South Korean popstar Psy yesterday addressed the Oxford Union, the university’s debating society, and (for some reason) Chris Eubank. During the talk, he discussed both South Korean culture and his sudden rise to fame with his single ‘Gangnam Style’ – which since its release as a YouTube video in July has gone on to become the most ‘liked’ video and the second most watched on the site ever.
Speaking about the sudden burst of interest in the song and its video, the Independent reports that Psy said: “Suddenly I thought what is going on? There were English comments, and Asian people were fighting over my nationality. Is he Chinese? Is he Korean? Is he Japanese? Then BBC, CNN are making reports of me. And I receive phone call from Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun. I told him, ‘If you’re Justin Bieber’s manager, I’m Justin Bieber’. I made him email me pictures to prove who he was. I had to apologise!”
As previously reported, Braun then flew to South Korea to sign Psy to his Schoolboy Records label, helping the performer reach number two in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However, Psy has been performing in South Korea for over a decade, even though acceptance of his distinct style did not come quite so quickly.
“My only interest when I was young was to be attractive to the girls”, he said. “I know I’m not that good looking, so I had to try other things. Silly voice, silly dancing. Laughing and joking can be handsome … Korea is very strict, but I am not moral. Artists on the stage, their job is to be a clown. Make them laugh. Make them cry. Make them happy. Make them sad. I think that’s all it is. But this philosophy is not suitable for a Korean artist. I have got into a lot of bad situations. People in Korea don’t have a high expectation of Psy’s morals. [But] I’ve had to be forgiven many times”.
Of course, the biggest question of the day was about the origins of the ‘horse dance’ demonstrated in the ‘Gangnam Style’ video. On this, he said: “I stayed up for 30 nights to find that horse riding dance. I tried not just horse. I tried every creature. Elephant, monkey, kangaroo, snake, falling leaves, sun and moon. In Korea, my last five dance moves, they were so famous. This was number six. There was a lot of pressure”.
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