The House of Mouse is going digital with its new class of Mouseketeers. Today (Sept. 8), Disney Digital Network launched Club Mickey Mouse, a variety program created entirely for social feeds. The initiative follows eight teens as they create new music and choreography. The program lives on @ClubMickeyMouse accounts on Facebook and Instagram. The crew will also be releasing original weekly tunes.
While it’s TBD whether this revamp will produce another megastar like Justin Timberlake or Britney Spears, they’re certainly in good hands: Todrick Hall, singer/dancer and pal of Taylor Swift serves as the cast’s mentor and developed choreography for the series theme song.
To get a proper introduction, we talked to the new Mickey squad about their musical inspirations, songs from their youth and tracks they love to perform.
Regan Aliyah, 18
Lauryn Hill, “Lost Ones”
My biggest music inspiration is definitely Lauryn Hill. Her first solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, literally inspired me to become the type of rapper I am today. For Club Mickey Mouse, I actually auditioned with a snippet of “Lost Ones,” which is definitely my favorite track by her and the most iconic! Lauryn Hill paved the way for the new generation and lyricists like me. She broke barriers for black female artists and for the entire hip-hop genre. The honesty, rawness and power, in her music, is what I hope to achieve in my own.
Michael Jackson, “Another Part of Me”
I grew up in a household with all musicians, so artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Janet Jackson were playing at all times. I remember going to a million of my mom’s rehearsals and watching her perform “Another Part of Me” by Michael Jackson. I was so inspired, just looking at her go after her dreams on stage, it made anything she sang instantly one of my favorites. Then when I started to understand the fundamentals of music, I enjoyed the song even more than before. The amazing melodies and instrumentation create a feel good vibe that will resonate with you for weeks!
Jessie J., “Rainbow”
It’s such a beautiful, inclusive, upbeat song and the crowds’ response is always so bright. Now what they don’t expect is that I fuse it with “Waterfalls” by TLC and throw in Left Eye’s famous rap! That makes the audience, who experienced the ’90s, get out of their seats and just go crazy with me….I mean who doesn’t love a good little mashup?
Jenna Alvarez, 15
Tori Kelly, “All In My Head”
Tori Kelly is one of the strongest singers in the world, and never lets anyone or anything get in the way of achieving her goals and dreams. Her acoustic “All In My Head” is my favorite because of the syncopation of the lyrics and when you watch her sing, you can really feel the emotion and how much she truly enjoys singing.
Backstreet Boys, “I Want It That Way”
Every time my family and I were driving somewhere, whether to school or to the store, this song was always playing! I just remember being strapped up in my brown car seat sitting between my two brothers with my mom and dad in the front, and we would have a blast jamming out to this song.
“I See the Light” from Tangled
I love the song because it’s uplifting, warm and fuzzy and you can’t help smiling when you listen to it. I’ve performed this once for an audition and it was the most amazing feeling in the world. I come from a dance background, so entering that realm of singing was a major milestone for me and I was really proud of myself.
Ky Baldwin, 16
Michael Jackson, “Ben”
I’ve always been inspired by Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. Songs like “Ben,” “ABC,” and “Thriller” were the first songs I learned how to sing. Michael Jackson is musical and performance perfection; I can only hope to be as amazing of an artist as he was.
The Jackson 5, “I Want You Back”
For many years “I Want You Back” was my go-to song. I sang it every time I performed live, it was my closing song when street performing for a long time and it was my Blind Audition for The Voice Kids Australia. I always included some dance moves and the moonwalk so always got a good reaction.
Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars), “Uptown Funk”
I love closing my sets with “Uptown Funk,” it’s always a real crowd pleaser. Every time I sing it while performing on the street, everyone has to dance — we get such a huge audience that the crowd will dance into the streets. More recently, I of course love singing my original songs. I am very proud of them and they have great messages to deliver.
Gabe De Guzman, 16
Chance the Rapper feat. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz, “No Problem”
One of my favorite artists of all time is Chance the Rapper because he is just such an inspiration to all young artists. One of my favorite songs of his is “No Problem” because he doesn’t care about anything bringing him down.
Bruno Mars, “The Lazy Song”
I remember I had my first ever singing audition for a Christmas play with Ariana Grande and we had to sing the [this song]. I remember being so nervous to sing in front of all my friends and a huge audience at an outdoor audition. But then, I just shook it off to have no care in the world and jammed out!
Justin Bieber, “Love Yourself”
It was the first ever song I could sing and play on the piano at the same time. I have not sang it in front of huge audience but I sang it when I auditioned for Club Mickey Mouse.
Beyoncé feat. JAY-Z, “Upgrade U”
My biggest music inspiration is Beyoncé and my favorite song of hers is “Upgrade U.” Beyoncé is my favorite because she always puts on a great show, and being a dancer and singer myself, I appreciate how she dances just as strong as she sings. I aspire to perform with grand sets, over-the-top outfits, and an untouchable confidence just like her.
Helen Reddy, “You and Me Against The World”
[It] has always been a song I remember since I was a child. It perfectly describes my relationship with my mom, a mother and daughter relationship, facing all the challenges life throws at us. Against all the odds we face, we are still strong and happy because we will always have each other. My mom is my rock and I don’t know where I’d be without her.
Alicia Keys, “If I Ain’t Got You”
Singing this song while playing piano always gets me lost in my emotions. I love performing it for an audience because it’s an emotional song and the crowd always sings along with me.
Brianna Mazzola, 17
Beyoncé feat. JAY-Z, “Deja Vu”
I have many music inspirations, but my biggest has to be Beyoncé. With insane vocals and dance moves, presence and confidence on the stage, her own clothing and fragrance line, Beyoncé does it all.
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing”
Back in Philadelphia, I remember listening to it constantly with my grandpa and dad while I’d go with them to work.
Amy Winehouse, “We’re Still Friends” (originally by Donny Hathaway)
I love to sing it because it has so much emotion, and the lyrics really speak to me. I performed an acoustic version of it once before at a showcase and I had a blast.
Sean Oliu, 15
John Mayer, “I’m Gonna Find Another You”
John Mayer is a favorite of mine because he’s a triple threat — amazing songwriter, great singer and phenomenal guitarist. Listening to his music has inspired me to dig a little deeper when I’m working on my music.
The Beatles, “In My Life”
It’s one of the first songs that I learned in English because I used to only sing in Spanish. It’s a song that has a lot of meaning to me because when I hear it I think of my loved ones. It’s the perfect song for any situation and I love performing it.
Elvis Presley, “Love Me”
It’s a vocally demanding song and fun to sing. It’s one of those songs that all ages can appreciate. The song’s a classic!
Big Will Simmons, 17
John Legend, “Ordinary People”
My favorite song from him is “Ordinary People.” I feel like our voices connect in the same range and he plays the piano so well. I have always wanted to sing like him while playing the piano. One day you will see me doing it!
“The Boys are Back” from High School Musical
I remember watching Corbin Bleu and Zac Efron in High School Musical and wanting to be Corbin so badly. I always thought they were the coolest best friends that could dance and sing. Me and my cousin use to watch the video and try to reenact it; he was Zac and I was Corbin. Thinking about this memory always makes me smile.
Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar, “Never Catch Me”
This is a song about how death is not the end. It was an honor to be in the music video, which won a VMA, and to perform with the artist at Coachella. Most people that watch the video says it made them cry, and is a piece of art that never gets old. The video made them appreciate the thought of what could happen in the afterlife.
Follow the Spotify playlist of their selections below.