Madhavan Ravi,Hip Hop Artist

In the beginning, I just thought dancing was cool so I never really took it seriously. It took me about 3-4 years to know the true value of hip-hop dance and what the lifestyle around it meant. I liked how hip-hop artists never feel shy to express themselves and their problems in a creative way.

I went through the usual struggles of an artist, never really got support from friends and parents. They know I can dance but never thought I could make a career out of it. There was also a fact that you can't really make a lot when you teach at small dance studios. I've been cheated a lot of times by clients who haven’t paid me for my work.

I thought of quitting many times. At times I thought I wasn't a good dancer and other times I thought of how long I can keep going without making money out of it. Then I reached a point where I told myself that I have to practice and keep a positive attitude and guess what! It worked out fine.

The first time I saw my friend b-boying it was the coolest thing I ever saw. I wanted to be like that. That's what got me into the hip-hop culture. I wanted to learn more and I'm still learning.

In hip hop culture, we have something known as cyphers, here the dancers/MCs come together and freestyle in a circle. It's like a battle but there's no hate. Just an exchange of knowledge. The first time I entered a cypher, it changed my perception of dancing. It was like I found a new side of me. Cyphers helped me a lot as I got to witness differences and uniqueness in each dancer and realized I need to showcase my unique style as well. My art has become an integral part of my life right now. I don't know how but that's all I ever do. I'm happy for that.

There are two friends of mine who used to practice with me, they influenced me a lot. They kept motivating me and other renowned artists like Tupac, Biggie and Nas educated me about hip-hop. These would be the most inspiring figures that have helped me grow and love dancing more than ever.

At times when I feel stuck, I dial it down for a while. Relax, listen to music and groove naturally. I try not to overthink about such situations. This has helped me get back into my element before I know it. People find inspiration in various places and ways, my creative juices flow when I’m at Home or at a Cypher session.

One thing I have learned over the last years is that the venue doesn’t really matter, if the music doesn't connect with you, you won't be able to do justice but if it does, then you know that you are not only gonna have one hell of a show but also leave a lasting impact on your audience.

It makes me happy to see that the Hip Hop audience is growing to an insane level. It has become mainstream, but there are people who are still not fully educated on the topic. For those wondering what it is all about…in a nutshell- Hip hop is not about money or drugs like the media portrays it. It's about freedom of expression. That is how the movement started.

The most fun part or you can say the part that makes all things worth it, is simple-being able to dance.

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