“It may be the ending of ‘Gangnam Style,’” Psy told MTV News recently, noting the final performance would be during “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” “What better way to do it? It’s my biggest and most meaningful birthday.”
The South Korean singer turned 35 on December 31 and performed the song in Times Square ala “American Music Awards” style with M.C. Hammer. Last November, he told “The Ralphie Show” about the plans he and manager Scooter Braun had for a second single.
“I’m done with the single-track right now, and it sounds nice,” Psy revealed. “But the thing is, me and Scooter are thinking about the releasing point because ‘Gangnam Style’ in the United States – it has been (out for) a while, but in other countries, it’s an upcoming single right now.”
Psy will travel abroad to those other counties this year to perform the pony-dance – but it looks as if for now, we will be spared in the States.
He’s done TV, he’s done radio, and heck he’s certainly done the Internet. But after finding his single, “Gangnam Style” stuck at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for the past six weeks, South Korean sensation Psy is doing it all over again.
“How come they play Maroon 5 so much in United States?” the K-Pop star jokingly asked in an interview on “The Ralphie Show,” slightly mispronouncing “maroon” in the process. “One More Night” has held on to the top spot. “At some point I’m thinking like, ‘Wow, how can I stay that long at number two… is this some kind of ‘Truman Show’ or something like that?’”
You can’t blame the artist, born Park Jae-sang, for thinking that TV cameras might be secretly following him around. Prior to “Gangnam Style,” the 34 year-old topped the Korean charts about a half dozen times, but never came close to the success he is currently having. As of Tuesday, the video had over 650 million views and near 5 million “likes.” This is unprecedented for anyone, let alone a relatively unknown artist from a country that has cultivated so many “K-Pop” stars, with none of them breaking in to the U.S.
What is even crazier: Americans have latched on to the song simply for the video and dance, along with the infectious beat. Most of the lyrics are in Korean.
“If I perform this song in different countries, I feel happy and sorry at the same time because yunno, (the audience) looks so happy so I’m happy with that,” explained Psy. “They don’t have any idea what I’m talking about right? What I thought was, they might have their own version of lyrics when I’m singing this.”
U.S. fans of the song and video have other questions as well: one was floated my way on Facebook about why Psy appears to be screaming at one of his backup dancer’s butts in the music video.
“The butt was so mad at me,” he replied with clearly something lost in translation. “They were doing some erotic stuff and it teased me, the butt teased me. So I was like, ‘Hey, stop doing that!’ I yelled at the butt.”
So this is the stuff that 650 million view videos on YouTube are made of.
Scooter Braun has made a name for himself in the music industry with his non-traditional moves, such as signing a 15 year-old Canadian named Justin Bieber after watching the teenager perform on YouTube. The manager works with a handful of other acts – from Usher to Carly Rae Jepsen – and just added Psy to his roster. Psy is the man behind, “Gangham Style,” a Korean pop song in the vein of LMFAO that has amassed over 110 million YouTube views since July. I asked Braun why he took a chance in signing the K-Pop star.
“Because he’s an underdog, and I love underdogs,” Braun responded. I inquired about other acts he’s signed, and he simply said, “They’re all underdogs.”
Certainly Psy would be the first Korean pop star to make it big in the U.S., but I’m not sure 110 million YouTube views screams “underdog.”