It's taken Lil Zoo 10 years of breaking, five times on the BC One stage, and a move from his home country of Morocco to Austria, to finally achieve the epic feat of winning the Red Bull BC One World Finals. And not only did he finally win it, but he won it on his birthday.
Less than an hour after his win, Lil Zoo is surrounded by media, all wanting interviews with him. We waited patiently, allowing everyone else to get all the answers they needed from the new 2018 champion. When he was finally done we handed him a bottle of water, allowed him to relax and catch his breath, and then asked him about the win and what it all meant to him.
When the final battle was over, the first judge's decision was for Luigi. How did that feel?
If I'm honest I felt I won, but you know it was hard to see that first decision, I was like, 'ahh, ok.' But I felt I won because I felt he did well, but gave up. He had more stuff than me, but I felt he gave up, and me, I just kept going. He got the first decision, but I got the rest.
You moved countries to follow this breaking life. Has this win made it all worth it?
I'm just happy. In life you make a decision and just follow it. Even if you fall it's your decision, it's what you want to do.
I saw you watching some of the battles. Were you watching to see who won to know who you'd battle next?
For me, when I watch, I don't think so. It's less stress and I enjoy it. I love all these guys and really for me it was an honour to battle Luigi, he's one of my first idols and one of the ones who even changed the way that I dance. And everyone else I just love watching. I was enjoying it.
How was it having your crew members, Cri6 and The Wolfer, also in the competition with you?
Brother, really, to see them in this stage, for me I got goose bumps, like wow! Look, man, we've come so far, really, and I don't think anyone can imagine from where we came from because we never cry about it. And all of our old crews all hate each other and fight each other. We came out and said, 'yo, let's change this.' Our older generation was messed up and we say, 'please change this,' and we did it. Now we have the best relationship with the new generation. This is happiness for me.
Are you going to go back to Morocco with the belt to show the people?
Of course. 100% percent. Of course.
And you mentioned in an earlier interview how you just went out there to have fun and not stress over anything?
The most and best thing I did today, even when I didn't feel it, was just giving my 100 percent, this is it.
Was there anyone you battled who actually worried you?
Victor. Against him I slipped in everything first round and then he did a crazy first round. After that I had two choices, cry and let him win, or at least fight, and bro, I swear to God I was destroyed mentally, but I kept fighting.
After this win will you take a holiday or keep going?
No, I'll keep going. I don't feel like I've done too much, I think I can do more. I'll take a holiday in January.
Last question: is there anyone you want to shout out?
I would say thanks to Rochdi. He's my Mentor, my big brother, my everything. He's really the guy who believed in me from the very first day. He's an old school B-Boy from Morocco, but now he lives in Rome, Italy. He believed in me from the first day since I was a little kid, and he was my real teacher.
End of interview.
Congratulations to Lil Zoo for finally achieving this milestone in his career after 10 years of breaking and 5 times on that stage, now. Plus, for winning on his actual birthday.
(Interview by Emmanuel Adelekun)