Monday, February 28, 2005

Dragostea Din Tei

No, that's not a typo. It's a hit song by the young Romanian pop trio O-Zone from their album DiscO-Zone. It's also been a hit of sorts for a New Jersey teenager named Gary Broisma who, for a goof, filmed himself with a webcam, dancing and lip-syncing "Dragostea Din Tei" in his computer chair.

The clip of Broisma's performance (called "The Numa Numa Song," after lyrics from the song's chorus) has been one of the hottest downloads on the Internet (since early December). It was initially discovered by a couple of Irish bloggers who mistakenly identified Broisma as "some Dutch kid."

The music video by O-Zone isn't bad, either. It's a delightful techo-dance tune, and they're cute. You'll find several versions of the song on iTunes.

An NBC4.TV poll found that 83% of NBC News website visitors prefer Broisma's exuberant and ironic version.

The Wall Street Journal had a rather touching article (subscription required) yesterday about how the viral popularity of the lip-sync/dance clip has not been a positive experience for Broisma. A bright, mischevious but not particularly directed young man, he was described as first enjoying media attention, but now avoiding it and appearing to be somewhat depressed. I'm sure there is a complexity of issues going on here. Broisma's to be congratulated for not turning himself into another William Hung but I have to admit, I'd love to see him onstage with the charming Romanians. O-Zone performed in Manhattan (and on the Today Show) last week...but no sign of Broisma.

Broisma reminded me quite a bit of Mike Daisey, the ex-Amazon employee and writer/director/actor who turned the saga of his employment during the Dotcom frenzy into the successful play "My Life in Dog Years." I sure hope this eventually turns out well for Broisma. He's too talented to be left working at Staples.

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