Dancing to the tune of diversity: Quick chat with Quick Style in Pakistan

Viral dance sensation on their maiden visit to the country as a group, humble beginnings and cultural division

Rida Lodhi December 06, 2022

The year is 2009 and a group of four friends has randomly landed at the auditions of Norske Talenter - Noway's take on the popular show, America's Got Talent.

"I remember I was folding my laundry and I received a call from Suleman and he just informed me that we're all to be part of Norway's Got Talent," Nasir Sirikhan, one of the core members of the famous dance group, Quick Style, recalls while speaking to The Express Tribune. The viral Oslo-based dance group which is now nothing short of a sensation across the world was recently in Pakistan for a collaboration with Coke Studio.


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Its core members comprising Nasir Sirikhan, Yasin Tatby and twins Suleman and Bilal Malik have been friends for over 20 years and have fallen in love with Pakistan on their maiden tour as a group. "I love the vibe this city gives off," Yasin tells me as we sit for a candid chat. "We've had some local food as well, we're really enjoying it," Nasir adds.

The group, whose videos are a testimony to their synchronisation, reveals that forming Quick Style was a unanimous decision as well. "Most of the time when one of us puts forward an idea of doing anything, it's a challenge and I took Norway's Got Talent as one too," Nasir comments. "And just like that, we were in the audition queue. Long story short, we won. That's when our career just went from passion to confirmation from the whole country. We just went for it. Then we started our YouTube channel and then began posting our choreography which essentially spiralled into BTS reaching out to us to choreograph their performances.

Quick Style then expanded from just four members to several talented individuals joining them. This, Bilal shares, happened when they started opening studios in different locations. "The studios were never planned," Bilal remarks. "Back in 2009, it was more about just having a place to practice. We never had a proper venue to rehearse so our most popular spot would be a train station. But then we just needed more privacy. After we won Norway's Got Talent, we invested some of the money we had won into getting a proper place to choreograph."

But the studio didn't come cheap. "We were just a bunch of 18-year-olds running everything by ourselves; paying bills, the studio - the cost was massive. But then once everyone saw our work, it just started to work out. "We now have partners who take care of a lot of work. We then branched out to China, we have studios there. However, it's a learning curve."

Collaboration with BTS

One of the main feats the dance group is renowned for is their collaboration with the award-winning K-Pop boy band, BTS. Quick Style helped the renowned band with the choreography of their chartbuster videos, Save Me, Blood Sweat & Tears, Best of Me and Boy With Luv.

"But before BTS even, we were already very warmed up about K-Pop and had a lot of knowledge," Bilal comments. "Then BTS came in and the collaboration marked our first proper job," Nasir adds. "It was 2016 and we haven't looked back since.”

The viral videos

While they have been making waves in the K-Pop scene for more than six years, the Pakistani audience became acquainted with Quick Style after several dance videos of the group went viral this year on TikTok. Their energetic performances on Kana Yaari, Kala Chashma, Tumse Mil Ke Dil Ka Hai Jo Haal and Chura Ke Dil Mera are the most sought dance routines for this year's wedding season. However, the performances weren't a walk in the park to rehearse.

"You probably won't believe it, but we started the rehearsals like four days before the performance," Yasin laughs. "It was Suleman's event in two days and we were all just putting the dance together. He was a bit disappointed, he thought we were just not prepping for anything. It was a surprise! The first time we all rehearsed together was on the actual event day."

Nasir, at this point, shares that since the wedding was in summer, everyone wasn't available in one place. "We were 14 people and not once we performed together until D-day. That was the first time we met at the wedding."

Suleman chimes in, "I was driving up to the venue and I could see them! I could see that they were up to something but as soon as they would see me, they'd stop the rehearsal. Everyone was just stressed out. I was just as nervous for them as I am sure they were." Bilal then adds, "You see, we are a family of dancers. A day before the wedding, our sisters performed at the Mehndi; that was the first time all of us were a bit rattled because they really did well."

Yasin further says, "We all had 30 minutes before we were supposed to perform and it all came down to, 'whatever happens, happens'. Bilal said you only need confidence and not moves

Suleman shares his sisters had really set the bar high with their routine. "I was blown away! They were all just really getting into Saath Samandar Paar and I was screaming at the top of my lungs because it was that good. And then I look at these guys and wondered how terrible this was going to go. I had little faith, I'm not going to lie. But clearly, I was wrong."

Diversity comes into play

While the group is extremely proud of how far they've come, they're even more humble about their roots. "It plays a major part as to how all of us are from different cultures," Nasir, who hails from Thailand himself, asserts. "We give each other that space of creative freedom."

He added, "For instance, whenever Yasin [of Finnish-Moroccon background] comes in with an idea from his culture, we all are very welcoming to it. We admire that. Similarly, if Suleman and Bilal [Norwegian-Pakistanis] present something from Coke Studio, we all take a step back and are very much on board with it. So, I think it's a very healthy equation."

Yasin concludes, "I think we all give each other space and respect. We don't fight for attention. If anything, the cultural division has been nothing but a strength."

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