Words by Blacka di Danca, Photos by Addy Alexander—
The most unexpected things always seem to turn out to be the best things. A few days ago, I had the opportunity to experience a most unexpected, yet seemingly predestined, experience.
As you may already know, I’m currently on a tour of Europe teaching dancehall workshops. I flew into Finland on November 15th, headed to Brussels on the 16th, then went on to France on the 17th. I taught six workshops then I had a break until November 22. Or so I thought…
Major Lazer happened to be on their “Free The Universe” tour in Europe, as I am on my “Teach The World” tour. I told LargeUp that my friends from Sweden, Enough Dance Crew, were performing with Major Lazer in Stockholm. They suggested that I travel there and perform, too. I didn’t see why not, I was free until Friday and it was Monday. LargeUp contacted a member of the Major Lazer tour, Addy of Eccentrix Sound, and set it up. I was excited, to say the least.
I flew to Sweden on November 19th, and met up with Addy and Major Lazer’s two dancers, Mela Murder and Lafayette Bless. Immediately, the platonic chemistry exploded. The four of us conversed as if we knew each other for years. We danced in the green room, and decided to check out Stockholm’s famed Ice Bar.
This Ice Bar was really cool, no pun intended! It’s entirely made from ice—the walls, the stools, even the cups. As we walked in, they gave us huge coats and gloves. It was no joke inside the bar, it was freezing! But the drinks were great, and we continued to bond— I found a new set of fun people! We stayed until we could no longer feel our fingers and toes, then it was time to get ready for showtime.
Back at the venue, I got to formally meet the rest of the crew: Walshy Fire, Jillionaire and Diplo. What I respect most about Major Lazer is their personalities, professionalism and humility. The crew is fun and talented, yet humble and cool—a dope mix! Also cool was the fact that Jillionaire was from Trinidad, same country as my parents.
As showtime came, it was more exciting than nerve-wracking because I was prepared. Addy kept hinting that since this was going to be my first Major Lazer show, some surprises were in store… that the show was an experience. I didn’t know how crazy the show was, but my first Major Lazer experience was one where I had to perform and match the intensity myself. That was going to be interesting. I later realized Addy was right — the show was dope! The chemistry between Walshy, Jillionaire and Diplo was crazy. Add the insane talents of Mela and Lafayette… sheesh… The show is unmatchable. My friends from Enough crew got onstage and started dancing to “Bumaye” and killed it! Then I got on stage with Mela and Lafayette and we showed that crowd that we meant business! Three New York dancers in Sweden… That was a combination!
After the show, I was just happy. That’s the best word to use… Happy. My career is growing and stretching and I just made another step in the right direction. More importantly, I met a new crew of individuals to be inspired by. Always surround yourself with good people doing what you do so that the relationship is mutual, and not dependent. But the biggest surprise came next… I was invited to finish the rest of the tour with them through Norway and Denmark!
We arrived in Norway the following day, and did it all over again, and it all felt right! I think the crowd enjoyed the new addition of a male dancer with the already amazing female dancers. As we celebrated at the afterparty, I crowd-surfed for the first time—well, three times, actually— then we headed to the last show of their European tour in Copenhagen. I had to teach the next day, however, so I caught a flight to Brussels to prepare for the rest of my tour.
Leaving was bittersweet, but I had my own mission to complete. It was cool to link up with Major Lazer and to briefly tour with them. If you’ve never been to a Major Lazer show, if they’re in your city or a nearby city, go to the show with all of your friends—You’ll love it! It’s a great experience, and their energy is so fun and positive. They’re in NYC on December 30, so NY peeps, be there! Thank you Diplo, Walshy Fire, Jillionaire, Addy, Mela Murder, Lafayette, and the entire crew on tour for the opportunity and experience to perform with you, And a special large up to DJ Gravy and LargeUp for making the link! It was brief but tons of fun!
The most unexpected things are the best! Bumaye!