Back again for the annual Year In Review blog post! Check out all the locking-related projects that went down in 2015.
The year kicked off with a workshop just outside Montreal at Extravadanse Studio in Chateauguay. Apachapoulilock came along and he too started teaching this year as well. Proud to see some of the next generation of Montreal lockers taking on more leadership roles in the community.
Lady C, a locker originally from Calgary but also part of the LockUnity family, recorded a song with a well known Canadian group: Freak Motif. The track “Killin’ Me” was also presented in a music video which was released in January. Lady C asked for some lockers to be in the video so LockUnity was there!
As a humble surprise I was told my image was portrayed on a mural at the Hip Hop School of Arts in Pomona, California. Locking was born in California so it is an honour to be part of that mural. Much respect to Little Cesar!
Over the year I had released a new series of photos for promotional purposes. These amazing photos were courtesy of Kyle Ruggles. He’s a talented photographer who has been involved in the street dance scene for a quite a few years now. He is one of my top recommendations for a photographer!
My work as a school teacher during the day sometimes allows me to incorporate Hip Hop into the schools I work at in interesting ways. In February I was given the chance to work with some students on a small mural with the theme of Diversity. Check out the graf piece I was able to do! I’m not the best writer but it was a great experience and certainly something I continue to learn more about.
2 Marvelous hosts several parties through the year called Chocolate Jungle. These are 90s themed parties and in my opinion really captures what a Montreal party is all about. Great people, amazing music, tasty food and top notch dancing and good vibes. We filmed a commercial in February to promote future editions.
A rather busy month, March was jam packed with locking-related events. First, a trip to Toronto to hang out with and support the growing locking scene out there. Myself, along with Apachapoulilock and Kenini participated in a locking battle as well as attend one of the local practices.
Good vibes all around! Check out this battle between me and one of LockUnity’s young Padawans, Kenini.
Back in Montreal, the McGill Student Street Dance group organized their first event: Heir To The Throne. I was asked to judge the all-style battle and it was certainly hype! Check the judge demo.
Scramblelock JUDGE DEMO – Heir To The Throne – Montreal – March 13 2015Scramblelock JUDGE DEMO – Heir To The Throne – Montreal – March 13 2015
Posted by Scramblelock on Saturday, March 14, 2015
Uptown Funk was such a hit at the start of the year, LockUnity put together a piece with that song. We presented it at St Jerome’s annual event: La Preuve, as well as the end of season show for Urban Element in Montreal. Below is the La Preuve performance
On Point was held in March and boasts the first locking-only event in Montreal. It’s great to know that the locking scene has grown over the years and lockers are now able to hold their own events. Big shoutout to Kenini and the Concordia Street Dance community for making this happen. I participated in the battle and won but here is the final battle between me and Treklock (the MTL classic!)
The Massive Monkees crew contacted me to be a guest judge this year at their anniversary jam in Seattle. I was super excited to go and judging alongside my LockUnity funk brother, Boombeast was a first as well. Check our judge demo with BC’s Pellerina as well!
ScrambleLock, BoomBeast, Rina Pellerin | MM Day 2015 x UDEFtou…Since YouTube won’t let us post this video due to music, here is the Funk Style’s Judges Showcase!https://www.facebook.com/events/593593750775305/
Posted by Strife.tv on Sunday, April 26, 2015
What also made the trip fun was spending time with one of my mentors, Richie Rich. We even taught a joint workshop together. Big thanks to the Massive Monkees and Nathan TicToc Washington for bringing us all together!
As always, the first weekend in May is Bust-A-Move, the biggest street dance event in Canada. This year’s locking judge was Adesola (NYC). The event was always fun ans once again locking was well-represented. Over 40 participants from all over Canada entered the locking battle. Lady C was this year’s winner and she did a fantastic job!
