Will The Fox become new Gangnam style?

Screengrab of The Fox’s music video features Ylvis and their dancers in animal costumes.

Forget twerking, forget the Harlem Shake and forget Gangnam Style.

There's a new music craze in town that's going viral and it all boils down to one simple question - What does the fox say?

Two Norwegian brothers who call themselves Ylvis are on their way to making that question a global pop culture phenomenon through their new song, The Fox and its even wackier music video.

The infectious EDM track features Bard and Vegard Ylvisaker, aged 31 and 34 respectively, describing the sounds that different animals make via nonsensical lyrics (dog goes woof, cat goes meow).

It then builds up into a frenzied chorus to answer the titular question on what sound the fox makes.

Posted last week on YouTube, The Fox, cowritten by Ylvis and their colleague Christian Lochstoer, is now a viral hit.

USA Today wrote of the song: "It can be only a matter of time before The Fox spawns a legion of Ylvis impersonators."

It had just over 200,000 views last Thursday.

Then the video went on to attract two million views less than 24 hours later. It now has over 11 million views.

On becoming an overnight international sensation, Bard said in an interview with US magazine Mother Jones: "I am quite surprised!

"This song is made for a TV show (in Norway) which was supposed to entertain a few Norwegians for three minutes."

The siblings have been performing as a variety comedy group in their native country since 2000 and now host a popular late night talk show.

They have a catalogue of similarly outlandish songs and videos, and The Fox was released as a promotional video for their show's new season.

It was produced by Norwegian producers Stargate, best known for their chart-topping work with pop stars like Beyonce, Rihanna and Katy Perry.

"It was done just a few days ago and we recently had a screening in our office. About 10 people watched and nobody laughed," Bard said. He also told Billboard magazine that Ylvis have been receiving "extreme offers" like fully-booked tours and record deals "from all the biggest companies", but they are having mixed reactions to them.

He explained: "In one way we have to grab this advantage and this opportunity and we have to do something about it, because this is what we do, we make music videos and it would be great to do something international.

"At the same time, we have this Norwegian show that we have to make and love to make, and the next few months will be really crazy."

So what do Singaporeans make of The Fox?

Miss Kimberly Ho, 23, who recently graduated from university, said: "Actually it's quite cute." And she added with a laugh: "I thought it was stupid at first but they got me when they sang 'do you use mo-o-o-rse'."

She said: "It felt a bit like a spin-off of Gangnam Style with the coordinated dance and the hip-shaking but I don't think it's as catchy, or maybe I just haven't quite caught the bug yet."

Radio DJ Bobby Tonelli also doesn't feel the song will catch on as much as Gangnam Style.

HOT FM91.3 DJ Cheryl Miles was even harsher, and said she thought the video was just another in a series of silly attention-grabbing music stunts.

"I think Miley Cyrus paved the way for a new genre of music called 'retard'," she said.

"I don't see this becoming mainstream club music.

"But if I am wrong and this song does become a club hit, I guess that would signal the end of my clubbing days."

crobert@sph.com.sg


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