- Global Voices - https://globalvoices.org -

Ecuador, Chile: Kitsch Goes for Cash on YouTube

Categories: Latin America, Chile, Ecuador, Arts & Culture

Is there any method to the madness of who becomes a celebrity on YouTube? Should there be? Should the Hollywood stars of the global, digital era consist of an overweight adolescent falling into a creek [1], two guys arguing on a bus [2], Darth Vader shopping in a super market [3], and, of course, the infamous Numa Numa dance [4]? What does it say about the world's netizens – lauded by Time magazine and by each other for circumventing the old media gatekeepers – if their most recognized representatives are recognizable for … well, for what?

Nothing is more fun for a 20-year-old Wikipedia-know-it-all to mock the laughable sincerity of a graying newscaster who is worried about the contents of Anna Nicole Smith's refrigerator or the most recent blonde teenager to go missing in the tourist town of your choice. But, then, can anything be taken seriously? Behind figureheads like Sacha Baron Cohen [5], Steven Colbert [6], and Jon Stewart [7], has irony finally triumphed even the internet as the true all-pervasive medium of how the 21st century world interacts?

More than just lampooning the ridiculous commentary allowed onto network television, this unshakable cult of cyber-satiricism is equally fond of making heroes out of the truly horrible. And such is the strange psychology that has launched Ecuadorean singer and lyricist Delfin Quishpe, better known simply as Delfín, to cyber-stardom.

Alberto Precht, a 25-year-old recent law graduate of the University of Chile is now the director of a network of citizen journalism sites operating throughout the country. He helps us get acquainted with Delfín [8], the net phenomenon.

Te invito a conocer a Delfín Quishpe, el ya hace unas semanas que es el furor de internet, con su tema Torres Gemelas, controvertido para algunos, divertido para otros, sentido para algunos ecuatorianos que viven en el exterior. Gracias a este tema Delfín se ha trasnformado en un personaje de culto, su Blog, es sumamente visitado sobretodo por chilenos, que ya han elanborado una petición formal para que Delfín venga al Festival de Viña (¿una broma o una realidad?), mi opinión personal es que un personaje así la reventaría en nuestra Quinta Vergara, para mi sería un imperdible.

I invite you to get to know Delfin Quishpe, who for several weeks now is all the rage of the internet. With his song “Torres Gemelas” (“Twin Towers”), controversial for some, fun for others, he touched the hearts of some Ecuadoreans who live abroad. Thanks to this song, Delfin has become a cult personality. His blog [9] is extremely popular, especially for Chileans who have already started a formal petition (a joke or for real?) to bring him to the Festival de Viña [10]. My personal opinion is that a personality like Delfin would reinvent the festival at Quinta Vergara [11]. I wouldn't miss it.

Other bloggers are less diplomatic about Delfin's musical talents. PorLaPuta – with the tagline “killing your best neurons every day” – says [12] of Delfin's most famous song:

Esto es mas que el peor homenaje a las victimas del atentado a las torres gemelas. Es patético de pies a cabeza. Esto apesta en tantos niveles que es imposible creer que es real. Con ustedes desde ecuador, latinoamerica te canta…. delfiiin!

This is the absolute worst tribute to the victims of the attack on the Twin Towers. It's pathetic from top to bottom. This sucks on so many levels that it's impossible to believe that it's for real. From Ecuador, singing for all Latin America …. Delfiiiiin!

From the Argentine weblog Poco al Pedo [13] [ES]:

Noooooooo, este video lo vi en un programa de Tv y casi me muero, porque es malasssoooo, pero es uno de los videos mas vistos, justamente por eso, por lo malo, ja, el Cantante es un Ecuatoriano que se hace llamar “Delfin” y le canta un tema a su novia que fallecio en el atentado de las Torres Gemelas, no se lo pierdan… causa gracia..!

Noooooo! I saw this video on a TV show and I almost died – because it's horrible yet it's one of the most-watched videos precisely because it's so bad. Ha. The Ecuadorean singer known as “Delfin” sings a song to his girlfriend who died in the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. Don't miss it, it will make you laugh.

