Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Here's a scientific analysis of why kids are so obsessed with "Baby Shark"

Children, bless their tiny hearts, have awful taste in media. Try and get Junior to sit through some Kurosawa and 10 minutes in they’re asking for an encore of Trolls; give them the cultural gift of Aphex Twin and be rejected for another round of the “Baby Shark” YouTube video where kids bellow out nonsense about cartoon fish families.


Over at the Daily Beast, Tanya Basu interviewed experts to figure out why, exactly, songs like “Baby Shark” become as immensely popular with children as they do. Noting the track’s recent entry to Billboard’s Hot 100 and the 2.2 billion views recorded for the Pinkfong YouTube video above, Basu sought insight from an associate music professor and a neuroscientific consultant who’s studied “how and why the human brain absorbs music.”

Any musician looking to chum the waters of children’s entertainment for their very own chance at a “Baby Shark”-sized hit should, apparently, take note of several key elements from the track: repetition, its subject matter (an animal family), an upbeat tempo that speeds up partway through, and a colorful video that encourages dancing and singing along to the music.

The article goes into further detail on each of these aspects, offering greater context for why “Baby Shark,” specifically, is the kid hit du jour. Along the way it brings up similarities, too, with how so much other pop music incorporates similar composition features. Most of all, the piece is a balm for frustrated parents who’d rather chuck every nearby speaker in the garbage than take another dive into rudimentary shark genealogy. In the end, though, our children aren’t actively trying to torture us with their favorite music—they’re just programmed to be super-hype for the sweet sounds of “Baby Shark.”

[via Daily Beast]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.