Karam Singh, Derby’s breakdancing World Champion, was one of 10 recipients of a pavement star when the second phase of Made In Derby stars were unveiled on Saturday. The 21-year old is the youngest recipient of a star. After unveiling his plaque, Karam joined Derby breakdancing crew Trinity Warriors for a spectacular impromptu demonstration.
Made In Derby celebrates the famous sons and daughters of Derby, City of Making, or those who achieved fame in the city. Among those honoured in this second phase were Florence Nightingale, who revolutionised nursing practice, the first Astronomer Royal John Flamsteed, Olympic swimmer Adam Peaty and Hollywood actor Jack O’Connell. The stars were unveiled in Derby’s Market Place and along Irongate to the Cathedral.
Karam began breakdancing with classes from the Trinity Warriors crew at the age of eight and has become the UK’s leading breakdancer. He is the current UK champion and took the world title in September in Holland. He now hopes to represent the Great Britain in the Olympic Games should the IOC agree to its inclusion in the Paris 2024 games.
He admits he was surprised when he was told that he was to have a plaque. “The Council contacted me but, me being young and breakdancing being so urban, honestly, I didn’t really think anything of it. Then I got an email saying I was going to get a star, so I had to come for interviews and it became more real. But it was so secretive and it’s been very quiet until the last few days when it’s blown up and I’ve received a lot of love from the city.”
Karam was the only recipient of a plaque on hand to unveil his own star. “Just being around these people today, there are so many influences,” he said afterwards. “There are people getting unveiled today like Florence Nightingale, someone I learned about in school. To be of that stature within my city is incredible and I am truly grateful.
“It was kind of nerve-racking, I was so excited. There were so many emotions, it’s incredible to be recognised by the city, especially the older generations, people like The Mayor.”
Karam Singh with his plaque in Derby’s Market Place
Photo Geoff Ford, Derby Telegraph
He recently performed for BBC Proms and is filming for advertisements and commercials in the middle of a busy competition schedule. “Last weekend I won the World Championships in Holland, so at the moment I’m just resting a little before flying out again next week for another competition. I also have an event in LA representing my country, an Olympic qualification in Belgium in October and in December I have the World Ranking Finals.
“The Olympics is a huge thing. It gives the sport a bit of definition. When people think of breakdance, they think of the nineties and a radio in the street, people busking. Now, it’s a huge sport, one that young people can get in touch with and get involved with and has a social aspect. I guess I’ve been given a star because young people can connect with me and I’m happy to inspire, so it gives it definition and it gives us a platform.”
Karam with his family at the event Photo Geoff Ford, Derby Telegraph
To see him unveil his star, Karam was supported by brother Amandeep, sister Jordhan and proud dad Prem. Still overwhelmed by this recognition form his home city, Karam added “This is bigger than dance and it’s there forever! As long as the city exists, so does my name, I guess! This is just incredible!”