His Gangnam Style may be the second most watched YouTube video in history but South Korean pop sensation Psy said Tuesday he still has everything to prove with his follow-on record, due out by March.
“I can’t say I have a success, because it’s kind of a phenomenon,” the 34-year-old told a
press conference in Paris, where some 20,000 fans of his planetary horse-dancing hit joined him for a giant flashmob a day earlier.
“I didn’t do anything — people hit YouTube, people found this music and they brought it to the world. Not me.
“Now it’s my turn. The second one I gotta make my success,” said the singer, whose real name is Park Jae-Sang.
Psy’s new album will feature a new single half in Korean, half in English and a selection of songs from his 12-year career in South Korea, where he is a household name.
“To the Koreans it’s going to be like Psy’s greatest hits, but to the world its going to be brand new. It’s going to be my debut album worldwide,” he said.
Initially slated for release this month, Psy’s new single was delayed by the runaway success of “Gangnam Style”, which went viral in July, notching up more than 650 million YouTube views.
“I am number one in 30 countries — I have to at least say ‘Hi and Thanks’,” he told reporters, saying the album would hit shelves in “March at the latest”.
What style is he aiming for next?
“With this video, this song, this dance, I did my best to be as ridiculous as possible,” said the singer.
“In Korea… I have ridiculous songs, fun songs, happy songs.
“But I am a rookie here. I know what people want: they want something funnier than ‘Gangnam Style’ from now on.
“So at this point I’ve got to be more ridiculous! I am going to show my other aspects later on if I have a chance.”
Asked about the turnout of Paris fans, Psy said it was “really touching.”
“I had seen a lot of flashmobs on YouTube, but yesterday was the first time I had been there.”
“Personally, I’m kind of an analog guy, I don’t trust online that much. So when I arrived yesterday in Paris I still had a huge question mark, like am I really famous in this country?
“I went to the Eiffel Tower and I saw 20,000 people, and they were literally mad!” he said.
South Korea’s culture ministry announced earlier Tuesday it had awarded Psy one of its highest cultural honours, the Okgwan Order of Cultural Merit, for “outstanding meritorious services” to the arts.
Asked if the “Gangnam Style” craze has stretched as far as neighbouring North Korea — where the Stalinist authorities posted a parody of the video to mock a politician from the south — Psy said he hoped so.
“We cannot communicate with them, but it’s a worldwide phenomenon — so hopefully they do the dance,” he said. “I never get any news from them, but I hope they enjoy the song too.”