A Pakistani fishmonger working in London is the world’s latest viral-video sensation, with a Warner Music record deal, a hit song on iTunes, and 16 million views on YouTube.Muhammad Shahid Nazir is so influential now in his home country that Pakistan has lifted a block on YouTube so citizens can celebrate their musical hero, the New York Times reports.
Nazir made up a song, “One Pound Fish,” which he sang to bait customers for the Upton Park market stall where he sold fish. Colin Miller, a British Web designer, filmed him nine months ago. But the video didn’t start going crazy until early December.
Now there’s an “o-fish-al” music video and Nazir’s returned to Pakistan, where he’s being celebrated for his global Internet pop-culture victory.
He’s far from touching the record set in 2012 by Korean pop artist Psy, whose “Gangnam Style” beat out longtime champion Justin Bieber for the most-watched video on YouTube with 1 billion views.
But it’s more confirmation of the transformative power of YouTube to disseminate mass culture globally in the blink of an eye.
Also, it’s completely bonkers.
Here’s the original performance and the music video, which combined have more than 16 million views.