Two years ago, under the moniker Take Some Crime, an enigmatic Canadian man went down to his basement to film a few dance moves while trying out a new camera his father had given him as a gift. After uploading the video to YouTube, something extraordinary happened.
“I didn’t think I’d upload any more, but inspiration struck and I just kept doing more,” he said via phone from his hometown, which is in a city that’s not Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver (he wishes to remain somewhat anonymous). “Each video was supposed to be my last, yet here we are,” he said of his viral success.
128 videos and over 8 million streams later, TSC is a genuine YouTube phenomenon. To be sure, there are countless dancing fiends on the web, but very few are operating on the global level of TSC. His best-known dance, set to Austrian musician Parov Stelar’s “Catgroove,” has so far earned nearly 5 million views.
“The Parov Stelar song was the real turning point,” he says of his new career, which has led to a commercial in Germany and a manager and agent in Croatia.
“It’s still somewhat shocking to me,” he continued, adding that his viral video impacted Stelar so much that the musician flew him out to Austria to perform a concert in Vienna. “It was a surreal,” he says of the experience. He was also asked by British band Monarchy to dance on stage with them during Coachella earlier this year, where he appeared during their rendition of “Love Get Out of My Way.”
So what’s the secret behind TSC’s liquid moves? The twenty-something mystery man says he’s not a classically trained dancer, but that an early interest in karate helps him come up with ideas for dance routines set to music. “The karate moves somehow transferred over,” he says.
This year, it seems even more people are discovering the dancer online. “The highest percentage of views I’m getting lately are coming from Georgia, and not the Georgia in America, but the former Soviet country,” he says. “I can’t really understand it.”
As long as TSC keeps uploading clips—he’s since danced to everyone from Skrillex to Hungarian electro-house producer We Plants Are Happy Plants—people will keep watching, and his fans love him as much for his musical selections as for his dancing. “To be honest, I had my YouTube channel long before I started dancing.” As for the meaning behind his name? “I’d like to leave it ambiguous so people can have their own interpretation,” he says.