Wacky K-pop star's new song attracts world audience
An eccentric Korean pop singer is getting a lot of clicks from an online audience across the world with his latest song as social network services have been tearing down the wall between different cultures.
Park Jae-sang, more commonly known by his stage name "Psy," has been basking in a new wave of popularity via SNS on his title song "Gangnam Style," released on his sixth album last month. His comical video clip has gone viral, from evoking parodies to being introduced in U.S. media.
It has been No. 1 on the country's major music charts for 20 days, with its YouTube hits surpassing 13 million clicks. In the iTunes store, Gangnam Style has topped the Finnish list, come in third in New Zealand, fourth in Denmark and seventh in the United States.
Gangnam Style, which became Psy's second-biggest hit after the debut song "Bird" in 2001, features an electronic sound that cheers you up with his endless erratic dance. The lyrics have a lot of gags that relate listeners to their daily chores, which has successfully touched upon their sentiment.
"My motto is 'be funny but not stupid'," Park told Yonhap News Agency in an interview.
"I think the humor targeted for social outsiders reflected throughout the song, dance and music video really hit the bull's eye," he said.
The choice of picking Gangnam, referring to an affluent southern neighborhood in Seoul that alludes to ongoing social issues in Korea including disparity between the rich and the poor, also drew the mass interest.
The instant popularity of the song drew attention from U.S. media. CNN aired the music video, with the anchorwoman saying she has seen it 15 times, and might as well try the dance at home.
Some cast members of Eye Opener TV, a regional program in the U.S., enjoyed mimicking his dance in the studio. U.S. hip-hop artist T-Pain, singer-songwriter Josh Groban and British artist Robbie Williams tagged Psy's video on their SNS pages.
"There's no doubt that the power of SNS gave the song a boost," the 35-year-old Korean artist said.
"But I believe in the offline response more than the online one, because SNS is not a pan-generational platform. I still wonder if being No. 1 online would mean everyone in the country knows my song," he added.
As for his ambition for a wider market abroad, Park's answer is as lucid as his hype character.
"Everybody wants to go for the U.S. market. There's nothing for me to be afraid of because I won't be ashamed even if I don't make it. But I'd definitely like to show my 'horse dance' there," he laughed. (Yonhap)