gathering, the club members started a Sunday roast, in hopes of bringing people from all walks of life together.
Explains Jai: “For us, Sunday roast is a communal thing. It reminds you of the barbecues you have with your family at East Coast Park. It’s quite prominent in biker culture. Skulls Of Nox has always been focused on building community, and our main focus is really gathering people.”
“It’s a gathering of anybody and everybody, it’s a fun way to party and for people to come and enjoy themselves.”
So what do his and Savin’s families think of their club?
Say Jai: “They’re pretty supportive. Our family is very much accustomed to us doing this at this point; we look at the club as an extension of our family and so we’re all pretty close.”
Earning your biker patches
In the biker community, patches have to be earned before they can be worn. Bikers go through a “probationary” period before they are regarded as “full patched”.
Out of respect for other existing motorcycle groups in Singapore, Jai and Savin decided to ask for their blessing to start the club.
After speaking to the senior motorcycle clubs in Singapore, the core group of five founding exco members of S.O.N.S voted on who would be their president and vice-president — Jai and Savin respectively. Only then did they make their patches.
Talking about their patches, it is clear that Jai and Savin treat these with a lot of respect.
Says Jai: “The three-piece patch has a lot of historical significance. The first few patches were designs from the war, and worn by bikers who just came out of the military in World War II.”
Dealing with stereotypes
Even though the biker club is built on community and charity, they still get odd looks from those who don’t understand that it’s just a group of like-minded people coming together.
“With the symbolism in (the patches and outfits of) Skulls of Nox members, people in day-to-day society look at us a little weirdly. We look very aggressive compared to most. Often, people see us with our biker vest, tattoos, patches on our backs and you can almost hear them thinking ‘oh, must be gangster’,” says Jai.
Still, S.O.N.S members don’t really pay much attention to the side glances. Truly embodying the “you do you, bro” mentality, they, as a group, believe that people should be allowed to be themselves, as long as they don’t try to control other people’s actions and beliefs.
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“Our fate should always be in our own hands,” says Jai.
Jai and Savin and the rest of S.O.N.S hope that their story can help create a sense of confidence and comfort to others who are part of this biker subculture. To remind them that appearances are only skin deep and that it is what we do that truly matters.
You can look like a “gangster” and still do good for society, says Jai with a laugh.
“You never know, they can be that next Savin who grows up wanting to help other people too!”