The very makers of the song are the first to be surprised by its success – Norwegian comedy duo Ylvis have became accidental global pop stars after their spoof video “What Does the Fox Say” went viral on the internet.
Initially made for their late night talk show on Norwegian television, the video has had more than 200 million views since its release in September.
Brothers Vegard and Bård Ylvisåke are now working on a children’s book:
“The storyline is actually the song, it’s the lyrics of the song. Because when we made the song, two things came up. First of all we were supposed to make it like a tagged hit, we thought it would be funny to have merchandise for something that didn’t quite work out, that was a funny idea in itself. But we also felt that the idea ‘What does the fox say?’ was a good idea for a children’s book, no matter what we turned it into as a video,” says Bård Ylvisåke.
The song is the latest in a string of parodies released by the duo. It was produced by fellow Norwegians Stargate, the makers of Rihanna’s videos, and recorded at Jay-Z’s studio in New York. But the brothers are lucid about the buzz born from their song:
“The strange thing about it is that people, especially back in Norway, now expect us to be billionaires because of this, the way people got back in the good old days when they sold records. But the fact is that we have meetings every week now to sort of sit down, look at the whole picture and ensure ourselves that we don’t lose money on this project,” says Vegard Ylvisaker.
Tipped as the Norwegian Gangnam Style, “The Fox” has become the highest-ranked song by a Norwegian artist since A-ha’s number-one “Take on Me” nearly thirty years ago.
The spin-off children’s book of the same name is due out just in time for Christmas.