From busking to superstardom

Justice Crew
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The seven member dance troupe Justice Crew are much more than just your run-of-the-mill dance act. Why? Because in a little under two years Justice Crew have gone from relatively unknown street performers to an explosive ARIA award nominated music act.


Justice Crew were thrown into the limelight after winning the 2010 series of ‘Australia’s Got Talent’  and founding member of the dance group, Samson Cosray Smith, said the ride to success over the last two years has blown him away.


“Before we hit the big time we used to busk on the city streets for money,” he said.


“We’d go to Pitt Street in Sydney at about 11 o’clock in the morning and finish at about 6 o’clock at night. The money we earned would pay for our food and train ticket home.


“Fast forward to this year and we’ve toured with the likes of Janet Jackson and Chris Brown, as well as travelling and performing interstate, which has been an amazing and crazy experience.”


To kick off 2012, Justice Crew will be taking their singing and dancing talents to the EVAN Theatre at Penrith Panthers for their ‘Sexy And You Know It’ tour, which will explore the individual skills and talents of each Crew member.


“Our previous tour went really well and we were performing sell-out shows but this tour will be more focused on our individual talents,” Samson said.


“Each member of the Crew has their own little dance and it’s real personal and very intimate with the audience. We’ll be doing a lot of crowd interaction which is always cool.”


A school motif has worked well in the past for the troupe – who impressed ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ judges Dannii Minogue, Kyle Sandilands and Brian McFadden with a schoolyard themed dance in the finals of the television show.  For their latest show the boys from Justice Crew will be revisiting the theme with a twist.


The members of the Crew will each play the role of school students with their own individual superpowers, before they all come together to combine forces to become one big superpower crew.


“There are seven members and each Crew member has their own little story,” Samson said.


“It starts off with how they got their power and how they can use their power in the dance routines.


“During our first tour my power was my helmet, which meant strength to be able to do head spins. In this tour I no longer need my helmet and it’s all about inner strength. We’ll have a narrator telling the story, so the whole audience can follow along.”


Samson said a lot of preparation goes into putting together a full stage show like the ‘Sexy And You Know It’ tour.


This forces the boys to practice their routines in crazy places any spare moment they get.


“Any time we have a spare minute we’ll be training,” he said. “We’ve trained at airports, hotels, it’s been crazy because we want to try and get the routines down pat before Christmas when everyone goes away on holidays.”


Joining Justice Crew at their show at Penrith Panthers will be pop and RnB group Young Men Society (YMS), who most recently featured on this year’s ‘X Factor’.


Samson said he’s looking forward to catching up with some of his old dance buddies in YMS.


“A long time ago I used to be in the same dance group as the three boys in YMS and we competed in the Australian Hip Hop Nationals together,” he said.


“It’s crazy because we were supporting them on ‘X Factor’ and now they’re coming on tour supporting us.”


It’s been a wild ride for Justice Crew ever since they took out the title of ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ in 2010.
Justice Crew became the first dance act ever to win the Australian version of the competition, which has since inspired dance acts all over the world to follow in their footsteps.


Their win landed them $250,000 in prize money, which the boys all split evenly amongst each member.


“We all put a percentage of the winnings into an account so we can all stay together as a crew,” Samson said.


“With the rest of the money we all had to pay off debts, pay our families back through that whole process on ‘Australia’s Got Talent’, as well as go on one big shopping spree, which was crazy good.”


Not long after the show, Justice Crew had another secret talent under their sleeve – the ability to turn their dance act into a music act after they revealed they could not only dance like seasoned professionals but sing as well.


“After the show we went to Sony Music and did a proposal,” Samson said.


“We performed in front of the CEO and other management and Sony said let’s give the first single a try. Sony threw a song at us ‘And Then We Dance’, we went straight into the recording studio and then found out a couple of weeks later the song went Gold (35,000 units sold) and now they just keep giving us more singles to record.”


Justice Crew have so far released four pop/dance singles including the now platinum ‘And Then We Dance’, the double platinum top 20 hit ‘Friday To Sunday’, ‘Dance With Me’ featuring American rapper Flo Rida and their latest offering ‘Sexy And You Know It’.


Samson said singing wasn’t the plan at the beginning because the opportunity wasn’t there.


“Singing wasn’t our number one priority because dancing was our passion,” he said.


“Singing was something we always wanted to do, so when we went into Sony we’re like ‘This could actually happen!’. The Sony label is huge and that was a big drive for us to go hard and give it our all.”


Justice Crew will kick off the New Year at Penrith Panthers on Friday, January 13 at 7.30pm. All tickets are $41.50.


To book or for more information call 1800 061 991.


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