“Come on ladies, come on ladies, one pound fish. Come and have a look. One pound fish. One pound fish. Very, very cheap. Come and have a look. Fish to the one pound, six for five pound. Come on ladies, try the fish. One pound each. One pound each.”
Remember that YouTube video? The market stall-holder at Queen’s Market, Upton Park, London who shifted his catch of the day in a tuneful, not to mention recession-friendly, manner is to follow in the footsteps of Justin Bieber, Lana del Rey and Rebecca Black as the latest YouTube star to land a record deal (a one single deal with Warners, that is).
Muhammad Shahid Nazir, 31, from Pakistan, better known as £1 Fish Man, will release “The £1 Fish Song” on 9 December according to a press release lauding the “offishial” version of the song “people have been carping on about” for months. The YouTube hit has had more than 3.6 million views and music bosses are hoping to cash in on Nazir’s tuneful charm.
His success comes hot on the heels of a rejection from the audition rounds of the latest series of X Factor, after which judge Gary Barlow tweeted: “I'm still singing £1 fish! Damn we should have put him through #mistake”.
The £ Fish Man will be going head-to-head with this year’s X Factor winner for the coveted Christmas Number 1 spot in the UK Singles Charts.
His supporters include premiership footballers and pop stars. Rio Ferdinand tweeted : “#1PoundFishman is gangster!! #FutureHit !!!” and both Alesha Dixon and producer Timbaland have separately covered “The £1 Fish Song”.
The video of Nazir was published on the video sharing site in April 2012 soon after he moved to London's East End having left his native Pakistan and his wife and four children.
He is set to make lots more money than he would selling £1 fish from the single's release, with the Official UK Singles Charts naming it as a "renegade contender" for Christmas number one.
"The song has got people hooked everywhere. That and a genuinely uplifting story of someone coming to this country to make a better life for himself and in hope of being able to bring his family over with him," Anton Partridge at Warners told The Independent online.
The press release announcing the song’s release went into overdrive describing how “the folks at One More Tune decided to help Nazir make his song a hit”, by trying out “rock, sole, skate-punk and drum ‘n’ bass until they found a style that they both thought was the dog’s pollocks”.
The song will be available to download for less than the price of a £1 fish.