Hooch – The man behind UK Champs: “Ideas are free, don’t copy what’s already happening.”

Little is known about the man behind the UK B-boy Championships; DJ Hooch. We know his name. We know his face. We know the event he runs. But who he is, what he stands for and what motivates him are things we are curious to know to give us an idea of how this prestigious event has managed to last for so long and continually provide us with high level dancing and memorable battles. We caught up with Hooch and picked his brains a little.

379248_10151452688776047_2060496588_nWhat is B-boy Championships/the vision behind it?
Its the elite level Breaking crew and solo b-boy competition, started in 1996.

What inspired you to start B-boy Championships?
I was running my club night, Funkin’ Pussy at the Fish (Formally Spatz) on Oxford Street and then Africa Centre in Covent Garden and we always had hip-hop artists turning up to rock the mic. Afrika Islam and Melle Mel passed through with some dancers and it struck me there was nothing really happening on that level. I started thinking about staging a Breaking battle. At first I was just thinking about doing it at the club but as the idea progressed It became the Championships.

What was your background?
Club and live music promotion. My inspiration were the Sound Systems of London and Jamaica. I got into the burgeoning Warehouse party scene around 82/ 83 and knew I wanted to organise parties.

How was the UK dance scene before you organised the event and how is the scene now?
I wasn’t aware of the scene other than what used to go on at Covent Garden before. It was only when I announced it with flyers on the street, I started getting calls from the dancers asking if it was really happening and how there had been nothing on this scale happening since the original craze happened.

The event has been running for an eternity, what has changed since the start of the event and what are your goals for the future of the event (global view)?
The event has grown in size but it’s essentially the same. The global Breaking scene has changed beyond all recognition though. Then again, everything has! But the internet really has had a major influence on the scene.

What would be your top 3 tips for anyone who is thinking of organising an event of this calibre?
1. Start small. I didn’t just start the Champs from nothing. I’d been promoting clubs and concerts for nearly 10 years before I started Champs.
2. Get experience. If you really want to learn ask to help at an established event.
3. Be original. Ideas are free, don’t copy what’s already happening.

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02-18Any moments that are memorable/classic battles?
The 2 that always come to mind were 98, Spartanic Rockers Vs Style Elements. That battle was amazing and completely re-wrote the script for that year. 2002 when Korea came for the first time. They were so hyped for that competition and people were literally screaming in the audience when they threw down. Then they met Vagabonds in pretty much the most incredible final of the events history.

Any final words?
You ain’t seen nothing yet!


Photography: Naki Photography
Cover photo: Louni

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