Andres Santos Kunze, a popular Ecuadorean blogger, responded with a two-sentence post titled “Delfin Quishpe, What in the Hell? [14]

Delfin Quishpe canta “Torres Gemelas” en un video musical que me deja mal parado como ecuatoriano. Saquen conclusiones ustedes mismos.

Delfin Quishpe sings “Twin Towers” in a music video that, as a fellow Ecuadorean, leaves me feeling ashamed. Draw your own conclusions.

Following the YouTube video, over 130 readers left comments. Some examples:

Juan Fernando Pacheco [15]: “This is called a serious embarrassment.”

Jose Soto [16]: “This is the worst of the worst. I've never seen anything so bad. It's almost reggaeton it's so bad.”

Sebastian, a Chilean in New York [17]: “A question for those friends in Ecuador … is this guy well known there or is he just a freak who appeared on YouTube out of nowhere and made himself famous for being so ridiculous? I remember that when I saw the video, how I was in shock, how I wanted to laugh (well, I did laugh, a lot), but I felt bad for this poor crazy guy … In any case, Ecuador is grand!

Jaime [18]: “Where can I download this hit? Please, it's life or death. This guy deserves a grammy, I want to see him on MTV.”

Pablo Bastidas [19]: “This guy is really bad, I still don't understand how he made himself so famous.

Without stalling any further, here is Delfín's it's-so-bad-it's-good superhit:

Nowhere is Delfín's cult stature more elevated than Chile, where over 5,000 fans signed a petition [20] to bring Delfín to the established Viña del Mar International Music Festival. They were almost successful – in the end, Delfin played shows in Valparaiso and Santiago. And as Chupame un Coco (“Suck my Coconut”) describes [21], he was also a guest on the the evening talk show Así Somos [22]:

Después de grandes espectáculos en Santiago y Valparaíso, el rey ecuatoriano de YouTube “Delfín” fue invitado por el programa alternativo (Así Somos) de Chile … En cuanto a la entrevista, no fue muy seria, muchas veces los mismos panelistas se reían del invitado, en mas cuando delfín canto su canción “Torres Gemelas” Juan Manuel Astorga (actual panelista de pollo en conserva) mostró una ligera sonrisa, pero después de todo Delfín (el respetable), no se vio complicado, en mas, estaba muy relajado. Después de responder algunas preguntas, Delfín anunció su nuevo tema que saldrá próximamente en Internet, y habló de su nombrado estilo Tecno Folclórico. En cuanto a nosotros, esperaremos a que un fanático suba el video, lamentablemente no lo pudimos grabar.

After his great shows in Santiago and Valparaiso, the Ecuadorian king of YouTube, “Delfin” was invited to the Chilean TV show Así Somos … Regarding the interview, it wasn't very serious. A lot of times the panelists laughed at the guest. When Delfin sang his song “Twin Towers” Juan Manual Astorga flashed a smile, but after everything Delfin (the reputable) didn't look bothered; in fact, he was relaxed. After responding to some questions Delfin announced his next song that will be released soon on the internet and spoke of his style as “Folkloric Techno.” As for us, we hope that some fanatic uploads the video, sadly, we couldn't record it.

Of course, several fans uploaded videos of the interview. Here is part one:

And part two:

Delfin's faithful following wouldn't stop there. YouTube is now full of Delfin tribute songs where young Latin American men record themselves crooning with acoustic guitars in dorm rooms and dark apartments. Examples include a duet on guitar and keyboards [23], Cristobal from Chile [24], “Twin Towers – the acoustic version [25]“, and my personal favorite, a smiling techno bash from Valencia, Spain [26].

No dummy when it comes to publicity, Delfin also has his own blog, Delfin hasta el fin [ES] [27] (“Delfin until the end”) which serves as a sort of digital treasure chest of Delfin memorabilia, including this truly frightening tribute by two ten-year-old girls [28] and a cleavage-filled YouTube advertisement for the official Delfin cellular ringtone [29].

If you've made it all the way down this far, then you're surely a Delfin fan yourself. Fortunately, you're able to download the original music video [30], an mp3 of the song [31], and the popular remix version [32].