I had the fortunate opportunity to see the amazing group Molodi in action. Afterwards I was able to catch up with their president Jason Nious.
Molodi describes themselves as a performance ensemble that takes body percussion to the extreme. Using only their bodies as instruments, they blend collegiate stepping, tap, gumboots, beatbox, poetry and hip hop dance with guerrilla theatre and robust personalities that bring to life a high-energy, rhythmic experience. Molodi uses stepping as its base to create imaginative, humorous and rhythmic works of art.
They are really good. Check out this video:
After they performed, I was able with their president Jason Nious and chat. Check out conversation below:
(Beginning of Interview)
Hey Jason. It’s nice to meet you. So you are the President of Molodi? (Jason Nius: Yes) You started this?
Jason Nious: Yes (Laughs). You know in your head when your thing starts way before it actually starts? That’s Molodi. That’s how I am. I’m grown and old. Well I’ll say I’m grown because I still act like I’m 17. I consider myself to be in the Arts and Entertainment, because after spending so much time I’ve learned the distinction between the two. I find myself in the middle and knowing how to manage both. The grown part of me can look and discern what projects to take, and then I can go in and handle it.
That’s a good place to be in. Now did you start off stepping or singing?
Jason Nious: Well I use to be the really, really shy boy. The first thing that got me in front of people was gymnastics. The next thing was stepping in high school. I created the step team. In college I started as a business major, then I switched to theater. My dad was like, “really dude” (laughs). But yeah, it was gymnastics first, step, then my church choir. I was to in two African dance troups. The church choir was what help developed my voice.
Ha. What did you sing in church? Were you a tenor?
Jason Nious: You know how they do in church. All men are tenors, but I’m not so much anymore. Maybe I need to drop out into baritone. (laughs)
(Laughs) So when did Molodi start?
Jason Nious: Molodi actually started while I was in college, and it reformed after I did my 5 seasons in Step Afrika. I moved to Vegas because three of us of in Molodi got into Stomp. While we there, we restarted Molodi. We took some locals, some people from stomp and started there. You know it always starts off big, but then we boiled it down into a 5 person team. From there, we kept it going through teeth and grit. The majority of us have been in Cirque du Soleil, so we most recently started back up in 2013.
So what are you working on now?
Jason Nious: I’m working on putting stepping into a linear theatrical story. That is the goal. That is what Molodi is moving towards being able to do. We recently did a 75 minute version of our show at the Hard Rock Café. That’s the creative goal to continue to a captivating story.
That’s very lit.
Jason Nious: Right. We kill our regular events. We’re working on the full lengths shows and teaching. There is no way you can do this and not give back. There’s nothing like it!
The future sounds greater.
Jason Nious: Yes! (Laughs)
So how does your full length stroll go?
Jason Nious: The theme of our full length show is about a child who is the connector between other artists internally seeking who they are. They always come back home, and the child is wisest one of them all.
That’s pretty dope. I need to see this.
Jason Nious: Yes.
Last question: What has the experience been like this year?
Jason Nious: 2015 has been crazy. 2015 is really showing the work we’ve put. We’re getting opportunities all across the world. We went to Bali and so many more places. 2015 is really the reflection of the work we’ve put in. The work is almost nonstop. We’ve been having blessed work. You know when you say, “I want my life to be like this.” 2015 is us making it and living in that moment.
(Conclusion of Interview)
It was a great meeting Jason and the entire Molodi ensemble. Molodi is definitely on their way to being a household name. You can follow them on Twitter by clicking here. Visit their website molodilive.com to see when you catch them next.