Dubai: Viral Norway group that dances to Bollywood songs brings swag to the UAE

They are exploring the idea of setting up a studio space in the emirate where people from different backgrounds, nationalities can perform together

by

Nasreen Abdulla

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Dubai-based dancer Bilal Malik at the Gate Avenue in DIFC on September 24, 2022 (Photo by Neeraj Murali)
Dubai-based dancer Bilal Malik at the Gate Avenue in DIFC on September 24, 2022 (Photo by Neeraj Murali)

Published: Sun 25 Sep 2022, 10:02 AM

Last updated: Mon 26 Sep 2022, 4:08 PM

With over half a billion views all across social media, the Norwegian dance group Quick Style is riding a high after going viral. The group, that consists of members originating from more than 10 countries including Pakistan, Thailand, China and India, danced to some hit Bollywood numbers creating a social media trend that was copied by numerous celebrities like Jimmy Fallon, Demi Lovato, Jason Derulo and the Indian cricket team.

“We weren’t even going to dance,” said one of the founders of the group Bilal Malik, in Dubai ahead of the group’s performance at the Coca Cola Arena.

The group had performed the medley number at the wedding of Bilal’s twin brother Suleman. “And even when we danced, we were not going to film it. Everything just came together as a happy accident.”

Since then, the group have hosted meet and greets in London’s Piccadilly Circus and New York’s Times Square where hundreds turned up to watch them dance. They have close to 2 million subscribers on YouTube and have numerous celebrity followers. Grooving to international songs that have been popular over the years, the troupe has been praised for their diversity, impeccable dance skills and the brotherly bond they share.

Quick Style was founded by Bilal, Suleman and their childhood friend Nasir Sirikhan in 2007 when they were just teenagers. The group has won several prestigious awards including Norway’s Got Talent and have choreographed for celebrities including hit K-pop group BTS.

The group consists of Bilal Malik, Suleman Malik, Nasir Sirikhan, Yasin Tatby, Egil Mikael, Oskar Vigren, Dilen De Zilva, David Leung, William Gamborg, Bjorn Fredrik (Buullz), David Vu, Rafael Gumaz, Kunal Bhart and Jan Erik Santos.

Bilal Malik revealed some exclusive details about Quick Style and their plans for the city.

Tell us about the viral 12-minute video. How did it happen?

A few days before Suleman’s wedding, we decided to dance at it. My sisters helped me pick some of the songs. Nasir and I were choreographing. To be honest, I really enjoyed choreographing without Suleman. He is always behaving like the strict school principal. So, when it was just me and Nasir, it was really chill, and we kept all the steps fairly easy and straightforward. Every single step, every single song in the performance came from our heart and we put it there because it had a connection to him.

None of us practised together before the wedding. We always practised in groups of 4 or 5. We took videos of the practice sessions and shared it with the others who couldn’t make it. One of the boys landed in Norway on the day of the wedding. So, it was very much a last-minute performance. I think that was part of the reason why it became so popular. It wasn’t an amazingly choreographed dance number; it was a group of us dancing from our heart for our best friend.

We weren’t planning on recording the performance. Just before we started, my older brother Ibrar set up the camera and made sure everything was caught on tape.

When did you know the video had gone viral?

We knew immediately. One of our members Yasin uploaded just a clip of our Kaala Chashma performance onto his Instagram. It got one million views in just one day. Then we all started sharing it. Immediately we knew it was going places. So I went over to Nasir’s place, we edited the video and uploaded it to YouTube. The biggest surprise was when YouTube and Tiktok commented on our posts. That was a testimony of how viral it had become

We hear there are some secret plans being hatched for Dubai. Can you let us in on it?

(laughs) It isn’t really a secret but yes, we are exploring the idea of setting up a dance studio in Dubai. In Norway, our studio is big building where we have a space for kids to complete their homework and computers where they can code and edit videos. We want to create something similar here. A safe space for people to come and learn dance. We have also been in talks with different entities for various projects. We will reveal more details on that when something comes to fruition. In October, we will be performing at Coca Cola arena for the Coke Studio concert. The entire team will be in Dubai next month for it.

What do you think of the dance scene in Dubai?

It is great but very divided. The Indians only stick with the Indians. The Filipinos only dance with the Filipinos. We want to change that. We want to bring together the communities to dance with each other and break the divides. We believe dance can break boundaries and we want to achieve that in Dubai as well. We have been travelling for over seven years to teach dance in various parts of the world. We have learnt from various cultures, and I think we know the recipe to bring diverse nationalities together.

Tell us about the origin story of Quick Style

Nasir and I met each other at school. He was the coolest kid there with his long blonde hair, fancy games and exotic clothes. He had just landed in Norway from Thailand and had a collection of things many of us had never seen. We hit it off as soon as we met. Soon Suleman, Nasir and I were hanging out at all times. We loved dancing and when it came to naming our group, we called it Quick after a popular Norwegian chocolate Kvikk Lunsj.

Once, our grades dipped and our brother Ibrar found out. He threatened to never let us dance again. Suleman actually fainted when he said this. So, we concentrated on school but also never gave up dance. When we started bringing home awards and cash prizes, my family realized that we were good, and this is what we were going to do for the rest of our lives. To be honest, Ibrar is the one who shaped us into who we are today. When we were starting out, we danced with other artists, and he stopped us. He said we had to carve out our own niche. He is our manager and works full-time with us.

The other members joined us at various times. Yasin was our first student. Santos and David came on board to teach when we had to travel for work. We have all been with each other for a really long time. We are more like brothers and family to each other.

Of all the celebrities that you have worked with, who has been the most impressive?

I think it is BTS. For many reasons. Firstly, they are all really good friends. It isn’t a show or something that they put up for the cameras. They really share a deep bond with each other. Secondly, they are very humble people. Even though they have established themselves as one of the most successful boybands of all times, when you meet them, they are really down to earth and have no airs whatsoever. Third, they are some of the most hardworking people I have ever seen. They spend over eight hours practising their singing and dancing every day. We were at an event which was supposed to be a meet and greet. We were surprised when they performed as well but not a single tune or step was out of key because they practice so much. They really deserve all the attention that they are getting.

What is in the future for Quick Style?

A lot. After our performance in Dubai, we are going to India, Pakistan, USA and Europe. We also want to establish ourselves in the Middle East. We are also in talks with an international group in Norway to tour the world with them. So, lots of exciting things are coming up.

ALSO READ:


More news from