A few months ago you could be forgiven for not having heard of Psy, but if you still don’t know who he is or what he does, it’s probably time you asked one of the hundreds of millions of people who do.
SBS Pop Asia
Psy – real name Park Jae-sang – is a Korean performer best known, or in many cases only known by his Youtube wonderhit, Gangnam Style. Wonderhit is not a word but it should be because in just three short months Gangnam style has overtaken some of the world’s biggest pop stars – and Charlie the finger biter – to become one of the most viewed clips ever on the file sharing site, Youtube. The five minute song has close to 500 million views, no easy feat given 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
Gangnam Style is supposed to be satirical. It was named after the Seoul district Gangnam where Psy was born and takes the micky out of its wealthy residents, but in a really bizarre way. I showed the video to my housemate last night, who, after the five minute journey had ended, turned to me and earnestly asked, what just happened?
It has that train wreck quality, that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes it hard to look away even though you’re convinced that what’s happening on your computer screen shouldn’t be. But somehow that strange fusion of gallop and thrust seems to have made its way to every corner of the globe including Australia.
WAKE UP CALL
Early this morning there was some very peculiar behaviour at Sydney’s Martin Place. Scores of people had gathered, galloping and thrusting – some alone, some in groups – to a familiar sound repeatedly emanating from the speakers.
A quartet of high school girls – one wearing a spider man mask – revealed they had woken up at quarter to five in the morning and hopped a bus before school. To what I thought an obvious question, why, came what they thought an obvious answer, because it’s Psy.
Indeed! Psy had come to Sydney. And with him came the hip swinging, hand flopping and leg trotting that he’s so famous (or infamous?) for. And he lived up to expectation, riding the broom-horse in a very expensive pair of Christian Louboutin sneakers, wrapped in a black and gold sparkly vest.
Just so you know, Psy has already produced six records, he has children, he doesn’t think he’s physically sexy, he’ll be travelling the world over the next six months and that horse trot broom riding thing he does, well get this, he has five other moves just like that. Or so he says.
THE MACARENA OF TODAY?
But will those moves be enough to carry Psy through the maelstrom of Gangnam that he and half the planet are currently caught in. What if this is just his 15 minutes of fame? What happens after Gangnam Style? Will he end up lamenting the loss of his high flying middle age like those guys that sang Macarena? Remember them? Exactly!
The internet is (to put it mildly) fickle. It’s the Mario Balotelli of intangible networks. It will start fireworks in your bathroom, you can check out but you can never leave, it’s black, it’s white, etc. Basically, things start, they flare and they inevitably end. Think Kony 2012. Or actually don’t. I’m sorry I brought that up.