Swedish Bboy veteran and world renowned O.G of the breakin’ community, ‘Bboy Freeze’ of the Ghost Crew, kindly took the time to join us for an exclusive interview. Here’s what the man known for his fluent flow, fresh creativity and longterm dedication to the hiphop world had to say:
My name is Fredrick, they call me Freeze, I represent Ghost Crew, Scandinavia.
How long have you been dancing for?
I started breakin’ in February 1983 and I was dancing before that but it was more like social dances so I had a little bit of that when I was young, going to small clubs for kids.
You’re part of the world famous Ghost Crew, can you please tell us about the crew and its history:
The crew was put together around 2004/2005, it wasn’t actually a crew it was more like just friends from 3 different crews in Finland, Norway and Sweden, it was Pro-Keds in Norway, Moves Per Minute in Sweden and Flow Mo in Finland. We used to just go places together, not all of us but some of us and we just started doing battles and stuff together because we had always known each other since way back. At that point Flow Mo started to get more and more recognition so we let them do their thing and helped them a little bit and we stuck with Ghost Crew while Flow Mo jumped off to build up their crew name and go their own way which they did and success to them and we just kept on going with the Ghost Crew. In 2006 it was more like a crew I would say, Ghost Crew is still a pretty young crew, it’s not that old, it’s just our friendships that have been since way back, like 15/ 20 years almost in some cases.
What is the breakin’ scene like in Sweden?
The scene there is nice but it feels like people are a little bit satisfied with what’s going on out there and the scene is really really small, there’s a lot of countries around Sweden to which shouldn’t be too difficult to travel to and get out of that bubble, to get out and just get more experience because they need it. The level is generally not that high although you have people that stand out, a lot of people that stand out but the common level should be higher really, I think anyway. The knowledge is up there because people have been breakin there for a long time, so if the bboys want to find that knowledge they should do but people seem to have a tendency not to go to workshops, not to share with other crews in different countries and stuff like that, so it’s a kind of weird scene.
Have you ever tried graff or MC’ing?
Yeah both, I’ve tried DJ’ing, MC’ing, graffiti, beatboxing, I tried it all. Graffiti has stayed with me, I started writing ’83, I stopped around ’89, kept going a little bit in the 90′s but then breakin’ took over everything. I’m trying to get back into writing more and more actually but more for my own thing, because I like the meditation it gives you to just sit and sketch and go out do a wall or whatever. I suck though but it’s a fun thing, it makes me feel good.
Who are your favourite hiphop artists?
I would say philosophy wise, KRS, Poe One, people like that, being knowledgeable and liking to share it. Damn, I have no idea, there’s so many, I could list names forever, there’s a lot of people out there that have a dope attitude and good will.
How do you think Bboys attitudes to the dance have changed over the years?
I think the spontanious rawness was more present before, it was more connected to the whole hiphop scene than it is now, some countries there’s no culture, like if you go to a jam in Sweden you rarely see like good DJs, MCs or graffiti, any of that, it’s kind of separate. I think now a lot of us are getting more mature so I don’t think we’re battling in the same way, now the battles are more about sharing than it was before, I think that’s a pretty big thing, before when we did battle it was more hardcore, at least what I saw and experienced was really kind of all out, you really put yourself on the line. It’s good but at the same time the humbleness wasn’t there at all so we often ended up in fistfights and negative things and bullshit talking. Happily we didn’t fall into that so there wasn’t that much bullshit talk, at least you didn’t hear it or see it.
You judge a lot of battles around the world, what do you like to see most in a bboy/ bgirl?
I will say maturity within the dance is a big thing for me because it shows that you are satisfied, not satisfied as in you’re not hungry for more knowledge but satisfied in who you are as a person, maturity is really important, I mean you can act in different ways and stuff like that but it comes down to you as a person, so like I say in my workshops if I can see your personality when you dance and can see who you are as a person, that for me is a lot. It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. Of course it’s nice to see complete people but it doesn’t have to be complete every round, do whatever you want to do with it and have fun, go off if you want to go off, if you feel bad that day of course it’s going to show in the way you dance but go off, like really put yourself out there. You see people who do it for the sport of it, you know they come there, they stretch, they battle, maybe lose and then they leave, they don’t even stay for the afterparty you know, but people who are in it for the culture, I like that, I like that a lot, but judging wise you can’t really look at the whole picture of when people come through the door and when they leave, I wish we could but we can’t, so really it comes down to what’s happening in the battle, I think you really have to do your thing and really show yourself.
You’ve been over to the UK several times, do you like it here and what is it that you like about the UK?
I’ve got to tell you, when I came at first it was back in 1986, right after everything died out so I missed the whole UK high point because at that time it was basically UK and France that were the 2 biggest countries in Europe that were really really good. You guys had people over here already in like ’80/ ’81/ ’82, maybe even before then I’m sure, the rest of us hit the scene a little later, around ’83/ late ’82, so UK had like 2/3 years before us and that showed a lot, when I came here I came here when Electrorock came out, I came out to UK just after and it just died, but we saw the video and were hype, so we came over and then found out that the breakin’ scene here had died down. During the years there was some great people, there was King B, he was up in Sweden a lot, Pervez, I got to meet and hang a lot with Evo, Floor Freaks and my old crew Throwdown used to be together a lot, Archie and Bryan was with me out there, they really really showed me that there was something going on around UK, it was really nice. I met 2nd to none a couple of times during the early 90′s up in Europe so I always knew there was stuff going on, everything I saw was fresh, Tuf Tim and all his old crew, then I started travelling here more and more in the 90′s, late 90′s, early 2000′s and I have scene the scene here start growing again, from when Mouse came out, Evo was doing his last bits with UK Champs and then it just grew and grew and grew. I think the recovery of the scene here has been awesome, it’s great it’s happening. Little bit the same problem with up in Sweden I think, you guys should travel more (laughs) you see the differences in countries like Poland, who have a much smaller history, but a way bigger scene and the hunger and how they travel, it’s popping off out there, so I think a lot of things, big things, are happening here in the UK, a lot of workshops, a lot of knowledge and it’s been a little bit the same in Sweden, it’s a smaller scene but they do the same, so you get spoiled a little bit, you see the differences in countries that are not spoiled, they’re a little bit more hungry for knowledge and to do stuff which is cool, I think the hungernessis something that is a little bit missed, not generally and not everybody but I see more and more of that, but otherwise I think it’s a dope scene, mad humble people, nice people, stuff is going on, it’s getting more and more organised and more and more things are happening so I’m happy to be here, I really really am, I always like to come back, I have a lot of friends here now.
And any shoutouts:
My Mum, my Dad, my family, my kids, my Ghost Crew, they’re all out there, I miss them a lot, and just everybody I know out there, there’s so many people, there’s a long list but I’ve got lots of love for everybody and I hope I see you all soon
Interview by Joe Downes @joeydeezgi