"I would describe dancehall as a culture," Alexx Mubanga said.
"It's a culture, it's from Jamaica and it's a way of escaping the struggles, everyday struggles."
Born in Kitwe in Zambia, Mr Mubanga moved to Perth eight years ago to study at TAFE, and while he had always loved the dance form he never thought he would be doing it long term.
"My family more wanted me to study, something like mechanical engineering, which is why I went into that," he said.
But as an international student, the 29-year-old found he was having to work all night just to pay his fees.