2014 has been a truly wild ride for Sione Kelepi, more commonly known on the internet as Sione Maraschino. He is one of many of us who downloaded the now popular 6-second looping video app called Vine, distributed by Twitter in the beginning of 2013. Sione began posting various Vines, mainly of him dancing as well as a few comedic Vines here and there.
In just a few short months, he began going viral thanks in part to his now infamous “Maraschino Step”, a Vine of him dancing in a parking lot, which set off a new dance craze. From there, his dance was featured a variety of news outlets on television, including Good Morning America. Sione has now become part of a new kind of celebrity, “Vine Famous”, and his opportunities have come pouring in.
If you haven’t seen him on Vine, then you’ve definitely seen him featured in Meghan Trainor’s “All about That Bass” music video, and also being a part of her Halo Awards performance a few months back. Sione was also featured in YouTube’s “YouTube Rewind” video, a review of what happened over the past year. It seems as though 2014 is just a small preview of what 2015 has his store for Sione.
I recently was given the amazing opportunity to chat and catch up with the rising star, who is still getting used to the spotlight and continues to remain true to himself, and extremely humble.
TWID: How did you become popular on Vine?
SM: I don’t really know how it happened. I downloaded the app and didn’t take it very seriously, and would just post Vines of me dancing, or comedy skits. And now I just recently hit half a million followers. It’s really crazy and exciting to me.
TWID: Has your life changed since being on Vine?
SM: Not really. I still feel like the same person, and I don’t think I’ve changed, but I do think that it did open some doors for me.
TWID: How did it feel to be in the music video for “All About That Bass”?
SM: I was so excited, I was crying in the back seat on my way there. I had to ask my brother for words of encouragement because I was so nervous. But it was great, and it wasn’t what I expected at all. I thought it the people on set would be stuck up, but that wasn’t the case. Everyone was patient with me, and it ended up being really fun. I think if I could go back, I would try to change my facial expressions, because I was still pretty nervous. But it was a great experience, and Meghan Trainor is really, really nice.
TWID: What are your inspirations for your dancing?
SM: I think it’s all kind of spur of the moment, I just freestyle a lot and make up my own moves. If I hear a song that I like, I just kind of make it up as I go. The Maraschino Step was something that I made up on my own, we passed the parking lot in Wal-Mart, and the lighting was really good (Laughs). I really liked the song (M.A.A.D City Eprom Remix) and did my own thing. I know a lot of people like my dancing Vines more than my comical ones, so I try to freestyle.
TWID: We see a lot of pictures with you and Dinah Jane (from Fifth Harmony). How did you two meet?
SM: Well first we followed each other on Vine, and she would re-vine a lot of my stuff. And then when Fifth Harmony was in town, she messaged me and invited me to her concert, so of course I went! We kept in contact, and met up again in New York during the Halo Awards. We spent a day together with both of our families, and I think that kind of brought us closer together.
TWID: Speaking of the Halo Awards, how was it performing for that?
SM: The Halo Awards were so exciting. It was a lot of fun to be back with Meghan Trainor again, and Dinah Jane being there made me more comfortable. The biggest memory I had was after I got off the stage performing, I went into a corner and started crying because I was so proud of myself, and was really emotional. And then someone taps me on the shoulder and she tells me she really loved my dancing and asked for a picture with me. Well through my tears I see that its [actress] Victoria Justice! She really surprised me and I got even more emotional. I also got star-struck because Nick Jonas hugged me and complimented me on my dancing too. I was speechless.
TWID: How has your family reacted to your success?
SM: They definitely keep me humble. My parents always tell me not to change my attitude and always remember where I come from, and I’m grateful for that. I don’t even consider myself famous and my family always keeps me level-headed.
TWID: What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
SM: Well I have a video coming out, another music video in January, and a commercial. I will also be making an appearance in Las Vegas soon as well.
Keep your eye on Sione in 2015, as we expect to see lots more of him in the future!