Monday, February 4, 2008

Shimmy Exclusive Interview- Musa Cooper

Shimmy: So how are you?

Musa: Good, good. Actually, I'm going on tour with Alicia Keys for about ten months. First we'll be in the U.K. until April 1st and then we'll come back for two weeks. Then we'll continue with a U.S. tour. We've been training for the last two weeks and we're leaving next Monday. By the time we're ready to leave I'll be ready for it.

Shimmy: What else have you been doing?

Musa: Basically, I've done a lot of commercials here and there. I did a Super Bowl commercial last year. I've done commercials for Chevy, Comcast, Popeye's Chicken. I've worked with Jay-Z. I'm going on calls and auditioning every other day. Dancing every other day too. I've done a lot of dance workshops here and there. I've been a judge at colleges and different events.

Shimmy: You have really launched yourself into a bunch of different genres. What are some of the best experiences that you've had in the last couple of years?

Musa: The most memorable thing is the show of course, So You Think You Can Dance. After the show I'd say the Super Bowl commercial because that is the most watched show in America and I signed with The Screen Actors Guild. The next big thing would be the Alicia Keys tour.

Shimmy: Speaking of So You Think You Can Dance, how did the show change your life?

Musa: Before the show I was already a working dancer in the industry. I didn't have much recognition on the west coast because all of my jobs were on the east coast. In 2002, I did the VMA awards at Radio City Music Hall. It was actually the first audition I'd ever gone to. After I landed that job I thought, Okay I think I have a career in dance, so I started doing more. I was getting constant work before the show but after it, even more work came, this time from all over the world. People calling me from India trying to do workshops... the show was like my business card to America, letting people know that I exist.

* Musa Cooper Solo from SYTYCD *

Video: Joooeyyy

Shimmy: What are your biggest motivators right now?

Musa: The look on peoples face when I dance. I'm an entertainer, I love dancing and seeing people enjoying me dance. I definetly dance from within but I love the fact that whoever is watching me is being entertained. I love being in front of people and being able to wow somebody just by the way I move my foot or throw my hands in the air. People and music, that's motivation.

Shimmy: Are there any genres of dance that you'd like to branch out into?

Musa: I guess contemporary is something I can float into. The number I did on the show, it changed me. This just had me move and not have to jump and do steps all over the place. It was a very spiritual and emotional dance and that's a style that I would like to dip and dabble into. Unfortunately while getting a lot of work doing what I do, it is hard to turn down the money in order to go and train, paying someone else instead. I try not to turn down any jobs.

* Musa & Natalie perform a Contemporary routine on SYTYCD *

Video: Joooeyyy

Shimmy: Your talent has really propelled you and in each job you've landed with some well-known names in the business. Who are some of the people that have inspired you?

Musa: Alicia Keys' choreographer, Tanisha Scott encouraged me because she saw through my weaknesses. She told me a story about herself, she started off basically how I started off and she is a blessing to work with.

Shimmy: How has becoming a dad turned your life upside down?

Musa: It's harder to go to work now. Gotta say bye to my wife, bye to both of them and I walk out of the house thinking, I'm leaving again, oh my god. I get home and she's asleep. Before I go to work she's asleep. I don't get to see her enough. That's maybe one of the negative parts of this career. To be constantly traveling and to have a child while doing this is hard on the heart. I want to be there when she crawls and walks but I know what my career is. There's a chance that I won't be able to see these things. I don't ever want to be gone too long.

Shimmy: Tell me something that I'd never in a million years guess about you.

Musa: That's a tough question. I think people find out that sometimes I'm too nice of a person. I'll let things slide too easily just to make sure that I don't hurt anybody's feelings. I'm a super nice guy and sometimes it gets me into trouble.

Shimmy: What would you like your fans to know?

Musa: I'd like everyone to know how appreciative I am of their support. I have people contacting me, sending emails and messages a lot and I'm grateful. I'm thankful to the fans because without there support I would not be where I am. I feel like they helped to catapoult me. I might be working behind the scenes a little, dancing behind someone but I'm still dancin'. Keep watching because every now and then I'll pop up.

Shimmy Video Pick
* Musa & Natalie perform a disco routine on SYTYCD *

Video: Joooeyyy

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