Korean rapper PSY is rapidly becoming a household name thanks to his hit song “Gangnam Style” going viral on the Internet. In just a month and a half his music video has racked up nearly 120 million views on YouTube, making it the most-watched K-pop song of all time on the website. It’s sparked hundreds of parodies and lip dubs.
Americans are just getting hip to the phenomenon that is PSY, but he’s been in the game for quite a while. “Gangnam Style” is a track off his sixth studio album. He’s won dozens of awards and appeared in movies and television shows in his home country of South Korea.
“I spent all the time last night at the VMAs making interviews so I thought like, ‘Wow, I’m a rookie in 12 years.’ I’m really feeling good about that,” PSY said. “You know, people usually can feel the rookie feeling once in a lifetime, right? But this is twice in a lifetime, so this is amazing.”
Despite becoming an international sensation in a matter of a few weeks, the 34-year-old rapper is maintaining a low profile.
“The thing is, if I walk on the streets in the U.S., like no one recognizes me yet, you know, especially without sunglasses, they never recognize me at all! I got to wear sunglasses in the airport, at night, or everywhere. It’s too dark, you know? Should I dance everywhere?”
He recently signed with uber-manager Scooter Braun, the person responsible for making Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen bona fide superstars. When Braun came calling for PSY, however, the request got a little lost in translation.
“They said, ‘Hey, Scooter Braun wants you.’ ‘Who’s Scooter Braun? Who’s Scooter Braun?’ You know, scooter has different meaning, right? Scooter like the motorbike. Scooter? Is he a guy named Scooter? I’m Korean, so, Scooter? Is it [a] name? Is it [a] motorbike or something?”
The music may be the catchiest thing you’ve heard all year but since he sings entirely in Koran, most of us have no idea what PSY is rapping about. He was kind enough to clear up what “Gangnam Style” really means.
“Gangnam’s like a certain territory in Korea and the place is [a] hot place, especially very noble at daytime and going crazy at nighttime…I described about ladies especially and then I’m saying, ‘I’m the right guy for you.’ The place is classy and I wear classy [clothes], but my dance is cheesy, you know?”
-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles