From humble beginnings in Sydney’s western suburbs, the nine-member outfit became one of 2010′s hottest talking points when they won “Australia’s Got Talent”. With the series win, they collected the $250,000 victor’s prize cheque and a contract with Sony Music.
“Winning the competition was like a dream come true” explains Emmanuel “EMan” Rodriguez, the unofficial frontman of Justice Crew. “It was like a book which starts from where we came from, how Justice came together, how we entered the competition, and then winning the series. It was unreal that we made it so far. It just shows that if you work really hard, you’ll get there.” Taking out the competition is by no means the end of this story. The dancers split their windfall and have invested for the future – theirs and for other aspiring dancers.
The troupe tipped cash into a band fund and invested in Justice Academy Inc., a program which helps disadvantaged young Australians work on their confidence, self-expression and team-building skills by hosting free dance workshops and classes.
All nine-members are hands-on at the Justice Academy, which uses music and dance to empower future generations. Age is no barrier. In 2010, the Academy’s 5- 9 year old graduates competed in the 2010 LA World Hip Hop competition under the name “Little Justice”.
“Our goal is to get the Academy running so it’s a full-time course where kids can actually get a certificate out of it and learn life skills” says EMan Rodriguez. “We want to prove that dancing for Australians can be a career.”
The nine hip hoppers come from diverse backgrounds, with dancing the coming thread. They met through dance circles in their late teens and in early 2009 became “Justice Crew” under the mentorship of New Zealand-born dance veteran Maurice June.
“They’re very talented. They’re the best in the country at what they do both as individuals and as an example to others” says Maurice June.
Initially, the “supercrew” was a larger team. Over time, the group whittled down to the current nine, a squad of individuals who connect on many levels. In 2009, the team entered into the World Hip Hop Dance Championships in Las Vegas, finishing a credible 14th. A bigger finish would come when on June 15, 2010, the crew made it all the way in “Australia’s Got Talent.”
Sony Music released Justice Crew’s debut single “And Then We Dance” on August 27, and will issue a full-length DVD in late September. Plans are to tour the act nationally, and in time internationally. “When you look at the journey, from where they’ve come to where they are now” notes June, “they’re not scared of anything.”
About the NEW SINGLE ‘BOOM BOOM’ and MORE!
Justice Crew become the first Australian group to hit No.1 in over five years since Silverchair in 2007.
Justice Crew, the Australia’s favourite dance crew, are back with a new single ‘Boom Boom’. This catchy tune fly’s hot off the success of the last two singles ‘And Then We Dance’ achieving platinum and ‘Friday to Sunday’ reaching double platinum sales status. ‘Boom Boom’ is written by Jay Sean, and the single features three Karaoke tracks so you can sing and dance along with the crew, and become the 8th member of the dance and hip hop collective. Earlier in 2012, the crew supported One Direction on their East Coast tour and it was career highlight for the guys. “Getting to go on the road with One Direction was kind of like a dream come true, they’re such a great and talented bunch of guys, and we certainly learnt a lot from them. It was also great being on the road and seeing all our amazing fans, we love them!” Justice front man Emmanuel “EMan” Rodriguez said. The One Direction lads feature in an online video The Justice Crew produced for their twitter fans. The crew are constantly in touch and interacting with their fans via social media networks which is a key part to their success. Justice Crew, who first shot to fame when they entered and took out the grand prize in the 2010 series of Australia’s Got Talent, continue to impress Australian audiences and fans alike with their jaw dropping moves, energetic personalities and hot tracks. Beyond jaw dropping shows featuring world class dance styles and incredible athleticism, there is another dimension to Justice Crew. With all the members having come from very humble backgrounds, it is now their collective vision to use music and dance to empower future generations with the will to dream big. The troupe have set up and conduct Justice Academy Inc, a program which helps young Australians work on their self confidence and team building skills by holding free dance workshops and classes.