Ready for lift-off: Malboneige
Electronic dancer and choreographer, Brandon Masele, aka ‘’Malboneige’’ from Paris joined Foot Locker for the 2019 Space Collection shoot, where he performed a killer routine. Lucky for us, we managed to steal some of his time for the low down on his career as a dancer.
When did you start dancing?
I’ve been dancing since I can remember. It has always been more of a passion than a professional goal. I never told myself that I was going to be a dancer. To me, dance was always just second nature, something that was part of me. In my family, we’ve always danced together. We used to watch video clips on TV and we learned choreography from Congolese singers. During Christmas we would put some music on and dance with my uncles and cousins.
When did your career really take off?
My career started in 2007 when I realized that electronic dance was the style for me. As soon as I discovered electro I started to training to improve my strength and skill. I very briefly attended a dance school, the AID, but I only stayed there for six months. In the grand scheme of things, six months in twelve years of dance is not a lot but it definitely opened my mind. I met a lot of other dancers with different styles and that helped me evolve a lot. I exchanged ideas and interacted with other cultures, dancing with like-minded people.Read more
What influenced your artistic side?
It was mostly my big brother who influenced my artistic side. By the time I was 17, I had reached a pretty good level. My brother came to me and told me not only was I an artist, but also a professional dancer. He really opened my eyes and made me realize that it could become a full-time job.
With this campaign, Foot locker broke the code by deciding to turn look books into platforms to launch up-and-coming artists.
What did you think of it?
I really loved this campaign, especially working with other young talent. I was super happy to participate and meet Manik and Prince Waly. It’s actually funny because even if I didn’t know Prince Waly personally, I realised that some of my friends had danced in his clips. I’m also really into Manik MC’s vibe, he’s a rap killer.
I really appreciate that Foot Locker is trying to put the urban culture at the forefront. It’s the right approach as I believe urban culture influences everyday life in a big way.
How did you prepare for this performance?
For this campaign, I experimented to create a routine that would synchronize with the lights.
But I would still call it freestyle choreography. There were some specific points where I knew what I had to do, but for the rest I improvised in real time.
Do you think it’s ‘legit’ for brands to help launch new artists?
Yes, the way Foot Locker is doing it is the right way, because they are not compromising the artists’ street cred in any way. I don’t find it fair when brands undermine an artist’s authenticity. Also I think that brands should have some sort of connection to the artists they promote, otherwise it looks fake. Here it’s great because it’s a sneaker brand that connects to street artists, so it makes sense.
Do you have any childhood memories of Foot Locker? Like a first pair of sneakers you got when you were a kid?
When I was a kid, I remember my cousins used to take me to Foot Locker to get the latest sneakers. It was an iconic store that combined all the coolest brands in one place.
If you had to keep one single item from the collection, what would it be?
I would keep the Fila pair, the one I was wearing first.
We’ve all gone through style changes throughout our lives, how do you think your personal style has changed?
My parents always taught me how to dress nicely. They had such swagger themselves. In the 90’s, my mom was already wearing cool Levi’s jeans, Converse and bomber jackets. They had a really cool style. I think some people are ashamed to look back at their style but I’m not.
I went through several style phases. At one point, I used to wear vintage jackets and I found most of my clothes in thrift shops. Today, I’m more casual with my style but I can’t really choose a single one. Sometimes I like to dress in streetwear, some other times classier and more tailored. I really choose my clothes according to my mood.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I still want to be a performer and I hope that I’ll be at my peak. I still have a lot of things to learn, but hopefully when I reach 35, I will be an even better dancer. With my crew, I hope to be performing lots of shows, touring the whole world and teaching abroad. I really enjoy travelling and that’s mainly because I started travelling at a very early age when I got invited to judge dance battles or teach people. My parents didn’t have money for me to travel, but dance opened up this new world of opportunity to me. I’m so grateful for that and I want to keep on meeting people who are as passionate as I am in other countries.