The song is Gwiyomi and so is the singer.
The term is Korean slang for “cutie” and Hari, the singer of the hit song, could well pass for a manga character in person.
According to an article in The Straits Times, at a media conference held at her distributor Warner Music Singapore’s office on Monday, she was dressed in a cream and black dress with dainty pink nails, her hair done up in two little buns.
The 23-year-old also had a variety of gestures to accompany her responses. They range from holding up her hands to cover her face to sticking her tongue out. When asked to demonstrate what she looks like when she is angry, she gives herself pretend-horns with her fingers.
Speaking through an interpreter, she says, though: “I don’t intentionally try to be cute, but people around me say that my actions are cute. Maybe it’s also because of the song’s cute image.”
Hari, who lives in Seoul, got to know Dandi, a record producer, as he was “someone in my neighbourhood”. It was Dandi who approached her to sing the Gwiyomi song and had her audition over the telephone. “I didn’t even know he was a producer before that,” she adds with peals of laughter.
Thanks to the popularity of the song, she flew on a plane for the first time to come to Singapore for a promotion tour.
She heads to the Philippines and Hong Kong next. Unfortunately, flying is not an experience she relishes.
With pretend shivers, she says: “I have an acute fear of heights and I had to take some medicine to slow down my heart rate. Even then, I felt quite scared and was sweating and didn’t enjoy the flight.”
Hari is not the only one enjoying her success. She says: “My parents like the fact that I’ve become famous and my younger brother likes to show off that I’m his sister.”
"If she is worried about being pegged as a one-hit wonder, she is certainly not showing it. She adds: “I don’t mind if the song is more popular than the singer, that’s fine.”
Having stumbled into singing, Hari, who is single, is now determined to make it work. She says: “I’m going to work really hard and I see myself being a singer for a long time.”