Hey whats up fam! I got messaged time to time and asked what Bomfunk MC’s and dancers are up to and how their life went at the time.
Those who don’t know, Bomfunk MC’s were this Eurodance era MC / DJ / Dancer group with producer JS-16, who was also producer of famous Sandstorm song. Bomfunk MC’s had one big superhit, it was the most sold single in Europe in year of 99-2000. So this Freestyler single was in that year in europe bigger than any other single or artist. People doesn’t really understand, but that year (that year only tho), Bomfunk MC’s were bigger than Beyonce 😀 The Freestyler music video went super viral at the time, and it was worldwide phenomenon (there was no term viral at the time) . The band performed all over the world and did all the biggest MTV Music awards shows and such.
So now it’s 20 years a go, but it seems to have been many kids favorite video and breakdancers in the band and videos were inspiration to many to start breaking. To this day I can be in Belgium or any foreign country and some people still come to me and say they started dancing because of me in this video, which is plain crazy.
I think Bomfunk MC’s started at first as just a 1-2 single song project, as many of that times bands were. Record label or producer would just pick random people, let’s ask this mc, this singer, this dj, maybe dancers and put them together as a group. If the singles go well, album will be done, if not, band will be cut. Little similar how they used to for boybands or girlbands at 90’s. 😀 To be honest, we were little ashamed of the band and the music, since we tried to be hard hiphop heads and thought the music was almost same as eurodance 😀
So it was very low budget project that JS-16 just put together. He had other similar projects aswell and Darude (Sandstorm) was one of them. Breakdancers were asked to join by B.O.W who is the lead rapper. His old school friend from late 80’s hiphop scene was Hypnotic aka Pete, whose break students we all other kids were. When first single Uprocking Beats came out, most of us were still just beginner breakdancers, maybe under one year of practicing.. So when these music videos started playing all over the world in everybodys home, we were again super ashamed, since our dancing was super beginner stuff in the first videos 😀 Gizmo was DJ but many times he only had only one Techics vinyl deck with him and for TV shows the decks weren’t even plugged 😀 He was just pretending to be scratching.
First single, Uprocking beats video
The first video Uprocking beats was super low budget film. Only the half of the video that is shot on color, was shoot on real film (at the time music videos were filmed with real movie film), half is black and white 8mm digital home video footage, because production company didn’t have money to get film for whole music video. That is the reason why half of the video is black and white. They got no money. Also the first windmill that I do on the video was not supposed to be in the video. They were filming the other dancer in that scene and I was just practicing the windmill 😀
You have to remeber, these videos were done and supposed to be shown only in this small local Finnish music video program Jyrki. To show for maybe one or two times for Finnsh kids. It was not supposed to get on MTV Nordic, or MTV international at all.
I was regulary touring dancer in this band for maybe one year total so here’s what I remember.. I was there like first year, then also I was there when they needed help in big awards or festivals like MTV music awards, Viva awards and such. After first year they were touring like crazy inside Finland, every weekend on bus 20-30 hours. That life wasnt for me, I had university, so I quit touring.
Then came the shooting of Freestyler video. I remember I got 700 marks a payment from record label for that video. That is like 100 euros money now (back then there was no money named euro in 99!). My part was short, few seconds but we filmed like 10 times. I had normal faces in most shots, but in this one shot director said “make a mean face”, so that face came out to Freestyler, I wasnt happy 😀
It hit super big, everything was Freestailah! Rakamakafon!! Bomfunk were touring around the world and did all big festivals too. What was super sick is that singer B.O.W was super cool cat and he gave same amount of salary to dancers as the DJ and rapper got. Can you imagine? Lead vocal and background dancer with same salary? One of my dancer friend had this one festival salary ticket on frame in his house that was like 5 figure payment. I’m gonna be honest, but no other band ever in the world has given their dancers that big salary. Usually backdancers have like 50 euros per gig, or not even that.
