By Christine Cortes, Entertainment Editor
After hitting over 100 million views, it can’t be denied that “Gangnam Style” has gone viral. With the Youtube video averaging 5 million views per day, the Korean pop song is beating hit songs like Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” for top Youtube music video. The music video was released on July 15th, so it’s only about three months old, yet it's faring far better than every Korean pop song that’s attempted to break through to America. “Nobody” by the Wonder Girls was what everyone believed to be the game-changer for k-pop, but this song was not even released for the American market.
The singer of the song, PSY (which is short for Psycho), is not the typical Korean singer. His face is not a face you would find in one of the boy bands like SHINee or Big Bang, and he is definitely not as pretty as anyone in one of the girl groups. He is 34 years old and attended both Boston University and one of the most prestigious music schools in America, Berklee College of Music. Considered to be a veteran singer, he has been in the Korean entertainment industry for over ten years. While he is one of the most successful singers in Korea, he hasn’t been very big among international fans until just recently when he became world famous. “Gangnam Style” surprised many by becoming the song that could potentially pave the pathway for Korean music to make its way over to America.
Gangnam is an area in Korea that can be compared to Beverly Hills, California. It is rich and very high class. Many of the residents of Gangnam are also able to get into the top university in Korea. Imagine Harvard full of people from Beverly Hills. The song is basically praising the women of Gangnam. In the morning they are all sophisticated working women with very posh lifestyles, but once the sun sets... Let’s just say that they know how to party.
Despite its global popularity, “Gangnam Style” is very much a Korean song. In fact, the only English words in the song are ‘Hey sexy lady!’ and ‘baby baby’, which are a few of the words that are inserted into practically every K-pop song. The melody and beat are reminiscent of LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It”, but the music video is very strange. Not like Gotye weird, but funny weird. You can’t help but keep watching because it’s so ridiculous, and after getting through once, you have to watch it again.
We can attribute a lot of the success of the song to well known figures in the American music industry. Celebrities like Josh Groban, T-Pain, and Katy Perry have tweeted the music video and commented on how amazing it is. Nelly Furtado performed a cover of the song, changing some of the words to English, at her concert in Manila. “Gangnam Style” even had coverage in CNN, was played during a Dodgers’ game, and is appearing a lot in social media.
With a song spreading faster than internet memes, we can only wonder what is next for PSY. He has reportedly signed a contract with Justin Bieber’s music label and fans are speculating a collaboration between the two artists. I can only hope that this will help more Asians achieve great success in the American music industry, and that it will not just become another William Hung type of moment.
Don’t miss out on the hit! Check out the music video on Youtube and attempt the crazy horse riding dance!