This is: Amir
Amir (PDVL, Predatorz Crew) after his victory at Red Bull BC One 2021. Shot by Little Shao
ack in March of 2020 at The Legits Blast held in Prague, b-boys and b-girls across the world would quickly learn of Amir. Not many had heard of the Kazakhstani b-boy at this time and with so many high level competitors in the competition, most people probably didn’t even think he would make it very far. But after a strong victory against Cheerito, a world-class Russian b-boy in the top 16 round, he would go on to win the 1 vs 1 and the crew vs crew battle with his team, Predatorz.
Since that day, Amir’s distinctive style and unusual approach has earned him a lot of fans who love and appreciate his unconventional take on breaking. With a foundation that utilizes strange shapes and movements that are normally way out of the comfort zone, Amir’s breaking defies expectation and has the audience examining every detail packed into his rounds.
In November of 2021, Amir would take second place at the Last Chance Cypher of the Red Bull BC One World Final, qualifying him for a spot in the main event. Despite it being his first time ever competing in the prestigious event, Amir would go onto dominate the competition and take the championship without losing a single vote. And more recently (as of August 2022), Amir also claimed 1st place at The Undisputed Masters 1 vs 1 competition held at the Notorious IBE in the Netherlands. Now he prepares for the 2022 BC One World Finals in New York City to defend his title.
Myth had the opportunity to meet and talk with Amir where we learned about his upbringing, how it shaped his mentality, and his aspirations within and outside of breaking. Read below for a peek into the mind of b-boy Amir.
Best moments of Amir at Red Bull BC One World Finals 2021 in Poland
How did you start breaking?
I started in Kazakhstan. I don’t remember the exact moment when I saw breaking but I remember around when I was 10 years old, I wanted to b-boy, but we had no school in my city. I tried to go to gymnastics because it was similar with tricks and stuff but they wanted to teach only younger kids, around 5 or 6, and they told me I was too old. So after that I started parkour but in parkour I didn’t really like the flips. I liked doing the rolls, handstands, and turtle freezes too.
When I was 12 years old, I was on my way home from school, and I saw a poster advertising a breaking school that was going to start. I was shocked seeing it so I took the poster and I asked my family to book a spot for me. So that was the start of my breaking.
The Kazakhstan bboy scene has been blowing up recently. Can you tell us a little more about the history there?
In my city, it was not a big community and I didn’t get to see any foreign b-boys. After 3 years of breaking, I went to our capital in Kazakhstan, Astana city, and for the first time I saw b-boys, foreign b-boys, and I saw them doing airflare and I didn't know there were b-boys from Kazakhstan who could do it. I also saw B-boy Shebet doing a "halo" move and I didn't really know a lot about this movement. I fell in love with it and began to learn it.
We have high level b-boys in Kazakhstan. We have Simple System crew and before them there were other crews but I didn’t know much about them. When I was a kid and started breaking, Simple System crew were the OGs for me and a lot of the young b-boys in my generation watched them.
Can you tell me more about how breaking has changed your life?
When I was a kid, I lived in Kazakhstan in Petropavlovsk city, in a very bad area. And I sometimes lived with my father who drank a lot, and we had a lot of problems because of that. In our area, we had people killing other people, a lot of fights, and twice I saw people beat my father. We had a lot of problems and I had a very bad community. I drank and smoked at a young age, around 10 years old, but I never used drugs. It’s just a normal story in Kazakhstan though. There are lots of people with this kind of life.
But because of breaking, I changed my community and I started to change my mood and mentality. Because of my coach I started to understand what was bad and what was good. Breaking changed me and without breaking I would be just another guy with a bad story and a bad life.
What countries do you enjoy visiting and is there a specific one that you really like?
I just want to visit all countries, it’s one of my dreams. It’s not about breaking, but I just like to see different cultures, and every country has a special life and special culture. This is my first time in the USA, in New York, and I love the culture here as well.
How did you become a member of the Predatorz crew?
My first Moscow crew was PDVL (podval), it means basement in the Russian language because that’s where we started breaking, in a basement underground. But I would meet with Predatorz too, with Jamal, Beatmaster, and B-boy Arsex. Arsex was in Predatorz and PDVL too. So with Predatorz, they won the Battle of the Year qualifier and they needed to go to the main Battle of the Year event but they didn’t have enough people. Jamal’s son was born around this time and Plastmass had to go to work, so they invited me to be a part of the show and Battle of the Year.
We started to communicate more and they understood we had the same mentality, so they invited me into the crew. They said that my entrance into the crew was the shortest of any member as well. So actually now I have three crews: PDVL Underground, Predatorz Crew, and my wife and dog haha.
PDVL Underground is mainly younger guys and they have a younger mentality, young vibes, they listen to new school rap stuff like that. Predatorz crew are more serious, older guys. They have families, kids, and it’s a different vibe. But I have two vibes inside me. I am young but my mentality also feels older to me. So for me it is comfortable to be around younger generations and older generations. I love both of these crews.
In the 2021 Red Bull BC One World Finals, you battled a lot of high level b-boys including Sunni, Zoopreme, Flearock, and Phil Wizard. What was your mentality during this time?
Yeah I had a little bit of stress but I had practice to turn off this stress and fear. I had a lot of this practice in my life because of my childhood, and now if I’m scared of something I just go and do it. I was in caves 20 meters underground, and I would spend time in this place just because I was scared of it. I had to do a drop from a big building, and I would spend time underwater and I was in fires too. I was in a fire at home and I was in a fire in my father’s car. So being in a fire, underground, in air, water, just everywhere was practice for me to not be afraid. It helped me in breaking too; just turn it off in your brain and go.
Amir vs Allef at the Finals of The Undisputed Masters X Notorious IBE. Filmed by LawkSam
You recently competed in the Olympics event in Alabama. What was your experience like there?
I did not like my performance there because now I have some problems in my brain. I don’t like to show the same moves that I did before. It’s hard for me to do the same moves a lot of times and because I did these moves in Red Bull BC One, I did not want to do them again. I tried to create some other moves and because of that I had some battle problems. I like to freestyle so because of that I can make mistakes. And I had mistakes about my strategy. I tried to save my moves in this event and because of that I ended up saving it for another event haha.
Who or what gives you inspiration for your style?
For me the main inspiration is my brothers, my crews. I moved two times, I moved from Kazakhstan to Siberia, and from Siberia to Moscow. When I lived in Siberia I was in Animal crew and I got inspiration from these guys and then when I moved to Moscow I met another crew and was also inspired by them. So because of all this moving and meeting different people I got the inspiration for my style.
You make a lot of cinematic short videos. What made you interested in this field?
It’s my job now, to direct clips and edit them. Making videos is my second love, like breaking. I wanted to show breaking in my clips on a different side, more artistic. I feel like I want something more out of this world and by art I can do it. I like strange, experimental things, maybe some scary things. It’s very cool that I can just create it by myself.
Would you want to pursue a career in that field?
Yeah for sure, but for now I can do both breaking and making these clips.
What is your training usually like? Do you do anything special to take care of yourself?
I like to create moves and about 90% of my practice is just creating. Now I try to go another way, not only create but to use my creation too in jams. I just really love to create. I can't stop.
Even in battle it looks like you’re still creating.
Yeah and I had some problems in battle because of that too.
What is your next goal for breaking?
So now it is winning the Olympic Games, because the person who wins the Olympic games, he will be the reference for the new generation, and for people who don’t know a lot about breaking. It’s very important we need a very good dancer to win it so I will do my best to try to win it.
Follow B-boy Amir on Instagram here!