A couple weeks ago when you turned on AMP Radio and heard a song sung mostly in Korean, you probably asked yourself, “What the heck am I listening to?”
But fast forward to today, 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. Even McCabe and the AMP Radio staff joined in on the fun!
The horse dance craze is sweeping the nation and the man of the moment stopped by AMP Radio today fresh off his prime time appearance on last night’s Video Music Awards.
“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 told Booker earlier this morning. “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.”
Us 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.
Yet 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?”
Going unnoticed won’t be a problem for PSY anymore. 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, things 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?”
Even once he got past the language barrier, he was still confused by all the attention. “Okay…and why? Why is he finding me?” PSY asked. “And he said like, ‘Oh, Scooter wants to work with me.’ Why? I have no idea. You know what? I’m sitting here, but I still have no idea!”
When it comes down to it, most of us here in the States have no idea what PSY is rapping about. Thankfully, he cleared that up once and for all.
“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?”
“First of all, I’m here to promote myself, not [my] music video, myself,” he said. “And then, if I get some notice, some recognition from the people in the U.S., and then I can work with other stars.”
-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio, Los Angeles