As if you needed any more proof that YouTube has democratized and globalized the music distribution process, the popular video-sharing website has found its next pop star from a very unlikely source.
Muhammad Shahid Nazir, a 31-year-old fishmonger and father of four, came up with "One Pound Fish" as a catchy way to sell produce at his London market stall. "Come on ladies, come on ladies, one pound fish," Nazir's jingle begins in a video posted to YouTube by a British web designer earlier this year.
The original video garnered nearly 8 million views, making Nazir such an Internet celebrity that Warner Music Group signed him to their label and put his song on iTunes, which you can now buy for £1.99, twice as much as the price of his famous fish. His professionally produced "O-Fish-Al" rendition of "One Pound Fish" has more than 10 million YouTube views.
According to the New York Times, Nazir's web stardom has even reached his native Pakistan, where a block on YouTube failed to prevent the viral hit from reaching his countrymen. Nazir received a warm welcome on a recent trip home to Lahore:[Pakistan's The Nation via The New York Times]
Nazir couldn't be happier about his newfound fame in the music industry, tweeting New Year's thank-you's to his 33,000 Twitter followers:
hello everyone it is going to be new year for me here in pakistan in 5 minutes and then i will be sleeping. i want to wish everybody in the— One Pound Fish (@Real1PoundFish) December 31, 2012
uk a very very happy new year and best wishes for 2013. thank you so much uk you have been amazing kind and i can never thank you enough.— One Pound Fish (@Real1PoundFish) December 31, 2012
He's also pleased that his song's fans have a new appreciation for fish:
Hello from pakistan everyone had a nice day i have listen to my song everywhere in my town its amazing how everyone is dancing to fish.— One Pound Fish (@Real1PoundFish) December 28, 2012