The Philly-born producer turns his back on the YouTube sensation.
Baauer concocted the track in 2007 whilst studying audio engineering at college in Harlem and began sending it out as a free download. Six months later it was turned into a jokey dance video by a communications company in New York and this spread and morphed into the meme that briefly swept the internet in 2013.
“It became corny and annoying as fuck, and my name was attached to that,” he said.
The track’s massive popularity eventually contributed to a change in the US Billboard chart, with YouTube plays now factored into chart positions.
“I look at Kanye, who lives in that 24/7, and I can’t imagine what kind of a person you must be to deal with that,” the producer – real name Harry Rodrigues – said of the fame ‘Harlem Shake’ brought him. “Just getting the smallest little touch of that experience was too much for me.”
Rodriges describes its cataclysmic journey to worldwide meme phenomenon as “fast” and “inescapable,” although highlighted the freedom it afforded him, “he opportunities it presented were priceless, but actual revenue, I don’t even know.”
In the past he has described the journey as a “mindfuck,” and that it had made him “kinda depressed.”
Baauer’s debut album, Aa, is out on March 18 on LuckyMe and boasts a stellar line-up of guests, with M.I.A., Pusha T, Future, Rustie, Novelist, Leikeli47, Tirzah all appearing.