The Korea Herald


Psy: Call me international singer, not a star

By Korea Herald

Published : Sept. 25, 2012 - 20:14

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Korean rapper-singer to release new single in the U.S., hold solo concert at Madison Square Garden in New York and cities around the world

Psy, the Korean rapper-singer who instantly became a global star with his mega hit single “Gangnam Style” said on Tuesday in Seoul that he still feels like he is dreaming.

“I feel like I am dreaming and I am still at a loss for words. This wasn’t something that I planned for but it just happened,” Psy told reporters at a press conference held at a hotel located in the heart of Gangnam, southern Seoul, the area of the capital featured in his single.

“I thought I was going through the peak of my life before. But now.. wow.. some impossible things have happened to me. I am so grateful for the Korean fans who supported me and accepted my healthy but unsound behavior on the stage so far,” he said.

“Originally I uploaded this video for Korean users…then all of a sudden celebrities like Britney Spears, Robbie Williams, Katie Perry, tweeted about my music, so I thought, ‘Wow, I got to go to the U.S.,’” he added.
Psy speaks at a press conference held at a hotel in Seoul on Tuesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald) Psy speaks at a press conference held at a hotel in Seoul on Tuesday. (Lee Sang-sub/The Korea Herald)

The star returned home on Tuesday morning but said he will continue promoting his music in the U.S. and other music markets around the world. He recently signed contracts with Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun and also Universal Music, one of the biggest record labels in the world.

He will release a new album by the end of this year, perhaps with songs from his previous album.

“In the U.S., I’m planning to release a new single. There are plans to release a new album around the Christmas holiday season. I was surprised that the Universal Music wants me to sing in Korean later on. They find rapping in Korean chewy,” he said.

A concert at the Madison Square Garden is also on the way, he added.

“I was at a club with Scooter Braun, who suggested I do a concert at Madison Square Garden, saying he would assume responsibility for it,” he said.

Psy said his success all started with people finding his song funny which allowed them to overcome the language barrier.

“I’m grateful that people enjoyed listening to my rap in Korean, even though they do not understand what I’m saying. They are trying to follow my diction and pronunciation and that makes me proud. People are learning Korean because of me and that makes me proud,” he said.

“I believe my success sprouted from laughter that people find it funny and enjoy it.

“I hope to become an international singer, not a world star.”

The Korean man said, however, that it wasn’t that easy to work in the U.S.

“While in the U.S. especially, the language was barrier was a problem. I always had to translate everything in my head before giving answers. It was very stressful for me so I just tried to laugh it off most of the time,” he said.

“I was very nervous during my concerts in the U.S. Especially shows like the ‘Today Show’ where the performance was live,” he added.

Psy came back to Seoul on Tuesday morning via Incheon International Airport, a few hours before a press conference in Seoul.

He will hold concerts and perform at festivals around the country, including the Busan International Film Festival which kicks off next week. Psy will continue to participate in “Super Star K – Season 4” as a judge along with Yoon Mi-rae and Lee Seung-chul, but will excuse himself from the ongoing survival show if circumstances warrant it, YG Entertainment said.

Psy leaves for the U.S. again next month and to Europe in November to attend the MTV Europe Music Award, the agency added. His music video has been nominated in the “Best Music Video” category in the MTV European awards show.

The Korean rapper-singer’s “Gangnam Style” video has attracted almost 270 million views on YouTube as of Tuesday, just 72 days after its release on July 15.

The popularity of Psy’s single is spreading throughout the world.

His song remains at No. 1 on the iTunes worldwide chart with the single topping charts in 30 countries around the world. Official Charts Company, a U.K. album chart, placed “Gangnam Style” at third on its latest single chart, also released on Monday.

Earlier in the weekend, Psy also broke the Guinness World Record with his smash hit “Gangnam Style.” Guinness World Records has named his music video the most “liked” in history, earning over 2,697,564 “likes” on YouTube as of Tuesday.

The music video that features a horse-trotting dance was posted on July 15 and went viral all over the world, including the U.S., the world’s biggest music market.

Psy, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, signed on with Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun and made several guest appearances on prime-time U.S. talk shows as well as concerts with world-famous pop stars including Rihanna, Bon Jovi and Usher.

Even North Korea posted a video parody of Psy’s globally popular “Gangnam Style” on its official Uriminzokkiri website.

Born in Seoul in 1977 to a wealth family, Psy was raised and educated in Seocho district, south of the Han River, near Gangnam. He debuted in 2001 with a full-length album “Psy From The Psycho World,” which included songs with sensational titles such as “Sae (Bird),” “Upskail Phenomenon,” “Shocking, Yanggajip Kyusu (a girl from a respectable family.)”

From the beginning, Psy wrote songs and lyrics that mock people with fortunes and their distorted lives. His father, Park Won-ho, is the chairman and controlling shareholder of a semiconductor company in Korea.

By Cho Chung-un and Julie Jackson
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