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“The Fox” is a song by the Norwegian comedy music duo Ylvis which gained online notoriety following the release of its music video on YouTube in September of 2013.
Ylvis is a comedy duo from Bergen, Norway consisting of brothers Bård and Vegard Ylvisåker. Active since 2000, the group is primarily known in their home country for improvisational comedy on the TV Norge network. “The Fox” was written and recorded by the duo for their TV series I Kveld med YLVIS and was produced by renowned Norwegian production duo StarGate. The music video for the song was directed by Ole Martin Hafsmo and uploaded to the TV Norge YouTube channel on September 3rd, 2013. The video features people dressed in animal costumes dancing in time with onomatopoeic sounds describing what a fox would sound like. Within the first week, the YouTube upload garnered more than 11.4 million views and 57,000 comments.
The day after its release, Redditor Rejesusuable posted the music video on the /r/videos subreddit, where it received over 7,000 up votes and 530 comments in the next week. In Norway, “The Fox” quickly shot to number one on the iTunes Top 100 download chart. In the coming days, the video was highlighted on several news sites, including CNN,NBC, The Guardian, Gawker, Wired and The Huffington Post. On September 7th, Billboard published an interview with Bård Ylvisåker who shared his thoughts on the video’s sudden popularity:
“What surprised me the most is that even the very earliest comments on YouTube were ‘This one is going to go viral,’ ‘This is the new Gangnam Style.’ Everything was about it going viral. Normally, you know we get some hits and we get some comments, but they’re all about the actual contents of the songs. But this was mostly about the phenomenon, which was really strange, even when it was only at 100,000 views.”
In the following weeks, the popularity of the song continued to increase and the duo debuted at number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100 top singles chart, where it has since reached number 8. The reaction was even stronger in the duo’s native Norway, where “The Fox” spent three weeks at number one. By September 23rd, roughly three weeks after its YouTube release, the music video for “The Fox” had garnered more than 50 million views and over 217,000 comments.
Ylvis Signs with Warner Music
On September 21st, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the Norwegian duo has signed a label deal with the multi-national record company Warner Music. According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations, the label reportedly offered a “huge” sum of money to secure the deal and arranged the duo’s performance at the iHeartRadio festival in Las Vegas to promote their breakthrough single “The Fox.” Warner Bros. later reported that they would officially release “The Fox” to American radio stations on October 14th.
The Guardian – What the fox say? Ylvis music video goes viral on YouTube
The Hollywood Reporter – Ylvis, of Viral Sensation ‘The Fox,’ Lands Major Label Deal Ahead of U.S. Live Debut