After studying in City College, Baauer returned to music in 2011 and started making beats. He claims that “Harlem Shake” was intended as a “goofy” song which he recorded at his home studio and subsequently uploaded to his Sound Cloud. It was later released through Mad Decent label in June 2012 and re-released in January 2013.
At the same time the label also commissioned a video for the track but weren’t satisfied with the result. The video got shelved until February same year when the track was used as a background to a Youtube video. In this 30-second reel a group of Australian students were dancing to the score. The video very quickly developed into an internet meme and served as basis for more than 3,000 user-submitted parody remakes. Billboard magazine named “Harlem Shake” “the biggest viral sensation since PSY's 'Gangnam Style'.”