SINGAPORE - Forget Gangnam Style. Have you heard of the Gwiyomi phenomenon?
On YouTube, there are thousands of videos of people miming to the Gwiyomi Song with a series of "cute" hand gestures. "Gwiyomi" means a cute person in Korean slang.
Even K-pop superstars like Super Junior and Girls' Generation have performed excerpts from the song at their concerts.
The woman behind the Gwiyomi Song is a 23-year-old former part-time waitress named Hari, who was in town on Monday to promote the song.
"I was really shocked by how wellreceived the song was, as I didn't know it would be so big. For now, I am enjoying the attention," said the singer through a translator.
"My favourite rendition so far is by a Korean policewoman performing the cute gestures in her uniform. It left the deepest impression on me."
Hari explained that the words and gestures were already around when her producer decided put the words to a melody.
"The producer is my neighbourhood friend. He thought of me when he came up with the idea to make it into a song as he feels that my vocals are suitable for the cute image that the song was trying to portray," Hari said.
"He called me and asked if I wanted to record the song with him and I agreed. I never expected it to be such a phenomenal success."
Since the Gwiyomi Song was released earlier this year, she is constantly recognised on the streets in Korea and has to oblige fans with impromptu photo-taking and autograph sessions.
Hari laughed and said: "Even my close friends would ask me for my autograph when we meet. They would then pass the autographed items to their friends' friends."
Is she getting sick of the song? "I have not reached that stage yet. As of now, I still enjoy performing the song a lot," she said.
"I am not worried that people will remember me only for this song, and I am not burdened by the fact that my song's reputation precedes me."
Hari revealed plans for a full album, even though its release date has not been set yet. But one thing she's sure about is that she would stick to the cutesy image, at least for now.
She said: "I want to do more sugary pop songs as I am cute in real life as well. But as I grow older in the future, I hope my songs will mature and adapt accordingly to suit my age."
If there's one K-pop star she hopes to work with, it's G-Dragon.
"He is stylish, fashionable and talented. Even though the style of his songs is quite different compared to my cute image, maybe we can come to a compromise and create a song that has the right balance of both genres."
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