We had the good fortune of connecting with MAZI $MAZI and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi MAZI, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
My name is Mali Dada D’Janite, professionally known as “MAZI $MAZI”. I’am “I Can Do AnyThing I Put My Mind To In Human Form”, but in my physical form i’am a full time entrepreneur; Specializing in Professional Dancing, Modeling, & Designing. .
I’am born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City; Bed Stuy to be exact. I come from a family full of creatives, all of us touch the scale of multi-talent with the common theme of our love of music. My father is a DJ, Whom introduced me to all things hip-hop at a very young age. I grew up being exposed to classic music and movies such as Breakin’, Beat Street, and shows such as Graffiti Rock, and Soul Train to name a few, that made me fall in love with street styles and all that dance had to offer.
After watching all the magic on tv, I expressed to my parents my desire to dance. My creativity was nurtured and I was put into dance classes to pursue all the styles I wanted to learn. I come from parents who had two different upbringings, one whom’s parent supported them in their dreams and one whom’s didn’t, their coparenting style was to always support their children in their artistic abilities. My mother always told me to dive into all my abilities and I lead with that mentality to this day to this day. which birthed a successful modeling career and a newly found clothing business.
I appreciate the way my needs were nurtured and grateful of the support system that was cultivated at a young age. I’am now a young adult with multiple streams of income doing what I love.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My artistry is why I’m still alive. The art forms I express myself in, all play a different role in maneuvering through this lifetime. My art forms have saved me in different time points of my life. Through every trail & tribulation, I remained authentic and unapologetically myself. I like to say I’ve died many times and am constantly in a state of rebirth cause I don’t attach myself to one version of myself. Getting to this mentality wasn’t easy, as I have had many feelings of doubt but the perseverance outweighs the feeling of uncertainty.
My parents poured into my creative abilities at a young age. I started modeling at the age of 3. I landed a contract with Ford Modeling Agency & CESD Talent Agency, which put me on Children’s shows such as Sesame Street, Blues clues, Nick Jr and did campaigns with DKNY, Etc.
After growing older and falling out of size, I fell back from modeling and began training in dance styles such as African, Hip-Hop, Tap, Ballet, and Modern dance under the mentorship of Obediah Wright, at the Balance Dance Academy in Brooklyn. After going through other dance teams such as “Cradle In The Rock Youth Ensemble” which catered to. my love of African dance and “AbunDance Academy Of The Arts” who valued all art forms including musical theatre, I Landed at BrickHouse NYC which is a commercial dance studio in Times Square. Under the mentorship of Kelly Peters, I was exposed to the commercial dance world and all that it had to offer to a hungry kid like myself.
Through all my creative outlets, my educational outlet wasn’t always up to par. Being a creative, I often found that school wasn’t a beneficial contribution to the success of my art, so dance became my form of college. after dropping out of high school , I pursued my dance training consistently and full time at BrickHouse NYC. Where I was taught the depths of hip-hop dance styles. I was fortunate to work with artists such as Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, Fat Joe, Jon Baptiste, Teyana Taylor, Princess Nokia, Nike, Adidas, Micheal Kors, etc by gathering the tools I’ve learned and put them to use in my professional life as a dancer.
Being from Brooklyn, I carry a certain level of confidence and flyness within myself, but still remain humble to show my gratitude to the universe and open the way for blessings.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Brooklyn is the best place for spontaneous adventure. One of my favorite spots is Basquiat’s Bottle, I go there for some great food, drinks and a fashionable crowd of young people. I love bike rides around Brooklyn, visiting dumbo park, riding over the Williamsburg bridge and shopping and thrifting in Williamsburg and The Lower East Side.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate my shoutout to my mother, and my creator. My mother always reminds me of my place in this world and keeps me grounded. I’m grateful for all the gems I’m able to carry and put to. use, through her guidance to maneuver through this lifetime.
Kerby Jean Pablo, @PabloFromTheBackYard Brooklyn Wheeler, @BrooklynWheeler