Last year Gemini came to Montreal and we filmed a short video with him and Tash as a collaboration between Locking4Life, LockUnity & Wattssoul. The project was on the shelf for a whole year but I finally finished up the editing and released it just in time for Bust A Move. It was also a tribute to Bad News Brown, a talented Montreal musician who passed away several years ago. Thanks to Priska for the typography and Melika Dez for the videography (another great Montreal photographer!)
2015 was also an amazing year for Prince fans like myself and he sporadically announced a concert at the Bell Centre as part of his Hit’N’Run tour. It was a great show and he always kills it. Nothing will ever compare to the show he played at Metropolis back in 2011, but it still was worth seeing him with his new band 3rdEyeGirl.
Every year an event consisting of the Montreal fashion, choreography and street dance scene is held called Articien. It is organized by Andy Michel and LockUnity was invited to perform. This year Boombeast choreographed a piece consisting of the guy lockers. We were the L.O.C. Kingz and we danced to a really funky Shash’U edit of Danny Brown’s “Lie4” showing that lockers can dance to more current music with a different energy.
Back at my day job teaching at Place Cartier I was asked to be involved with the end of year Grad celebrations. I helped coordinate a dance & MC performance with a few students. It was real fun and got a few students inspired to keep dancing!
End of the month some LockUnity members made a day trip to St. Sauveur for an all-styles battle. I entered with Quantalock and we got down. Here is our battle against Dead Angle crew.
Another annual event in Montreal that is a ton of fun is the Montreal Swing Riot. This year the street dancers were once again invited to battle against local and international Lindy Hop dancers. Last year’s video went viral and this year was no different. The energy both sides brought were incredible but the street dancers made it clear that they wanted to win this time around! Big up to Boombeast, Zepolrock, Trek, Wook, Venom, Jah, Taminator, Cherry, Rawws, DDimplz and Bourrick for the victory. It felt so amazing battling alongside some of the city’s best dancers.
8 Count Dance Studio invited me to teach a locking workshop at their Montreal complex in July. Hope to go back there soon! Big up Steve, Blueprint Crew and all the 8 Count dancers for elevating dance in the choreography world!
Summer in Montreal is always enjoyable and August started off with the Lock City MTL qualifiers. The winner of this battle got flown out to Singapore for the world finals. This year’s winner was Treklock. He did a great job but so did Pyro (Toronto) as they had to battle 10 rounds in the final!
Under Pressure is one of Montreal’s most anticipated summer events as it brings together all aspects of Hip Hop culture. This year there were a lot of special guests, including Kool DJ Herc. A locking battle took place at the event and LockUnity’s Kenini took the win, a first for him!
Sadly, this may be the last Under Pressure since the parking lot where the event took place for over 20 years has been replaced with a condo. Hopefully UP will return in 2016!
My summer in Montreal came to an end early as I began my 3 month tour. The first stop was Paris for the Lock Is Not A Joke camp organized by Funky J. It was a whole week of locking with classes taught by Gemini, P-Lock, Anthony Thomas and Richie Rich. With over 30 hours of classes, discussion panels and even a battle at the end of the week, it was one of the most locking I’ve ever done in one week!
Richie premiered the Valley Style Film at the camp. It’s a great video that documents the history of locking during the 1980’s.
I was fortunate and honoured to share the stage with my mentors, teachers amd friends right before the battle. Locking4Life family in full effect!
Big up to my brother Vovan from Russia for taking the win. Our semi-final battle was off the hook!
Direct from Paris I flew to Japan for the start of my Asian Tour. First stop was Hokkaido, the northern part of Japan. In Sapporo, I taught a class and judged a locking battle while Ruby Jane DJ’d. We brought the MTL vibes!
After Hokkaido I had a short stay in Tokyo before returning in October. I was able to check out the Super Friday locking battle. Congrats to Ichi from 13 Boogie for the win. He gave it his all!
From Japan I headed to Thailand to spend time with my first locking partner, Loose Canon. Baby L also came to visit. We all started dancing around the same time back in Toronto so it was a funk reunion for the three of us.
