Whats up, I’m Isaiah Sosho. I was born and raised in Long Beach California. I currently live here in Chicago where I choreograph and am the leader of The Future Kingz dance crew.
How was growing up in California?
I didn’t appreciate the things people generally run there for. Growing up, it felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. I didn’t enjoy things that most people from California pride themselves on. As a family we would always go to the beach, and I just always thought to myself, “man again?” I hate sand and I hate really cold water. As for school life in California, Lord knows I was not a “cool” kid and I wasn’t up to date with really anything when I was younger. Not hip to the lingo, music, or fashion so childhood was pretty rough. I do pride myself on where I was raised though because it made impenetrable to BS people deal with on the regular.
When did you first start dancing?
Dancing was something I was always infatuated with. My brother and I always liked being on the scene, so performing just came natural to us. I really got into dancing though, I’d say, when I was 12-13.
Who did you begin dancing with and who were your biggest influences?
I wasn’t really allowed to watch TV or be on the Internet as a little kid, so exposure to new material came straight from the streets. My inspiration came from my friends in the streets. Jay, Trey, Jalen, Josh, and Chris were my brother’s best friends and mine. (Rest In Peace Jay Green) We were all in a dance crew together. They always inspired my brother and I.
What was the first big event you were apart of in Cali?
Allen (my brother) and I would always go down to the Town Center and go dance in front of shoppers and employees.
When did you finally move to Chicago?
I made the move to Chicago on June 28th, 2010. I was 15, moving into my sophomore year of High School. My first stop in Chicago was at The Taste of Chicago. My brother and I just started dancing in front of everyone in Millennium Park.
With the move to Chicago, who did you begin dancing with/collab with?
We started to collaborate with the people who were beginning to see our talent. We met a couple of people downtown, Demir, Aaron, and Derek who all ended up being TFK.
Did your style of dance change a bit when you moved to Chicago?
Absolutely, we tried to stay true to our California style, but we were exposed to a whole different world. We began seeing Chicago footwork, bopping, a lot of different dances out here.
What year did you create TFKidz? When did you then change the name to TFKingz?
TFK was created within the first month we moved to Chicago. We actually had no idea on what the TF stood for, it sounded cool, and we just wanted to make something. We changed the name to TFKingz around 1-2 years after the group was created. We felt like we were taking a crown that belonged to us. We considered ourselves Kingz. After the name change to Kingz, that’s when we truly discovered a meaning behind TF. TF began to stand for The Future; it was something we always looked to represent.
One of TFK’s main style of dancing was jerking, how did the jerking movement/culture help elevate your guy’s success?
It was more of an avenue. It was a gateway that exposed us to many other things. We found out about tutting and contortionism. Through jerking we found a way to incorporate showmanship and charisma into our moves. Jerking was able to give TFK an identity.
Was coming up hard in Chicago?
I thought it was a fairly easy transition. In 2010 and 2011 when we first moved out here, creating this huge fan-base early on wasn’t our main focus. We had looked to develop connections and friendships with people. It was easy to come up because we all were able to come up together.
Who were some of TFK’s early supporters?
As far as fans, we had some diehard fans. Shout out to Makenna from Iowa. The first time I had met her, she had made a shirt with my face and name on it, and she is one fan I will never forget. As far as support systems that really helped us out, we had Aaron, he was really tech savvy with the filming and editing, Demir, he was great at organizing events with 100’s of people.
Has the jerk movement still been supportive of you guys?
They really have no choice but to support and respect us. As a crew, we were able to bring Jerking to a bigger platform. Also, I feel like anyone who is in the jerk world and is a hater, is not a real jerk. A real “jerk” is going to be supportive of anytime they see jerking get to the grand stage of things in the industry because it was an oppressed style.
When did you guys begin to transition into more of a choreography crew?
We were always into the way things looked when things were more harmonized. TFK was popular for doing things simultaneously, clean, and having interactions with each other. We had routines and tag teams even early on. Around late 2012 we met Renzell and brought him around. With the addition of Renzell, that’s when we began to go into the choreography aspect. With putting him on, it truly changed everything for TFK.
How did the relationship with D-low happen? How has working and touring the US been with him?
We met D-low in January 2015 at America’s got Talent. When we first met, it was more of a rivalry thing. D-low had a following at that time, he was the bop king. Our relationship turned from a rivalry into a friendship. We later were cameos on the set for Chance The Rapper’s music video for Sunday Candy. On set is when we became really close and wanted to begin working on projects together. Dlow would have shows with Manny Treo and we would dance at the shows. Dlow had the following and TFK had the substance. Traveling and touring was fun. We did a lot of crazy shows. One of the best experiences on tour was being able to go to Atlanta and perform for the kids at Ron Clark Academy.
2011 you went to your first World of Dance and battled in the all styles competition, this past year you competed as a crew for the second year in a row and were able to place 2nd. How was that feeling?
It felt amazing. That’s one thing I’m still to this day speechless about. I didn’t even think that was going to happen. World of Dance is basically the Super Bowl for the dance universe. I remember when they were announcing third place and we didn’t hear our names, I was thinking, man, there goes our spot, we just have to come back next year. Megan Batoon then announced second place winners; “The Future Kingz” and we lost our minds. Our goal was to prove to everyone that it wasn’t lucky and we were supposed to be there. Our drive was to showcase our love to Chicago, it wasn’t important for us to be the best, it was important for us to be the favorite, to be the people’s champion. The fans get excited seeing us hit the stage and that’s what we look to achieve.
You then went on to say, “The year they laughed > the year we learned” Explain that
The year they laughed we went into the event thinking we were going to win. As a crew we went in with our matching outfits and confidence and they laughed at us. They told us we were lucky to even make it to 8th place. When I say ‘they’, I mean some of the companies competing for the top spots. A lot of the companies didn’t even want to see us there competing. The year that they laughed, we ended up learning so much. For the next year we spent time choreographing, learning musicality, and figuring out more ways to interact with the crowd.
You’ve been able to work with some Chicago heroes lately such as Chance The Rapper & Vic Mensa, How were those opportunities?
Vic is a really funny dude; working with him was cool. Our time working with him was on a music video for a song called “I Aint Tripping”. The video still never got put out. Working with Chance has been an amazing experience. Chance is such a good role model for the city. He’s truly one of the only real Independent artists I’ve ever been exposed to. He inspires the group to be a lot more resourceful. Chance is always reaching out and showing us love, he gives us a lot to look up to. The night we rehearsed for Power 92’s 15th year anniversary, Chance looked at us and said, “You guys represent Chicago now, it’s no surprise that you guys are here”. Chance saying that changed my entire outlook.
What makes TFK stand out more than any other dance crew out right now?
What makes us stand out is the fact that we are so genuine. The charisma is real, the passion is real, the friendship is real, there’s nothing fake about us. As a group we can perform anywhere, whether it’s a school, a birthday party, cameos with artists, we could take it to a competition, whatever. Our chemistry is what makes is unparalleled by any other group.
What life lessons have you taken away from dancing?
It’s ok to be misunderstood. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable to your craft doesn’t make you weak, but it makes you that much closer to mastering it. I also learn to take my time with my work. It looks and feels better that way.
What’s next for TFK in 2016?
One thing I learned is that it’s best to move in silence. Our supporters know how to find these dudes with the crazy hair.
Any advice for any young dancers
A goal, without a plan, is just a dream. Anything that hits your imagination is possible; just get it in the studio. Plan it over with your friends. It’s all-obtainable.
Written by: Nicholas Rud