HE’S A thirty-four year old hip-hop artist from South Korea, who shares a record label with, ahem, G-Dragon and BigBang - and he’s also got the fifth most popular viral video of all time.
Rapper Psy, or Park Jae Sang to give him his Sunday name,is a Korean Pop (K-Pop) artist, whose video for his recent Korean-language song ‘Gangnam Style’ (which we believe to be Korean for racked up 1 million views in just 52 days.
K-Pop is characterised by heavy use of electronic music, combined with elements of pop and r’n’b - so naturally, it’s rather catchy.
Known in his homeland as ‘Bizarre Singer’, Psy has become a popular figure due to his unconventional dancing and the fact that he has apparently broken the stereotype that all male K-Pop artists have to be good-looking and er, good dancers.
We hear that K-Pop artists raren’t known for their thought-provoking lyrics, either. However, with such (translated) gems as: “I’m a guy - a guy who seems calm but plays when he plays; a guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes; a guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles” we think Psy may well be breaking that particular stereotype too.
Rather incredibly though, Psy’s video for ‘Gangnam Style’ places fifth in a list of the most viral videos on YouTube. The video spearheading the Kony 2012 campaign garnered 100 million views in just six days, whilst Susan Boyle’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent was a close second, taking nine days. Lady Gaga’s video for Bad Romance is in third, taking 18 days to reach 100 million views whilst just ahead of Psy with 100 million views in 45 days is precocious American teen singer Rebecca Black. In sixth place, four days behind the South Korean star, is Canadian singer Justin Bieber’s video for his breakthrough single ‘Baby’.
Quite a feat when you consider Bieber’s worldwide appeal and doubtless popularity with young female fans compared with the dad-at-a-wedding efforts undertaken by our K-Pop hero.
Psy is facing an interesting few months however, as Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun has signed the South Korean to his record label in a bid to make him the first big-selling Korean star in American music.
What is unclear is whether the majority of viewers of ‘Gangnam Style’ are based in Asia, or whether K-Pop’s fledgling global appeal has played a part in the video’s success. Obviously the tongue-in-cheek nature and the humourous take-offs of various rap video staples have helped the popular star gain notoriety in both his native South Korea and beyond, but whether this will be enough to help him break America remains to be seen. The chances of a collaboration with the Canadian pop whipper snapper must be fairly high, surely?
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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