x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Harlem Shake fad thrills DJ behind it

A Brooklyn DJ's new song is the internet's viral hit of the moment.

The Brooklyn DJ behind Harlem Shake said on Monday he's thrilled to see his cutting-edge electronic dance music (EDM) track going viral in a big way. "Honestly, [I'm] just happy to see people go crazy to my stuff," Baauer told fans during a Q&A session on Reddit.com.

Baauer is the stage name of Harry Rodrigues, 23, a Philadelphia native who released Harlem Shake last May, four months before a New York Times music critic identified him as a rising star on the underground Brooklyn EDM scene.

But few outsiders knew of its existence until February 2, when a satirical blogger named Filthy Frank, who performs video skits in a pink body suit, posted a YouTube clip of himself grooving to the tune. Within 10 days, spin-offs by everyone from firefighters to office workers were being uploaded at the rate of more than 4,000 per day. In each 30-second clip, the concept is the same: a masked person boogies solo among disinterested bystanders, until, on the cue of the words "Harlem Shake", the whole group starts dancing wildly.

The song has leapt into the iTunes Top 10 charts in North America, Europe and Australia. "The last few months have cast him as the poster child of this contemporary US fusion of dance and rap music," said the Mixed Management Group, which oversees the business side of Baauer's promising career.

More than a few EDM enthusiasts have embraced Harlem Shake as welcome relief from Psy's chart-topping Gangnam Style. But Baauer is magnanimous. "I think that guy [Psy] is doing pretty good right now, so I'm not too upset about that," he told Interview magazine.- AFP

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