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Every song that’s released ends up with thousands upon thousands of parodies, but occasionally, the parodies are even better than the original. That’s the way it’s going in Spain, with ‘Granaino Style’, the irreverent, Nasrid take on the Korean ‘Gangnam Style’. It’s a highly crafted joke, which has gone beyond Granada itself, laughing at its own stereotypes and showing off its unique characteristics to become a viral video which promotes the city as a tourist destination in more than 100 countries.
The original ‘Gangnam Style’ is a parody in itself. The Korean singer, Psy, claims to live a life which adheres to the ‘Gangnam style’; the most exclusive area in Seoul. Yet, in the video, what he does is somewhat more tacky; the sort of thing a millionaire from that area would do. It’s the Korean equivalent, despite the distance, of La Moraleja, or the Salamanca area of Madrid. However, the Granadian equivalent, Cecilio – patron of the city, San Cecilio – interpreted by Juan Vinuesa, fits all the stereotypes of the “Granaino Style”, which he would enjoy even more if he hadn’t spent so much time looking for his friends, who are tucking into tapas and Alhambra beer – the 1925 reserva or ‘minohs’ as it’s known locally, while they wait for him. Hungry and as it’s time for an afternoon snack, he ends up heading to two more of the city’s landmark companies: a sweet ‘Maritoñí’ and a Puleva milkshake. Paco Torres from Efecto Global and ‘intellectual author’ of ‘Granaino Style’, explains that the viral internet craze encouraged him to make a parody of Psy and as “it had been a long time since Granada had gone viral like the video of the joke about the Granadian priest’. That’s how he got talking with the production company Studio Sur and the person in charge of the script for the comedians who make up the group ‘MFGranaína’, taking the city by storm via Twitter. Torres celebrates the fact that Rocío Díaz, the Councillor for Tourism at the Ayuntamiento de Granada, has recognised that it is a ‘very effective, enjoyable way of promoting the city’. While Cecilio looks for his mates, he travels all the way from the Sierra Nevada to the beaches on the coast of Almuñecar in less than an hour. While he visits Calle Zacatín, the Basilica of the Virgen de las Angustias or the Church of Fray Leopoldo, or even visit the Alhambra, the Albayzín, the typical Carmens (traditional Granadian houses with large, open central patios), the Granada CF Stadium – ‘second? Please, tell me we’re not second’ – or dance the night away at the well-known local club, ‘Mae West’. ‘We expected 20,000 visits and that itself would have been a great success, but we’re already up to 520,000. It has also had views from over 100 countries and it just keeps on growing. We didn’t expect this at all’, says Torres. If that wasn’t enough, at the end of the ‘Granaino Style’ video, they break into a ‘Harlem Shake’ at the Mirador San Nicolás, joining the two main viral trends over the last few months, together. The protagonist, Juan Vinuesa from Albolote, took part in the video which one a Goya in 2012, ‘Un Barco pirata’ (A Pirate Ship), already placing the province on the map. Director Fernando Trullols thanked the town when collecting the award, as during filming, the guy now known as ‘the Granadian Psy’ pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes and tricked them into believing the thieves played by himself, Raúl Arévalo and Font García, were born in his town. Behind the success is a full month of work, from the complex art of writing the lyrics ‘the Korean language has many very short words, so adapting Spanish to fit the rhythm isn’t easy’, organising the locations, to filming, as they were hit by heavy rain. ‘However, people had a great time. We met up to dance and loads of people joined in. They can now see themselves in the video’…well, them and almost 900,000 people from across the world.