It’s been almost one year since we first chatted with Quick Style. Cut to today, the Norwegian dance group has amassed over 10 crore views on the YouTube video of its members dancing to Kala Chashma (Baar Baar Dekho, 2016) and Chura Ke Dil Mera (Main Khiladi Tu Anari, 1994). They have also joined hands with some of the biggest names in entertainment. The past year, in their own words, has been nothing but “surreal”.
We caught up with the dance group — currently on their maiden trip to India — for a fun, exclusive shoot in Mumbai. “India is so colourful, people [here] are so nice. We are learning every day,” Bilal Malik, the group’s co-founder, tells us, as we settle down for a chat after the shoot. Another founding member, Nasir Sirikhan, chimes in, “More than half of our following is from here, they’ve been supporting us for 10 years! We’ve been wanting to come here for a decade now.”
But, what took them long? “Often, when we want to do something, the opposite happens. This is our story,” Sirikhan replies, adding, “We came to India just for a handshake, but we got a hug! In just three-four days, it (India) feels like home.”
A meet-and-greet was also planned during their visit, which got sold out in no time!
Of late, Quick Style has been collaborating with a host of big names, the latest to join the list being former Indian skipper, Virat Kohli. “We are meeting great people and working with a lot of talented people behind the scenes as well. There’s a very genuine connection when we meet them. That’s how the outcome is so cool. We are learning from them, too,” says Bilal.
Mention Mumbai and one of the first things that comes to mind is vada pav. Have these dancers dug into this humble bun bursting with flavours, yet? They look puzzled, but the minute we say ‘Indian burger’, pat comes the response: “Oh yes!” “I put a lot of extra chutney, it was so good!” gushes Bilal.
That apart, Quick Style has ticked off another quintessential Mumbai trait. “We travelled in a local train, put up a performance for people there and made videos! It was the most extreme experience. When we wanted to change seats, they were like ‘okay’! They supported us, everyone smiled. Then, we met 70 creators. All of them have so much to give. We got a closer look at the people following us,” says Sirikhan.
The group is most probably going to return for a pan-India tour that would include stops at Kerala, Delhi and Chennai. Has life changed back home after the global fame they’ve got? Sirikhan says, “Not really, you can be the biggest person [in whatever field], people in Norway don’t care. But, small changes have indeed happened.”
He elaborates, “The other day, Bilal and I were in the market to buy groceries. Two Somalian ladies, who would [otherwise] walk by us without interacting, stopped and said to us, ‘Are you guys going to dance?’ We had never imagined [something like] that would happen. We always knew that our target audience is those between the ages of 15 to 35. Now, older men and women back home also know who we are!”