Katy Perry‘s Left Shark has spoken publicly for the first time about his part in her 2015 Super Bowl performance.
The dancer went viral after he appeared to forget the dance moves for the piece during the game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.
In a new interview, Left Shark’s identity has now been confirmed as Bryan Gaw, a former backing dancer and now hairstylist in LA.
Gaw worked with Perry for five years, but left her touring crew last year. Speaking to NPR, he said Left Shark’s moves were supposed to be “freestyle”. “There’s a set choreography,” he said, “there’s also what’s called freestyle choreography, or, like, you get to move around or play your character as a dancer.
“I’m in a seven-foot blue shark costume,” he continued. “There’s no cool in that. So what’s the other option? Well, I’m gonna play a different character.”
Gaw added that the character he picked was supposed to be an underdog and that his improvised dance moves were meant to be goofy. The former dancer said he hadn’t spoken about it publicly at the time because he didn’t want to take attention away from Perry.
“Actually I don’t get any negative feedback from it,” he said of when he tells people he is Left Shark. “If anything, people are like, ‘Woah, that’s so cool!'”
Meanwhile, Perry was one of several artists to criticise comments made by the Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, telling women to “step up” after the lack of female winners at the 2018 Grammys.
Out of all 899 Grammy nominees, only 9% were women – with only one winning a major award. Alessia Cara took home Best New Artist.
Perry wrote in response to a note published by Pink: “Another powerful woman, leading by example. We all have a responsibility to call out the absurd lack of equality everywhere we see it. I’m proud of all the women making incredible art in the fact of continual resistance.”