The road to superstardom in a blink of a PSY
‘GANGNAM STYLE’ TAKES K-POP MAINSTREAM
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 23:10
PSY, the once little-known Korean singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, and bad-boy, has taken the world by storm with his mega-hit “Gangnam Style.”
Since hitting YouTube on July 15, the “Gangnam Style” video has skyrocketed PSY into superstardom, and made him a household name.
The video has earned the title of most viewed K-Pop video of all time, with over 450 million views and over 3.8 million likes, earning recognition by Guinness World Records for the most liked video in YouTube history.
But 13 years in the business have given PSY time to spark some controversy. His first album, PSY from the PSYcho World!, got him fined for inappropriate content, and dubbed the “Bizarre Singer” because of his unusual antics on stage. He dodged his mandatory military service twice before finally completing it in 2009. And he was even busted for marijuana possession.
These days however, PSY mostly sticks to performing parodies of celebrities, his most recent being of Lady Gaga, when he danced to “Poker Face” in a body suit complete with a pyrotechnic bustier.
During his career, PSY has released six studio albums, and had six number one hits. Now “Gangnam Style” has become his seventh, and by rocketing up the charts to number one in Korea, Australia, Canada, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, it’s propelled him onto the international stage.
PSY’s inspiration for “Gangnam Style” came from a district in Seoul, South Korea with the same name.
“People who are actually from Gangnam never proclaim that they are—it’s only the posers and wannabes that put on these airs and say that they are ‘Gangnam Style,’” PSY said in an interview with CNN “So this song is actually poking fun at those kinds of people who are trying so hard to be something they’re not.”
Whatever the take is on its social commentary it hasn’t stopped people around the world from creating their own parodies. Videos from celebrities to high school marching bands are flooding the internet—dance moves included.
By Aug. 11, just shy of two months after “Gangnam Style” hit the web, PSY performed at the Jamsil Sports Complex Stadium in Seoul for a crowd of more than 30,000 fans. According to Claire Lee of The Korea Herald/Asia News Network, “After Psy went off the stage upon the finale, ‘Gangnam Style’ played through the speakers and the audience danced the famous horse riding dance to the music as a group. Seemingly touched, PSY returned to the stage and downed a bottle of Soju on the spot to show his appreciation for his fans.”
“Gangnam Style” proves that you don’t have to understand the lyrics to a song in order to appreciate its musical masterpiece; it just needs to make you want to get up and dance, and maybe laugh a little bit.
And as PSY puts it, “The mindset of this dance is, dress classy, and dance cheesy,” so get up off your rump and shake what your mamma gave you, Oppa Gangnam Style.