NEW YORK - Rewind five years, and Alexis Babini was a singer-songwriter who opened for acts from the Disney channel and teen pop star Aaron Carter.
His music never quite made the crowd go wild. One day he decided to change it up.
“Does anybody remember Disney movies from the 90s?” he shouted from the stage.
The crowd screamed. He played “Hakuna Matata” from the Lion King. That’s how he discovered a little secret: people love Disney music from the 1990s.
“I would do like a Disney cover or two... And it always went over well,” he said.
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That gave him an idea.
“So I’m like ‘lemme get a rock band together and just do a whole night of this," said Babini.
That one night five years ago turned into a whole new world of possibilities. And a whole new band.
Meet Little Mermen, a Disney cover band whose key demographic is 90s kids.
“It’s a little bit of a nostalgia party, a lot of our shows are like [a lot of] millennials.”
They’ve created rock songs of favorites like “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin,” and “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid,” just to name a few.
Emily Arron became a part of the Little Mermen world two years ago.
“People who love Disney really really really love Disney,” she says, including herself in that category.
“I loved Cinderella," said Arron. "I used to ask my mom if I could scrub the kitchen floor like Cinderella and I would sing her Sweet Nightingale song… I’m not kidding!”
Babini says nothing compares to the energy from a room full of “Dis-nerds.”
“That moment when the show is going really well and like people are just having a blast.”