“A Day in the Life” with Artist, Dancer and Hip-Hop Culture Ambassador Crazy Smooth

Crazy Smooth is one of the hardest-working people I know. He is not a fan of vacations and doesn’t take “days off”. For Smooth, the term “work/life balance” is an oxymoron – to him, they are one thing, not to be balanced, but blended. Don’t get me wrong, he is not all work and no play, with him, work is play. Smooth embodies Andy Warhol’s quote “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” Smooth’s primary driver, however, is not financial success, which he sees only as the means to his end. His north star is to lift up his hip-hop community through advocacy, art and mentorship. Smooth’s achievements to date are a result of his relentless curiosity, creative rigour, steadfast loyalty, and commitment to his vision.

Written by Gillian Reid. friend and manager

Crazy Smooth
This is a formal family photo from around Grade 5 or 6. With my brothers and me with our Father. L to R: Crazy Smooth, Toyi Soglo, Edgar Soglo and my twin brother Yves Soglo.
Crazy Smooth
This photo was taken after I performed at the 2018 Governor General’s Award Ceremony at the NAC. L to R: My little brother Edgar, my Mother Louise Chrysostome and me.
With my Godson Akintayo Essien after a performance of In My Body at the NAC in 2022.
Performing “Finding Out” at the NAC with my mentor and friend Tedd Robinson in 2021 as part of the #DanceForth series. Photo by: Greg MacKay
Sitting on a park bench in Poland last summer 2022, where I went to teach between the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Tanzmesse in Germany. A moment of stillness for me.
I call this photo “Loving the Game of Life, Balancing on One Foot”. It was taken while on tour in Toronto on a shoot with dancer/photographer Jerick Collantes.
Crazy Smooth
Dancing is my happy place! This was taken by cast mate Jerick Collantes during a creation session in Montreal in 2020
Crazy Smooth
“Leadership is the capacity and the will to rally men and woman to a common purpose, and the character which inspires confidence.” Taken by Jerick Collantes during the creation of In My Body in 2020.

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Which ’hood are you in?

I currently live in Gatineau Québec in the Outaouais region, next to our nation’s capital, Ottawa. I am originally from Cotonou, the largest city in the West African country of Benin. I came to Canada with my family when I was three years old, but I think of my ‘hood to be where I find myself located in the world at any given time. And the definition of ‘hood in the digital age is far more expansive that a single physical location.

What do you do?

I am an artist, a dancer, a teacher, an entrepreneur, a godfather, a son, a brother, and a friend. I am dedicated to being an ambassador for hip-hop culture in all facets of my life. The most visible example of what I do is my theatre work, but representing my community informs every aspect of my life.

What are you currently working on?

My brain is always turning over the next new idea, but right now I am in the final stages of creation for an educational show called Each One Teach One. I was able to work with my long-time collaborator and Julliard-trained artist Alejandro Rodriguez to combine his outstanding script with Theatre of the Oppressed techniques in this dance-based exposé on bullying. I am super excited to start circulating this piece, the reception it has received from test audiences has been very strong. I am also in the process of creating a Non-Profit organization to support emerging artists in the street dance milieu. Much more to come about this endeavour by the summer!

Where can we find your work?

At the moment we are touring my large-scale work, In My Body, across Canada and to Latin America in the Fall.

Please visit our website and follow us on Instagram and Facebook for information about all of our community engagement activities.

 

 

About Demian Vernieri 454 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.