Two weeks ago, I briefly introduced you to Alexander DZIRI, the author behind the article “Big jams, Big money: The reality uncovered”. Dancer, promoter, blogger, the multi-facetted graduate in Strategic Communication shows us another of his skills by giving us a little insight in the entrepreneur world, through his upcoming product Raw Zone. Enjoy!
– Meet Alexander DZIRI –
Tell us more about yourself: who you are, how you discovered the urban culture…
I’m Alexander Dziri. I discovered breaking through friends and some clips on MTV. That evolved into joining Team Shmetta and battling all over the world, probably one of the better periods of my life. I’m also the founder of Raw Circles, a worldwide respected 2vs2 breakdance championship. We have over 10 qualifiers all over the world and more than 1 million views on YouTube yearly. Next to that, I’m also interested in business, marketing, books, fitness, gymnastics and nutrition. I like to be open-minded and have different experiences.
You are involved in the Hip Hop scene with the Shmetta Crew and by creating the event Raw Circles. The next step is somehow atypical, as you are now preparing the launch of Raw Zone, a nutrition supplement designed to be an asset for dancers desiring to reach higher performances. What has inspired you to create this product? In other words, what is the story behind Raw Zone?
I’ve been dancing for 10 years now. I’ve always been a hungry bboy, always looking for a new edge and always wanting to win competitions. At a certain point in my dancing career, I started feeling limitations on the athletic part of my body and I hit a ceiling, although there were other bboys around me who were still a lot better technique-wise, in my opinion. I think most people would just give up there, which I did for a little while, but decided later on that I should try out other ways than the “conventional” way of just training powermoves and technique on the floor. So I started thinking of different ways that haven’t been done before.
I lost sight of a dear friend of mine, who’s a nutrition-expert and MMA-champion, and decided to start seeing him again and do some training with him. He introduced me to a healthier lifestyle and supplements, and showed me what impact it had. I was amazed by this whole new world! A very normal thing in his world and almost unknown in the dancing-world.
Obsessed with finding my new level and available research online, I got in very deep. I read, tested, talked to experts and created a formula for myself. I never intended it to be a product in the first place. It was just to uplift myself. I started talking about it with friends and co-dancers and got a very exciting response back. I even had random people calling me up before a battle asking me if I had a portion for them. This evolved into a new vision on the dance. If I can bring myself to a new level, why not introduce it to the entire scene and help them reach a new level?
I see it like this: First there were Olympic sports, such as swimming, running and the long jump. These have grown so high in level that nutrition and supplements have become an essence for succeeding – you won’t meet a high-level athlete who’s a regular customer at McDonald’s. Today a lot of new athletic art forms, such as bboying, stand-up dance, tricking, skating, BMX, snowboarding, etc. have risen. They are developing at a fast rate and, in my opinion, about to hit a ceiling soon. My vision is to bring those kinds of new forms to the next level by being the first one to introduce supplements with Raw Zone. Bboying 2.0 if you want.
Each year, I catch the “I want my body to be lean and sharp for the summer” syndrome. So, in order for my efforts to be more effective, I always look for a dietary supplement: the choice is incredibly large! Personally, I eventually don’t buy anything, mostly because I never practice more than 2 months :-/, but the point is: What are your thoughts on the competition?
Unfortunately, there is no “magic pill” for losing weight and looking great. Even if there was, people would lose weight, and after taking their magic pill start gaining weight again because they haven’t adjusted their daily eating habits. The best way to look good is first and foremost to have a good nutrition plan. People can go really far just by eating healthy. It might be counter-intuitive telling this to people if I want to sell my product, but I don’t want to bullshit people, I’m a businessman, but I’m also a dancer, and I expect both to be in balance if I want to do this right.
So why use Raw Zone? Raw Zone is designed to introduce a new experience in training and competing. It’s built to give you a new edge. If you’re constantly pushing your limits, Raw Zone can push that limit even further. On top of that, the formula of the product is composed in such a way that instead of feeling like sh*t the next day, you actually feel better by having reduced muscle soreness. The ultimate product haha! That’s what I aimed for, at least, when I created it myself.
Next to that, it doesn’t contain any unnecessary ingredients you might find in the fitness-world that gives benefits such as more vein-visibility or building up size. Lots of those products are also pumped up with a lot more caffeine to lift higher weights. I believe that isn’t necessary. A dancer needs to have a good boost, but should also stay in control of himself and be aware of what’s happening around him, so he can still execute on beat or answer to an opponent.
Creating a product, especially in the domain of health & care, can be a hassle. So far, what is the worst moment of your journey and of course, what is the best?
Getting my product approved by my government. It takes at least 6 to 8 weeks just to get feedback and then another 6 to 8 weeks to get a second feedback. They also micromanage everything and ask the smallest details. It’s ok to make sure a consumer gets a good product, but sometimes it goes to extreme ends where, in my opinion, it hurts entrepreneurship. Belgium, my country, has the least amount of businesses in the world in proportion to the population for these types of reasons. But no worries, I’ll manage.
After I created the formula and made some samples, I went to IBE and gave out some samples to see what dancers had to say about it. After giving it to one dancer, he came back the next day with 5 other guys and asked me if he could buy a pot. For me, this proved that I wasn’t the only one who’s interested in supplements. I could envision myself doing something I love while making a living out of it. I’d rather contribute to my scene by selling a product and promoting a blog instead of using my skills on a big international company with indifferent, uninspiring co-workers. That’s how I see it, at least.
The launch of Raw Zone is a few weeks away from now… What’s your feeling?
Raw Zone will launch in about 6 to 8 weeks, I’m guessing. My feeling is great, I already have orders coming in, individually and wholesale, so I don’t try to stress too much. I’d rather focus on giving future customers more value by feeding my blog with interesting stories and content. I love doing the blog; it’s become very fulfilling.
Now, it’s the free speech space. Here you can say whatever is on your mind, even things like “my socks don’t match”.
1. Get Raw Zone Online
2. Drink, and enter the Raw Zone
3. Message me about the great training you had or send me a clip of a battle where you killed it!
SEE YOU IN THE RAW ZONE SOON