He will now represent India at the Last Chance Cypher in New York, competing against the national champions of other countries, all with a hope to qualify for the Red Bull BC One World Finals 2022.
Here he speaks about how he has changed as a breaker over the years, the confidence he was carrying into Red Bull BC One Cypher India 2022, and what are his preparation plans for the Last Chance Cypher.
What was the first thought that ran through your mind when you were announced as champion?
I had readied myself to win again. I applied a different strategy this time around. I felt very elated when I won. I had a can in my hand at the time that I threw down, out of excitement!
What did it mean to you to have a full crowd at Red Bull BC One? How did it affect your performances?
As performers, we feed off the energy of the crowd. I really love to build a connection with the audience whenever I perform. Interacting with the crowd is something that is integral to every performance. The way people were showing love to me, it was pushing me to perform even better and make my win easier. There is a lot of pressure at these competitions. Getting a positive reaction from the crowd lets you know that you’re on the right track and that what you just did connected well with them.
You’ve now won four times, the most successful B-Boy in the competition. What does that mean to you?
I’ve always wanted to reach a point where anyone who sees me perform gets inspired to start breaking and get inspired by me. Inspiration plays a big role in every breaker’s life. I’ve wanted to bring the breaking culture to a point where it opens doors for people who want to start out fresh, so that they don’t have to go through the struggles we had to endure. My winning four times should inspire other B-Boys to want to do better than me.
How did you practice from the time you qualified for the top-8 to the point you competed in the finals?
I never used to work out before. I added some workout in my schedule after noticing that my legs would feel heavy half way through a few rounds. The tiredness and exhaustion that I felt in those days really made me want to focus on getting rid of these hurdles.
I now focus a lot on my shortcomings and my nutrition too. I now feel really energized and feel like I can survive through the whole competition without getting as tired as I did earlier. I used to be a junkie before I started breaking and this whole culture completely changed my state of mind. Over time I incorporated all the good habits that could help me improve my performance. After seeing drastic improvements in my breaking and quality of life, I really understood the importance of a workout and good nutrition.
People usually think that you’ll get better only if you keep training all the time, but the opposite is true. The more you rest, recover and focus on holistic health, the better off you will be. Your performance will be better the more comfortable and charged up you are. In this regard, I feel I have changed a lot since I started out as a breaker.
Was there anything special you’d never done before and were saving especially for Cypher India?
It’s not like I tried something I haven’t done on stage before. I had a whole different approach this time around. I did a lot of freestyling. I used to write down all my moves and combos for every round before; it used to be very planned. This time I wanted to go off the top. I wanted to feel free. You can’t perform your best if you put yourself under too much pressure. Being free on the floor was my strategy for Cypher India.
Since I’ve been training for 13 years, the muscle memory for all the moves I use is so well ingrained that I can now freely segue into different moves without injury or breaking my momentum. I was just going with the flow instead of following a structured approach like I usually do in competitions. I was actually taking a lot of risk by doing this but I’m glad it all worked out.
What did you think of the other B-Boys in competition? Which was your toughest battle?
It’s not like I didn't find the battles tough. I just had a different mentality this time around. I tried to not concentrate on who I was against. It was just me against myself. My focus was on being better than how I performed the last time. I really enjoyed how every other contestant performed. I’m really proud and impressed by the level of the Indian artists that participated. There was B-Boy Pappu who really surprised me; it was the first time that I had seen him and he was really impressive. B-Boy Sid and B-Boy Tornado also really stood out.
You will now participate in the Last Chance Cypher. You’ve been there before so you know it well. What are you looking forward to most?
I have set my heart to win. I want to represent myself really well and make my mark. I want to stay calm. I want to make my country proud.
What are your preparation plans for the Last Chance Cypher?
I’ll be stricter regarding my workout, diet and training. I’ll definitely make sure that whatever I do for my health is properly planned and followed. I have always taken competitions lightly. I’m really happy that my idea of freestyling worked out and would love to see how I can take this to the next level.
What are you looking forward to the most about the trip to New York, apart from the battles?
I’m really looking forward to meeting people and socializing. I want to experience the authenticity of the city. I want to see the vibe of New York because that’s where hip hop originated. I’m sure the whole hip-hop community is going to be at Red Bull BC One – it will be really crazy. I really want to visit the Statue of Liberty, shoot a video there, and make some really good memories.