'Gwiyomi' star on craze in PH: I've seen everything!
MANILA -- "I feel like I'm still dreaming."
This was the response of the singer behind "Gwiyomi" when asked if she expected the viral success of the hit dubbed as the "cutie song."
Known as Hari in her native South Korea, the 23-year-old singer arrived in Manila late Wednesday to promote the single, which became an Internet and TV phenomenon in the country early this year.
Speaking with reporters during a press conference held Thursday, Hari said she has already seen many of the countless takes on "Gwiyomi" online, particularly those from K-Pop-crazed Pinoys.
"I have seen everything, the different versions even from the Philippines so I know how viral it went. I was actually surprised at first," she said through an interpreter.
"Until now, I feel like I'm still dreaming and I didn't expect a lot of this to happen, even coming here to the Philippines. I never thought of that," she added.
The viral hit, which is known for its "cute hand dance," supposedly started in October 2012 when a member of Korean boy band BtoB made a series of hand movements to woo his fans on a cable TV show.
The dance, which slowly went viral on YouTube after a number of K-pop stars shared their take online, inspired Hari and her team to come up with the song in February 2013. The dance paired with the tune eventually gained traction online, and found success beyond South Korea.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
"I think the song is cute and it's very catchy and it appeals to all audience. At the same time, it's very easy to follow that's why it became viral," Hari said, when asked why she thinks "Gwiyomi" became an online hit.
She added: "This song connects to everyone, it's not just about one person or one topic. It's for everyone to follow and it's for everyone's pleasure."
When the song erupted on the Internet, Filipinos quickly joined the trend of doing the hand dance, with comedian and "It's Showtime" host Vice Ganda leading the craze as he frequently performed "Gwiyomi" on the noontime program.
"Actually, I didn't expect all this success and fame I'm receiving right now," Hari said of her popularity even in the Philippines. "If not because of this song, I wouldn't be here, so I'm really, really thankful to all my fans."
Hari is not resting on her laurels, however, as she is set to come up with more tunes she hopes to replicate the success of "Gwiyomi."
"I want all of my fans to keep on supporting me and expect a lot, and I promise to do my best," she said.