Things went insane. We was flying on helicopters to gigs. You know just couple of not so fresh kid breakdancers on limousines and helicopters 😀 It made not sense at all. This kind of electric breakdance music got big for a moment, and at one point, breakdancers in Germany started having their own bands, crews as Southside Rockers and Flying Steps released singles and songs. There was maybe even talks that we could have had our own singles done to our break team. Think about it, just 5 beginner breakdancers from Finland, no singer, no dj, no rapper but still releasing a CD 😀
Eurodance era was the best. I think at the time we tried to be real and not even consider to do that band thingy, but on this day I think it would have been cool to have released a breakdancer boy band song and video, hahaa. Prolly JS-16 would have hooked up us one banger for us for sure.
MTV Music Awards 2000
One of the most memorable events for Bomfunk MC’s was 2000 MTV Music Video Awards. That was biggest award show at the time. Everyone watched it, I think hundreds of millions of people watched it, maybe more, this is pre youtube or netflix era, so everyone watched MTV.
Again bunch of nobodies, just street kids that breaked were flown to Stockholm Sweden 5 days before the MTV Awards. All bands would be doing interviews and media stuff in Stockholm before the show for five days. Madonna, Spice Girls, U2, Back Street Boys, All Saints, Jennifer Lopez, Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Ricky Martin, Wyclef, Ali G. All the biggest names were there hanging around. We dancers would live too in Stockholm Hilton Hotel with all the stars. Back Street Boys lived in same floor as us, I remember seeing Nick Carter every day so we started throwing wassups each other when we met. There was red carpet outside the Hilton hotel, and every time we step out the hotel, paparazzis would take pictures of us with flashes, because they thought we are band members or something. No we were just shitty breakdance kids from Helsinki that had no clue whatsoever.
We walked the red carpet and limousine came pick us from Hotel.
I remember Spice Girls were having their soundcheck on the MTV stage. Then me and Ronan Keating were standing together and looking Spice Girls at the side of the stage. Then Jennifer Lopez walked down with entourage just close by us, but didn’t notice or greet us. Then Ronan Keating turned to me and said ”I hate when she does that”. I just nodded ”yeah”.
Before the show started, Wyclef Jean came to our backstage room to battle us. He did some backflips and handsprings, so funny, he was hiphop head so liked our breaking a lot.
Then show started, Bomfunk MC’s won best Nordic Europe award and was nominated for one of best new acts in the world.
We performed our show there, I started my set from Wyclefs side, he was mc:ing the show so.
Then after the show, afterparty was nuts, I remember Robbie Williams so wasted, beatboxing and Wyclef rapping to it 😀
What happened after that?
This is the question I got messaged a lot. Do not message me anymore thank you 😀 After that Bomfunk didn’t have really big international hit and died away after two albums I think. I remember doing re-make of Uprocking Beats video (this time with full movie film, lol). Video had one million marks budget and I got paid like 7000 marks for that, which was big money! But there was no real hits and they lost their record deal I think. Last album was anyways like more rock ish and they didn’t even use breakdancers in the live shows. Few years back they did kind of come back nostalgia tour with new dancers, it was cool, 90’s music still lives with everyone 🙂
Us breakers continued to work on our craft, bboying and we got really good, and this happened mainly after Bomfunk MC’s. We gained new members and went to win big international contests and ended being pretty much one of most respected bboy crews in whole Europe. We took RSC Anniversary crew battle, then came 2nd in Freestyle Session Europe and R-16 world battle that were huge World championship level contests at the time.
Was it so cool?
To be honest, I think what we accomplished as a bboy crew in battles against best breakdancers in the world was more valuable than the success we had with Bomfunk MC’s. Meeting celebrities matches nothing to being with your crew in New Yorks sickest underground battles and coming up as a winner. That raw energy in breakdance circles is so much more than any festival stage you can perform, or any pop star you can become, in my opinion.
What now on year 2021? All this was like 20 years a go. Super short period of our lives. I haven’t met most of the dancers or Bomfunk MC guys for like 10 years now. Most likely all have gotten older, have families and live normal life. Some work still on dance or fitness industry, but I don’t think none of original members still perform or compete. I am skate shop owner and do longboard dancing in www.sadskateshop.com
Maybe you can see some Bomfunk in my skateboarding, dunno 😀
Don’t DM me about anything, stop it 😀 I’m not active on social media so can’t answer any of questions, made this post so you guys will have your peace 😀 English is not my language so sorry for hard to read text.
All love and peace to people, I totally understand the nostalgia and how this music was so big to many and part of their youth 🙂