PSY brings K-Pop to America

The “Gangnam Style” artist single handily brought Korean Pop to the American mainstream

If you haven’t heard of PSY’s explosively popular Gangnam Style yet, you need to get out from that rock you are under! This Asian sensation just blindsided all of us, even avid K-POP followers like me. If I had to guess, I would have said that either the photogenic and popular Korean groups Girls’ Generation or Big Bang would have been the groups to bring K-POP to America. Never did I imagine that the comedic PSY would be the one to expose America to it. Honestly, when I first saw his music video, I thought it was funny and catchy. I never once thought, “Hey, this is the song that will make the cut in American culture.” Honestly speaking, he is not the most photogenic guy in the business but he does have that amazing personality. Even as I watched PSY’s songs top the charts in Korea I had no clue this would explode into a world-wide sensation.

Being interviewed by many renowned TV stations, performing on various venues, and surprise appearances on shows like SNL and The Ellen DeGeneres Show prove his success and popularity. After watching many of the interviews, it is easy to tell that even PSY didn’t know he would be this popular with a single song. And you know this song is popular when it is played at a KU football game and the crowd goes wild.

This song is popular for its catchiness, hilarious dancing, and its amazing music video. You can tell this guy has a sense of humor. From the humorous elevator scene to the easy-to-learn horse dance, this guy knows how to express himself. The overall drive of the dance is “dress classy and dance cheesy”. This is meant to be ironic because “Gangnam” is actually a district that is directly south of the river in Seoul and is the equivalent of Beverly Hills in America. Looking at all the signs in the music video, you can see that nothing he does is pointed to what a person in Gangnam would do. But the whole time, he is saying, “I am Gangnam Style”, making the whole song a satirical piece. It doesn’t matter to me though that everyone knows the references, as long as K-POP is spreading I’m happy.

Before spreading to America, PSY was already a well-known pop icon in Korea. His connections in the music industry are outstanding. In the music video by itself, he had three influential pop icons appear and dance. Two of them are very popular entertainers and the last one to appear is the famous and provocative Hyuna. His influence in the Korean show business is shown in his many live performances as he gets people from many different groups to be on stage with him and dance. Even in America, his sudden, yet powerful, influence can be clearly seen.

from tito huynhi

korean pop can be heard every friday from 8-10 p.m.


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