HAB SPOTLIGHT #10: EGOR

Shahrin @ Egor, 27, President of Johor Hip Hop Community

“It’s not all about money, sometimes, it’s about the return back to the community”

1. Tell us about yourself and what you do for a living.

Hi. My name is Muhd Shahrin and I go by the stage name, Egor. I was born and raised in Johor Bahru, Johor. I graduated from UNIMAS, Sarawak with a bachelor’s degree in Music and Arts Management. I was in Sarawak for almost five years and I am now the president of Johor Hip Hop Community since 2020. To put this on record, the Johor Hip Hop community has existed since the 90s but was officially established in 2018. What I did today is to continue the good work of the previous leader, and educate more people about hip-hop culture, specifically in Malaysia. The Johor Hip Hop community is a dance community that supports all Hip Hop activities, regardless of style. I, for example, am more interested in Krump.

2. You mentioned Krumping just now, how is it the different from Hip Hop?

In general, Hip Hop is a culture comprising of four (4) components: graffiti, rap, deejay, and breaking. Popping, locking, waacking, breaking, and other styles are all part of street dance in general. Krump, on the other hand, is a more expressive and versatile dance culture. It is a distinct culture with distinct dance and movement styles.

3. How did you get involved in arts and cultural activities?

I first started my routine as a dancer for Malay and Indian cultural dances when I was in kindergarten. Arts and culture are in my blood because of my family background. My father is a musician, my grandfather enjoys Ghazal, and my mother, sister, and cousins are all singers and can play musical instruments. In 2015, I discovered a Krump community called KrumpKatz in Kuching, Sarawak. They taught me about Krump and encouraged me to watch videos on YouTube. Later, I was given the title “Twin” KMPXT (pronounced as KOMPACT), one of the titles we use in our Krump community.

4. What made you choose street dance over traditional dance?

I didn’t choose it, it just happened. Even though I am the President of Johor Hip Hop Community, I have not forgotten all of the traditional routines that I was taught. They remain a part of me. In fact, I used to teach children the fundamentals of traditional dance choreography. And, most recently, Joe Sidek chose me and my team to perform at the Rainforest Fringe Festival in Kuching, Sarawak. So, basically, things happen based on what is needed. My body will move to the beat of whatever music you play.

5. Apart from your family background, do you have any other reasons why you love what you are doing?

Some people do things they enjoy because it is their passion, while others may do it to express their feelings and emotions. I have the same motivation as they do. However, another reason I’ll keep doing what I’m doing now is to help people. As President of Johor Hip Hop Community, I was in charge of organizing numerous events. These events serve as platforms for more people to showcase their skills and talents. Not only do I allow people in our community to set up booths to promote their products, such as streetwear or gear, but my vision is also for our community to become a one-stop centre for every dance style in Hip Hop culture. If you are an event organizer looking for a DJ or a hip-hop dancer, please contact our community and I will assist you in finding one. I came to the community to benefit from it, and now it’s my turn to give back to them.

6. What do you think of the Krump culture in Malaysia?

First of all, I just returned from a dance battle in KL with my friend who is also a Krumper pioneer in Malaysia. Fortunately, we are in the Top 8 out of 120 groups who participated in the battle. During the battle, I can see that people become excited to see the Krump dance. At that moment, I feel like Krump has gained recognition from people today. Looking back, it was so hard to penetrate the Krump culture in Malaysia because of misunderstanding and lack of exposure. A big thank you to the pioneers all around the country who have successfully joined hands to elevate this dance culture in Malaysia.

7. What is your opinion on the availability of platforms for art and cultural activities in Malaysia?

I think that the platforms for our activities are so limited. We have a lot of agencies who run this kind of event, but to rope in the right people whom they can rely on is so difficult. Sometimes, due to internal issues, the events are cancelled. This could be one of the reasons why our opportunities become fewer and more limited. This is why Johor Hip-Hop Community decides to continue organising our events as a platform for the youth out there to show their talents.

8. If you can perform anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

I want to perform in front of my mom. I don’t care where it is. Anywhere, as long as it is in front of her and my family. I know it is impossible since she is no longer with us. But yes, she is the reason why I’m here right now. She has always been a supportive mom. When I make mistakes, she always lets me know and encouraged me to improve.

9. What is your word of wisdom or message to the youth society?

I always remember that everything I earn today comes from the community. We do not live in this world alone, we have everyone. When we do something, think about the community, and contribute something in return.