On Decemer 23, 2012 Niko Birakos aka “Wave-O-Matic” passed away and on to the heavens. Known for his Sparta-like energy, his love for dance and the community, and his 100% support and love for those he came into contact with – Wave O was a true pioneer and community leader to many.
My first experience with Wave O was at a jam in Phoenix, “Hype Wars.” When I first heard his name it sounded very familiar to me and I knew right off the bat he was one of the pioneer OGs in the style of Popping. I saw him teaching these little kids how to wave and he was all over the place with excitement. That was Wave O as I would come to see him at other events and online. He had so much energy both physically and for life and he always wanted to teach others. After we did the interview, a few things touched me such as “Dance is the fingerprint of the soul.” That interview and chatting with him after really impacted me to go searching for the truth about the various styles and Hip Hop history. I saw him a few more times like at Keep on Dancing LA and spoke to him online a few times, he will be missed in the community!
Messages from friends through “The real TRUTH minus the propoganda” group on Facebook (I don’t mean to leave anyone out, just wanted to share a few posts)
Conker Mong – “The real truth is that Niko Waveomatic Birakos was an authentic OG he showed a lot of people a diferent way to see popping, and this art of dance we love: Waving, and getting nothing back., expecting nothing back, when some other people charge u a lot of money just to get a lilbit of their knowledge, waveo was an open book, and he loved to do dat and to mantain the real escence of this, check every one of his post & comments and he defended all his bealives cause he was talking with the truth, not jsut an opinion like many others do.i remember we smoking a blunt at his car, he telling me how he got his nick Wave-o-matic, and im sure many of u know that story and many more from him, more than an OG he was a true person and a friend, and i think thats whats missing in a lot of OGs and dancers nowdays. keeping the truth alive is on us, our main warrior is down but like my culture, the aztecs, when a warrior is down we stand up stronger cause his soul will feed our desire to keep this dream alive.”
Olga Tjukov – “Dear Waveo when I was in LA this summer you were one of the people I had the best time with! You’ve been a great and fun person to hang out with, full of energy, positive, happy and faszinated. You were always saying you were a nerd but no what you were was awesome! It was inspiaring and interesting to talk to you. Some of the things you told me I keep on telling other dancers cause it’s so true! You were a good host and a great person. You promised me a weaving lesson and now I could punch myself cause I haven’t used that opportunity yet… I thought I have time. You told me the goals you have in your life with dancing and I hope they are already achieved!!”
Mastalock – “I want to thank Wave-O for letting me join and be a part of this group and he had some great views and spirit of of our dance, which I shared similar views, I was looking forward to seeing him at next years OG Poppers Picnic which I will be attending and thinking on some ideas that can add to this great event and I was going to actually message Wave-O on coming together on some ideals with some others what ideals we can add. Wavomatic was about the real, He was about to help and better our community and forget all the drama that other dancers had, any bs between dancers He wanted squashed, He was all about unity from what I know about Wave O Matic. Let’s Keep his goal, his dream, and ideals alive and squash any bs, hate among our community and come together disagree to agree and come together through any differences and let our differences turn into our strength to be able to work out any differences and make it a masterpiece. Let’s keep his memory alive, his dreams, his goals. And Keep this group going in the Honor Wave-O. R.I.P. Waveomatic Your Memory and Legacy here will live on and Your group Should still carry on. R.I.P. Wave-O, All My Love To You. MASTALOCK”
Agatron – “Niko had an intelligence for & a true deep passion & love for the dance & the people in the community. I loved the hilarious stories he shared at all the parties & the passion with which he told them. He had the guts to live life to its fullest. And besides being fun & crazy he was actually so wise. Ill never forget the time he did a wave of a sperm going into an egg & he said “Sperm can’t robot!” I loved seeing him in the zone focused on what he was doing and sharing with others. Agatron loves you Niko! Rest in peace!”
Midnight -“WAVO-THIS CAT was one of the FIRST to REALLY PUSH me about the POPPERS PICNICS,about my fooddrives,my street shows,about trying to UNITE THE DANCERS regardless of the haters and the stuck up cats who hated. He had MY back when alot didnt. When alot of cats ‘turned up thier noses’ he stood right there.He pulled me over one time when we was the HOMELAND battles in 09 . He told me” MIDNIGHT,what you try to do is f’ng amazing.its very courageous n bold-I got your back dog!!! “” You steppin up trying to unite and Im with that 100% EDDIE oh hell yeah!! ” I said ” WAVO some of these cats dont want that”. He tells me” EDDIE dont let that stop you.If they dont want it-f’em!!”. “Its up to cats like you to DO IT DAWG”.He says” IM A SPARTAN to the FULLEST!” “We FIGHT FOR WHATS RIGHT”. And he was LOUD ,all in my face tellin me this.
I remember when me, him, Boardman, Haze, BOO, NO BONEs,and the BOPPERS were in that van for 7 hours going to Frisco to rep LA. He went FULL STEAM AHEAD-there AND BACK. We stayed up 16 hours straight lol.Then when we got back at 430 in morning him and his dad didnt leave me at the drop off point,they insisted they took me with them intil i was straight. He loved EVERY DANCER ON THE PLANET. He told you EXACTLY what was on his mind, very loudly….he didnt bite his tongue. AND He supported EVEEEVERYBODIES EVENT.If some of you didnt like the person who put an event together,you guys didnt go.Or youd boycott ON PURPOSE.
Not WAVO-he supported the event because he supported DANCE!!!! . If BS came about something hed ‘smash’ on it…….If good things came up he LOVED it..If you wanted to learn or improve your “game’,and you asked him-we would help you with open arms.NO QUESTIONS ASKED ,just straight knowledge He CAME to ALL 5 of the PICNICS,BOTH the DANCERS’ FOODDRIVES,he taught at HOMELAND for NOOOOTHING. He taught for love of the dance.He gave you guys SOOO F’NG much…….NOOOOW maybe you ALL will unite ,combine your minds and your skills, to give the world what HE was trying to give-love thru dance and free expression. While you STILL can-because you never know………. MIDNIGHT.”