US fitness model says parody video is not to promote STB

He is in his briefs throughout most of his video in which he sings a cover version of Adele's hit song, Hello.

You see Singapore landmarks - Marina Bay Sands' Infinity Pool and Gardens by the Bay - as the backdrop.

The music video was first uploaded on YouTube last Nov 5 by Mr Bryan Hawn, an American fitness model and personal trainer based in San Francisco.

But it went viral only after it was shared by Singaporean Kenneth Tan on his Facebook account last Saturday.

In just four days, the 4½-minute clip has had more than 1.3 million views, surpassing the 157,075 views on Mr Hawn's own YouTube channel (@BryHawn).

It has also been shared over 9,000 times from Mr Tan's account, which alone has more than 4,000 comments on the clip.

And the numbers continue to climb.

"This video has gone nuts on social media (in) the past few days! It's amazing how sometimes something big just explodes out of nowhere. lol (laugh out loud)," wrote Mr Hawn on his Facebook account in sharing his video from Mr Tan's account.

Mr Hawn is a YouTube star known for singing covers of songs while dressed in only his underwear. He was in Singapore last year on holiday.

The island republic was one of his stops in Asia, which included Malaysia, Thailand and India, when he was choosing overseas locations "that are world-renowned" for his latest music parody.

"Supertree Grove was, by far, one of the most spectacular things I have witnessed, especially when it lit up at night," he told The New Paper.

Mr Hawn said Marina Bay Sands, the closest hotel to the Gardens by the Bay, "has one of the most famous pools in the world".

"(It) stretches across all three towers on the rooftop and creates an incredible feeling for the guest - as if the water drops off the side of the hotel. I was most excited about filming at these two locations."


"This video is very special. The events that transpired were once-in-a-lifetime experiences, from the elephant and monkeys to the beautiful tourist attractions of Singapore," said Mr Hawn.

Although many people, including Mr Tan, suggested the YouTube clip may have been a promotional video for the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Mr Hawn said it was just a parody video he did while on holiday in Asia.

"I filmed everything by myself on a tripod. I did all the editing in iMovie or Adobe Premiere. I have zero help or assistance," he said.

When contacted, the STB confirmed that it was not involved in the video. But its director for digital & content, Mr Terrence Voon, said: "Nonetheless, we found the response from the public here and abroad to be rather amusing."

Mr Hawn's main objective with his videos is to sell fitness.

"And I am hoping that people will be inspired. But more importantly, (I want) to bring people joy, make them laugh and let them know that anything is possible if you follow your heart and don't give up on your dreams.

"Our diversity is beautiful and something to be celebrated. Never be afraid to be different. Never be afraid to be yourself," he said, adding that his money comes from fans who subscribe to his website or buy his books, clothing, music and other merchandise.

He chose to sing Adele's song because he wanted to say "hello" to his friends at home in the US "from the other side".

This article was first published on February 3, 2016.
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