Quick Style - Sparking pop culture trends one Reel at a time!

Mrinil Mathur
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Quick Style

Social Ketchup Ed, Mrinil Mathur Rajwani, had the opportunity to interact with Quick Style for this super fun Special Digital Cover featuring ten of them!

If you are on social media, it is very unlikely that you have missed people grooving to the Kala Chashma song at weddings, clubs, house parties, on the streets, basically anywhere, courtesy of this Norway-based international dancing group - Quick Style, who danced on this Bollywood song at a wedding last June.

Quick Style is a Norwegian urban dance group founded by two Norwegian-Pakistani twins, Bilal Malik and Suleman Malik, and their Norwegian-Thai friend Nasir Sirikhan in the year 2006.

Three of them, along with other members of the group, Yasin Tatby, Rafael Guzman, Kunal, David Vu, William Gamborg, Oskar Vigren, and Dilen De Zilva, recently visited India. Social Ketchup Ed, Mrinil Mathur Rajwani, had the opportunity to interact with Quick Style about their visit, their content creator journey, and their creative process as a team at Meta India’s Mumbai office for this super fun Special Digital Cover featuring ten of them!

After dancing to several Bollywood songs, the troupe, in this visit to India, also collaborated with Bollywood OGs like Suniel Shetty and Raveena Tandon, and Indian International cricketer Virat Kohli giving their fans the desi collab they always wanted.

While this Norwegian boys group is an Internet sensation, the troupe has been dancing its way to success and fame for over a decade. They have been teaching dance and participating in dance competitions across the globe ever since their inception. Very few people know that the Quick Style hip-hop dancing group also won Norway’s Got Talent in 2009. Interesting, right? Hence, when we spoke to them about their success with Kala Chashma, the group showed disappointment for being considered an overnight success by the International audience.

The conversation ahead is a testimony to how collectively they are actually dancing their hearts out to make a mark as dancers and creators, globally. 

Mrinil Mathur: What’s in the name?

Quick Style Team: Quick Style comes from the Norwegian Chocolate called Kvikk Lunsj, which means Quick Lunch. Sorry for the disappointment, we don’t have a fantastic story, but the truth is we derived our name from chocolate. We were eating that chocolate when we were deciding the group's name, and we kept it after it. But it’s classic Norwegian chocolate. It’s the chocolate you take with you when you go to the mountains, the woods, or anywhere in the world from Norway.

But we had a super lame name before that, that no one knows! It was so bad! It was ‘CASANOVAS.’ Thank God we changed! - That was Nassir’s idea. 

Also Read: Quick Style was in India and it was the fan fair we were waiting for

MM: What got you to India? How do you feel about being here?

It's our first time; we have never been here. It's always been our wish to come here. Moreover, for us, it is the timing; it’s our chance to prove we are not overnight stars. We have been doing this for years. So we thought we should travel and tell our story, experience the culture, and create content.

And in India, it’s so great! We shot in a local train. We were dancing, and the doors were open. And everything felt like a movie. Here, every day, every moment feels so memorable. You know, it leaves such an impact on us because we are from Norway. So it's a totally different country and a totally different experience.

MM: How did The QuickStyle group come into existence? Tell us the story till your Instagram Reel Kala Chashma became an International trend. 

QS: Most people don't know that the three of us, Bilal Malik, Nasir Sirikhan and Suleman Malik have been doing it for nearly 20 years. We have been together since 2003-2004. And then the rest here have been with us for more than ten years. Therefore, what you saw with Kala Chashma was basically a result of a team that has stuck together for more than a decade. And through so many years of working together, you get to know each other’s strengths, and you learn to bring out the best in each person. And we feel that the video was just kind of like us, and it showed everybody's identity. It was real and straight from the heart. 

And the world saw a moment that we rarely share with the world. That was basically it. But we have been doing it for a long time, we have been teaching classes around Europe, America, Japan, and Korea, and it’s been a long journey of dancing together. So when people call us overnight success, we don’t like it. This is what people get wrong because it is many hours of practice, a lot of travel, and a lot of teaching.

And something that played an essential role during this journey is culture. When we’re in India right now and then we talk about what's happening in Hollywood, we don’t want to do that. We want to know what's going on here. We want to learn about Indian culture, experience it, and immerse ourselves in it. So we have been doing that everywhere we went. We do this because when we return to Norway, we can always bring back these cultures and memories and create something from home.

MM: How did your content creation journey start? And how is it going now?

QS: We initially started by posting our videos online in the era when online videos began. That time we used to post our rehearsal videos from the studio to show it to our friends and family to show them what we did. But when we started posting, suddenly we realized we didn’t have just those 20 people to show; we had 10,000 and soon 1,00,000 and increasing. That’s the moment we understood we had an audience for the videos we posted, and we didn’t plan our audience. We had no idea who we were reaching out to. But now, we choose to activate different regions to build an audience. It’s a conscious step to build a global audience. Our intention is also to be available for all types of generations. 

MM: What does your creative process look like? How do you define the QS flavor, and how do you make sure it’s a part of the video? 

QS - In this group, we have some kind of rules, but that's mostly because we have different strengths. Also everybody can say what they want to say or if they have any ideas. And it can lead to a bit of fighting or arguments. The point is it can be chaotic, but it can also be disciplined, but there is always love underneath it. That somehow makes it genuine and real.

And about adding the QS flavor, we have this identity of a multicultural minority, and therefore,  we have always been inspired by the culture. Our content always speaks that. While some of us are strict with discipline, dance has to be clean among other things, we also leave room for everyone to have their persona while dancing. Everyone is allowed to have their personality in the group, but stick to discipline. We don’t think about having a style or a flavor; what we think about is that we know the art, we know what we represent, we know our values, and when we start creating, all these come together.

Also, the result you see in our Reels and videos is also because of the chemistry we have and the understanding that we have built collectively over 10-15 years as a group and as individuals. It comes from working together as a whole group and getting to give each other ideas and just synchronize old ideas together. But all of this took time. It took time for Bilal to tell William to stop doing something, because it doesn't look good. Or for Yasin to tell Kunal that it doesn't feel good. We give each other compliments and strip off a few elements that we feel are unnecessary, but we do that now because we have each other as a team.

But we always make sure that our creative process includes having fun and we don’t overthink! Our best dances or videos have been made when we were just having fun. 

MM: Your Kala Chashma Reel was such a success; did you anticipate it to blow it away? 

QS: We believe in the present. If we are in sync with the present, with that timing, anything can happen. If you wait too long, the energy of that has gone away. For Kala Chashma's Reel, there is a funny story behind it. When we performed at the wedding, we weren’t planning to film it. But Bilal and Suleman’s brother came and forced us to shoot; we went out, got the camera, and set it up! We didn’t even rehearse for the video. But we also had instances where we invest so much time, money, and effort into creating a piece of content that when we finally post it, we post only because we invested so much into it, and then it dies on the internet. But we have to own that! So honestly, no one can anticipate what will happen. All we know is to be in sync with the timing. 

You should not have any expectations for what the reach of your content should be because that can lead to disappointment. And you should be patient too. It may happen that what you posted today can blow up a month later, two months, six months, it can blow up anytime if the content is good. We understand that one cannot make a piece of content and look at it and say this is going to get viral.

MM: Do you have creative differences? How do you tackle that?

QS: Yes, we do have our creative differences, but most of the time, if there is an idea that’s clicked, we are there; everyone tries to cheer and lift the motivation for it. And if there is a creative difference, we leave it for some time and give some space to each other, and only if we all agree, we take that video live. Because we like to keep our content real, and if anything is forced, it will reflect and won’t be real online. 

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