In Bangkok I taught two workshops and even put together this video of the three of us dancing at the JJ Market in Bangkok, one of the world’s largest open air markets. Check out “Bangkok Boogie”!
On a sad note, this September DJ Son of S.O.U.L passed away suddenly. He was an amazing human being and his knowledge of funk music was second to none. He was a prominent DJ in the Toronto scene and was present during the early Funk Fo Yo Feet events in Toronto. Son of S.O.U.L. was a humble individual and always shared his music with dancers. He is truly missed and is truly a Source Of Undying Love. RIP Son of S.O.U.L.
After Thailand I went to Hong Kong for the Lock City HK Qualifiers. Once again, I taught a workshop and judged the locking battle along with Ducky, Yukari & Carter. It was a fun weekend and I was proud to see Baby L take the win.
I then spent 3 weeks in Tokyo. Besides teaching classes and judging a few events I also worked on a collaboration showcase with Ken-G from 13 Boogie. We incorporated both Japanese and North American locking flavours into the show and it turned out pretty cool.
We also filmed a short video dancing around famous locations in Tokyo. The video, “AI” means “Love” in Japan and it was a way to say thank you to all the wonderful friends I spent time with during my stay in Tokyo. Japan is a special place and locking is very much alive in that country.
At the end of October I headed to Singapore for the Lock City World Finals. I taught a workshop and was one of the fifteen qualifier organizers who judged the main event.
It was cool to see so many lockers from around the world come together. There were some amazing battles and a great live band. Big up to the Lion City Lockers especially Cee-Kay who organized the weekend perfectly and Chunky, one of the first lockers in Singapore.
Canada was in the house and Trek, Loose Canon, Baby L, Mad Max, Melofunk & I brought those funky vibes the whole weekend, especially the pre-party!
Last stop on the tour was back to Japan, specifically Osaka, Kobe & Kyoto. In Kyoto I taught a workshop thanks to Yukari.
In Kobe I checked out the KOD Japan qualifier, as well as judged a battle and taught a workshop there.
By mid month I was back in Canada and took the time to reconnect with friends, train, reflect on all that was learned during the tour and finish up a few projects before the year’s end.
Since I came back to Montreal mid-semester I didn’t have a steady teaching job but still had the chance to do some Hip Hop related work in a few other schools. One of the main ones was at James Lyng school in Montreal. The school organized a day of events as part of the Hip Hop curriculum the school is building. It was fun to teach a few younger students to dance there. Big ups to Melissa Proietti, Debbie Freidmann and everyone else involved with that great project. The future of Hip Hop is certainly in the classroom!
I also had time to reflect on the Asian tour and presented a short recap in the form of Issue 5 of the In The Pocket Locking Video Magazine. You can check both parts below. I will continue to release more ITP issues in 2016!
B-Boy City from Illmask crew, opened up his own studio this year. I was invited to teach breaking some classes at his Break City Studio. It was nice to share some Hamilton and Toronto bboy styles to
some hungry and talented students!
I organized a Locking Intensive workshop mid-month and it was the first time teaching a more advanced locking class. I look forward to teaching a few more of these 3-hour intensives in the coming year.
MTL BBoying celebrated their 10 year anniverasary in December. I remember first moving to Montreal and all the fun breaking events at the time. Congrats to MTL BBoying for 10 years. During their anniversary weekend I was asked to be part of a discussion panel on the MTL dance history over the last decade.
The year ended with some nostalgia. I headed back to my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario for Christmas. There I met up with members of my original bboy crew, Stylordz, for a reunion session. It’s very comforting to see the crew and that they are carrying on and building their dance community.
There you have it, 2015 is done! Another incredible year but what is most inspiring is to see newer generations getting into locking and the dance becoming more popular worldwide. I am thankful for the experiences of 2015 including all the amazing people I have been able to meet, work with and learn from. A lot of big plans, hopes and dreams for the new year. Let’s see what the new year brings!