Given their huge, continuing success, Flawless certainly chose the right name all those years ago – and have lived up to it ever since. But Marlon ‘Swoosh’ Wallen is quick to point out that the name is in fact their driving force.
“At the time I was thinking about it, the name was more what we were wanting to work towards. It is about striving for perfection but also about knowing that you are never going to get there. But you are always going to keep trying. I am just constantly humbled by the name and by having to challenge ourselves all the time.”
The street dance superstars are embarking on a UK tour to mark the conclusion of their recent world tour. They play Pavilion Theatre, Worthing on November 4. Drawing influence from dancers including Michael Jackson, James Brown and Gene Kelly, Flawless stormed onto the scene in 2004 as an embodiment of Marlon’s vision: to mirror his idols and inspire the masses with his passion for dance. They were hurled into the spotlight with Britain’s Got Talent in 2019.
As far has Marlon is concerned, the greater achievement isn’t so much reaching the top as staying there: “A lot of people don’t realise that maintaining it is a lot harder, especially today when there are a generation of people that think you just need to go on a reality show to be famous forever more.”
The fact is that huge preparation goes into it all: “We put of a year of work into it before we even did a performance. I formed it in 2004 and we were training for a whole year. The focus was on getting to know each other and team building and looking at our look and our identity, and then 2005 was when we first did the dance competitions. I had a solo career before Flawless. I had experience in the industry working with a lot of big-name dancers.
This was back in the days of Top of the Pops and all those different shows that were very popular. But then that drive to be a soloist started to fade. I was thinking that this wasn’t really for me anymore. I thought ‘This is amazing’ but I want to be able to achieve what I want to achieve, and I was walking away and it didn’t stand for anything. I wanted to have a team of people around me. I wanted to have a company. You want to be able to use your experience.
“I didn’t want to audition people. It was more about finding the right mentality than the right ability. You can teach people to the right level. I wanted the right kind of people, people who understood the vision, the idea of working together as a team, the people that can pick up the ideas and transplant them to the stage.”
The Chase the Dream: THE REBOOT shows centre around an intergalactic dream ship and the lives of ten big dreamers who are optimistically longing for the chance to accomplish their ultimate dance fantasy.
However, tensions rise as their dream slowly descends into their worst nightmare. Using their outstanding technical abilities and high energy acrobatics, will they be able to overcome their ordeal?
It’s a show Marlon hopes will connect with the next generations: “Our fans have grown up and are starting to face real-life things in life. They don’t have the time to just run around. But the new generation is coming through. We want to speak to all of them. It is reflecting the real-life situations they face, but also trying to connect with the whole family.”