Freshman's Super Mario song-and-dance video goes viral

Pre-med student Eugene Maima created a six-second Vine that's been recreated and reinterpreted by thousands of web users.

When Eugene “The Dream” Maima, was 15, he made his first video on Vine, an app that allows users to share six-second short form videos. He remixed the “Marimba” default Apple ringtone.

“It was a simple Vine,” Maima, a freshman at Syracuse University, said. “I sat on a couch and played the Marimba ringtone for the first three seconds and then played the remix for the last three seconds.

Since then, Maima has made over 40 Vines. Each video got more than traction than the one before, and he slowly gained a following of thousands of users.

Yet Maima, 18, never thought he would be the creator of a viral dance trend that has swept across the nation. His music and social media presence has given him such a level of celebrity that he is sometimes recognized by strangers when he goes to the store.

Maima also made a musical “Krusty Krab” using music from the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants. The video has gotten millions of views on YouTube.

“I like to take things you wouldn’t normally hear in hip-hop or rap and remix them," he said. “I like to make beats out of sounds people normally wouldn’t use.”

Maima decided to make his song “Hit That Super Mario” — a remix of the theme to the popular Nintendo game — during the summer of 2013 after his junior year of high school. He spent two days remixing the song and an additional day choreographing an accompanying dance.

“It’s a rap of me going through different dances — like the Nae Nae — over the Mario theme music,” Maima said.

When he posted the video on Vine, it was well received by his thousands of followers whom he had attracted with earlier remixes and short comedy clips.

“Lyrics and music are cool, but what really intrigues me is musicality: all of the production behind a song,” he said.

This summer, before starting his freshman year, Maima decided to rerelease his “Hit That Super Mario” Vine. He figured he could best publicize it through the app (instead of on YouTube) since his following had continued to grow.

Caleb Reyes, another Vine user, saw that video and responded with his own dance rendition. The song really went viral from there, Maima said.

Hundreds of people have responded with their own Vines. Several of them are Vine-famous with millions of followers. Maima now has over 104,000 followers.

Apart from Vine celebrities, Maima has seen videos of people from all walks of life dancing to “Hit That Super Mario.”

“A lot of kids have made Vines that are really embellished,” he said. “There was even a 60-something-year-old woman who made a video.”

Maima, who is studying pre-med and wants to be an orthopedic surgeon, also makes original beats and songs.

“I mainly started using Vine to have an outlet to get my music out there, even if it is a bit unorthodox,” Maima said.  “When my remixes blow up, people visit my YouTube [page] and start looking at my other music too.”

“I always want to do music, even when I’m a doctor,” he said. “During medical school, music will be nice to do on the side.”

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