Hari: The voice behind the viral song Gwiyomi

Patricia P. Esteves (The Philippine Star) - September 7, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - She’s not a member of any high-profile K-Pop girl group but just the same, she has a hit song that has racked up millions of views on YouTube and spawned countless of covers worldwide.

Meet Hari, the voice behind the viral song Gwiyomi, which became a huge hit in the Philippines last summer.

Celebrities like Vice Ganda, cosplayer Alodia Gosengfiao, Jasmine Curtis and  Kathryn Bernadro all uploaded their version of Gwiyomi with the matching cute hand movements on YouTube. They’ve racked up thousands of views as well, with Alodia’s version receiving 3.5 million hits on YouTube.

Gwiyomi is arguably the second Korean song, after Psy’s Gangman Style, to have captured the hearts of Pinoys.

Hari is in town for a series of live performances at the Ayala Malls. Last night, she performed at the Glorietta Activity Center . Today, she is slated to perform at the Marquee Mall Activity Center at 6:30 p.m. Prior to that, she will have a meet-and-greet session at the Trinoma Cinema Lobby at 1 p.m. Tomorrow, Sept. 8, she will be at the Ayala Center Cebu Terraces at 7 p.m. 

At the press conference at the plush Glorietta 5 in Makati last Thursday, Hari thanked her Filipino fans for embracing Gwiyomi.

Clad in a cream-colored blouse, blue shorts and apple-green stilettoes, the 23-year-old Hari is button-cute as her song.

In an interview with the press, she said Gwiyomi has opened up doors for her. Last August, she flew to Singapore for a performance. She admitted that it was her first time to ride a plane and travel outside Korea. She also told reporters here that she didn’t even imagine that she’ll get to visit the Philippines as well

“Because of this song, I wouldn’t be here in Manila. Until now, everything feels like a dream, I still feel like I’m dreaming. I really didn’t expect all the success of the song,” Hari said through a translator.

Launched as a digital single in February, the song instantly became viral in Korea and its popularity spread in Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and Taiwan. In Korea, international K-Pop celebrities like Super Junior and Girls Generation did their own take on the song.

The song was actually inspired by a series of cute hand movements involving the counting of numbers.

Hari said that when she was composing the song and the hand gestures for it, her primary concern was how “to make the cute style appeal to everyone.”

“I  wanted the song to be catchy, cute and easy to follow. I wanted Gwiyomi to connect to everyone,” she said.

Gwiyomi, a Korean slang for a cute person, tells about a girl’s undying love for her boyfriend and her wish for them to be together forever.

Asked if she has seen the cover versions of Filipino celebrities, she said yes and was very glad about it.

“Actually, I’ve seen all, from the Philippines and other countries. It’s really a nice feeling. I owe the wonderful things happening to my life to Gwiyomi’s success,”she said.

Fans are curious if she has a follow-up to Gwiyomi, but Hari skirted on the question, saying instead that she hopes her Filipino fans will continue to love and support her. In the future, she said she wishes to collaborate with K-Pop artist G-Dragon of Big Bang.

With her flawless complexion and long legs, Hari could easily pass for a member of any K-Pop girl group. Asked what her beauty secret is, she said, “I just eat a lot and sleep a lot.”

At the presscon, she was joined by Sam Concepcion and the two did a duet of Gwiyomi to the delight of the media covering the event. She later said she would also like to collaborate with Sam.

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