What is it about the utterly nonsensical moves of Korean rapper Psy that is making people want more of his Gangnam Style
If the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, could admit: “I was an overnight sensation”, new age “artistes” are busy raking in the moolah of their singles being overnight successes.
While singers on reality television shows have something to vouch for their talent, others are using new age media platforms like YouTube to make it big.
Among the newest and the most successful to have taken the world by storm is Psy, the portly South Korean rapper, with his chartbusting single ‘Gangnam Style’, which was released on July 15 and is reverberating wherever you go!
Gallop and shuffle
As of October 8, the music video has been viewed over 400 million times on YouTube and is the site’s most watched K-pop (Korean Pop) video. It didn’t come as a surprise then when Chris Gayle and his team took home the World T20 Cup in a unison version of ‘Gangnam Style’ celebrating their resurgence to glory doing the gallop, shuffle and the imaginary lasso that the king of K-Pop has popularised.
So while the video shows Psy, the short, rotund, bespectacled guy in conventional urban scenes like a parking lot, in an elevator, in the sauna or on a deckchair under a pink umbrella, doing some extremely bizarre dance moves where he bounces around with disco balls and even does some crazy pelvic thrusts when he isn’t on his imaginary horse, you might wonder what it is about something as inane as this that has caught the fancy of the masses.
According to collegian Joshua Samuel, “There’s nothing to not like about it! It’s funny, it’s different and it’s ‘made in Korea’. Something as random as this becoming so viral over the Internet has to have that x-factor or zing in it and ‘Gangnam Style’ definitely has it.”
Another youngster Nisha George says: “The title itself has a ring to it so much so my friend got it tattooed on his forearm! Though most of it is in Korean, we cannot care less because it’s an upbeat song and the dance moves are simple and hilarious. We even do the ‘Oppan Gangnam Style’ move in college to celebrate a free period! I love that the song is now playing at clubs too.”
While Gen Y sure has their share of reasons for liking this number, their parents have also taken to it.
Says Maria Papali Duckworth, a mother of two teenagers: “What makes it so popular is that it is raunchy and has a new dance style. This is happening decades after songs such as ‘Macarena’, ‘The Ketchup song’, etc. This is the kind of song which could spur on the young generation of this century into a feeling of oneness especially when Psy’s track forms the backdrop of flash mobs.”
Observing how the video is trending, Sridhar TVN, senior strategic marketing manager, EMI, says: “It is a sickeningly infectious song. And if not accompanied by those dance moves, the song wouldn’t mean anything for the millions now testing their knees! It is a song in the tradition of all big dance/ pop songs that brought in a dance move into the world such as ‘Walk like an Egyptian’, ‘Macarena’, Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’, Las Ketchup’s ‘Asereje’, Shakira’s ‘Whenever Wherever’, MC Hammer’s ‘You can’t touch this’, and so on. The buoyancy of the song speaks for itself.”
There are those who think the video is a hit because it’s a spoof and perhaps because it entertains the Western world that has a stereotypical notion about Asians.
For someone like musician Ritesh Menon, “What has me in awe of the song most is that I realised sometimes we try too hard to make it big and there are times when we like Psy do something so absolutely senseless that it ends up working in our favour!”
With the whole world high on Psy, it makes us believe that perhaps because “Gangnam Style” is utterly frivolous and incorrigibly unimportant, it is interesting. Seems like the ‘Kolaveri’ craze is finally dying down….