How the viral coffin dance meme took Russian music producer Tony Igy's track to a new level

This is not the first time his 2010 track was used online

Astronomy by Russan electronic music producer, Tony IG, has become an online hit due to its use in a viral meme. Instagram
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The latest online viral sensation, the coffin dance meme, has not only made stars out of its troupe of Ghanaian dancing pall-bearers, it has also provided the exposure of a lifetime for the artist behind the soundtrack.

Last month, the profile of Russian electronic music producer Tony Igy, 24, could be best described as limited.

However, after his 2010 track Astronomia was used on TikTok, paired with images of suited pall-bearers grooving along in a funeral march, the song not only become an unexpected online hit but shed light on a young artist that has been diligently working away in Russia.

Hailing from the town of Rostov (a two-and-half-hour drive from the capital Moscow), Igy – real name Anton Igumnov – is a self-taught musician. It was the harsh winters of his home, coupled with his love for the UK group The Prodigy, that ignited his love for electronic dance music.

"I started playing in high school, probably because it was boring, especially in winter," he said in his official biography. "As the guest of the neighbourhood kids I saw a synthesiser and as a joke I decided to play any melody. Strange, but in just a few minutes, I sketched a simple melody based on the beats of my fingers on the desk. I asked to borrow a synthesiser all week, and I practically did not depart from it."

That dedication resulted in his first Russian hit, blazing electro-house stomper Pentagramma in 2006. He repeated that feat four years later with Astronomia, which became an Eastern European club favourite as well being used for a slew of Russian memes. The track was also sampled by Australian rapper Iggy Azalea for her 2011 song My World.

However, the coffin dance meme, which used a 2014 remixed version of Astronomia featuring the Dutch duo Vicetone, has taken the song to the next level.

The streaming numbers speak for themselves.

According to Variety magazine, for a period in April, the song was the second most Shazam-ed track in the world, and it has been streamed more than 90 million times on Spotify.

And how does Igy feel about his old creation? Well, he rightfully describes it as the gift that keeps on giving.

"The track has gained great popularity in Russia [over the years], therefore it has been in the rotation of many popular radio stations for many years," he told Variety. "And it is still popular here."

As for his changing fortunes, Igy plans to keep a cool head. While happy with the acclaim – and extra income – he is already working on his next big breakout track.

"I'm a songwriter, so I make music to order," he says. "I did not experience any emotions [regarding the song's success] it's just a funny meme ... That's it."