What is a Nik Naks concert like? What can kids and parents expect?
Our live show is a multimedia musical narrative show designed to entertain, engage, and educate children from the ages of 2 to 10, but there's also plenty in it for parents to enjoy! We sing original songs and play instruments (guitar, keyboards, saxophone, and trombone) along with prerecorded tracks and interactive music videos that help us tell our story.
The basic narrative is that we have been touring our act between galaxies and are back on Earth for a one-off show on our home planet. Pretty early in the show there is an emergency warning that comes up on our projector screen that a monster has escaped the realm of imagination and is on the loose. We tell the kids to keep an eye out for the monster, whose presence is periodically hinted at throughout the show. This narrative builds to our song My Best Friend Is A Monster, where the monster finally shows up in the flesh, and the idea of him being frightening is transformed into something positive. In the end we take off on our rocket ship and head out to our next show in another galaxy!
The main goals of our show are to explore the nature of the imagination and its role in the creative process, the importance of being yourself, and the power of collaboration. Our hope is that kids will come away from our show having learned something, having had their imaginations stimulated, and most importantly we'd like them to come away more confident to create out of their authentic selves!
What is the inspiration behind the Nik Naks?
JF and Sam are professional musicians here in Las Vegas, and have played in many professional and original projects together. We're also both fathers (Sam has 2 daughters, and JF has 2 sons) and it seemed natural to combine our creative passions with our everyday lives as dads.
We began the project with the goal of creating children's entertainment that can be enjoyed by parents. We know all too well the way kids imbibe their media, and their proclivity toward repetition. If kids will ever want to play our music on repeat we would like it to be something parents would be happy, or at least content, to hear over and over again :)
How did the idea for the book come about?
One of the first songs we wrote together was My Best Friend Is A Monster. The song has a definite narrative to it and became the first of our musical ideas that we wanted to bring to life with images.
JF lives down the street from a brilliant husband and wife visual art team, Mike and Dasha Biggs (of Biggs Studio), and our collaboration with them on the book happened very organically. The words in the book are the lyrics to the song verbatim, and the art gives a visual dimension to our story. There's also a 4-song CD included with every book!
What made you decide to collaborate with pediped®?
pediped® are a great kids shoe company asked us to help write some music for their summer ad campaign. That developed into the creation of the music video for our song Get Up & Go, which ended up being our first music video. It turned out really great and we're incredibly grateful to pediped® for helping us take the next step forward with our project!
What’s the next adventure planned?
We've been performing it in elementary schools throughout CCSD through The Smith Center's in-school performance program, and this month we will start our summer residency at the Cockroach Theater.
Daz Weller, Cockroach Theater's creative director, has been directing our show since we first decided to put it up at Cockroach and it has been invaluable to have his immense talent and dedication bring an outside perspective to what we're doing. We developed the initial show ourselves, but since we brought Daz in the concept has grown in leaps and bounds in a very short amount of time.
We will also be playing our first show in collaboration with LVCCLD at The Windmill Library on October 19th, which is a major step for us. We absolutely adore our library district and are so excited to be working with the great people there to bring our show to a new group of kids and parents!
What can fans look forward to next from the Nik Naks?
Our goal for the future is to begin making more and more short form video content for our YouTube subscribers with an eye toward creating The Nik Naks Show. We want to create a humorous, sketch-based show for kids and adults that's educational and humorous in ways that make us and our kids laugh. We will also be creating more music, we hope to make another book, and we have 2 music videos in the can that have yet to be released, plus a couple more that are works in progress.