What happened to the life of the creator of Gangnam Style?

Remember the South Korean who danced in a stable with black glasses as if he was riding a horse? Surely yes, although 10 years have passed since the premiere of Gangnam Style, the song that changed the rules of music diffusion. What probably few remember is the name of that artist, PSY, who just as he appeared, became a multimillionaire from one day to the next. But watch out: Park Jae-sang (the man behind the artist) never left, he has always been there, living in a certain way in the shadow of that smash hit that received the award for best video at the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards and entered the Guinness Award for the most “likes” (11 million people gave the thumbs up that year).

Something changed in the history of music videos when Gangnam Style burst onto YouTube on July 15, 2012. PSY (name derived from psycho), a relatively successful pop singer in his country, oblivious to the stereotype of the cute little boy who succeeds in that genre, it became an overnight media storm. Just six months later, the video clip smashed all records by becoming the first in history to reach one billion views. Until 2017, it was the most viewed on YouTube (exceeding 3 billion views) and even broke the platform’s visit counter, which had to be updated by Google. But the public continued to consume music online. And the reign of Gangnam Style abdicated to make way for the children’s song Baby Shark, Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, See You Again by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, and Shape of You by Ed Sheeran.

world star

PSY (then 34 years old) became a global star. Everyone wanted to see him, have his autograph, take him to TV shows. He did duets with Madonna, danced the Gangnam Style at New York’s Madison Square Garden, and Britney Spears learned the steps with him on the now devalued Ellen DeGeneres show. He also recorded advertisements of all kinds and gave massive recitals in which there was no lack of those who tried to imitate his unique equestrian choreography.

And it was necessary to go out and explain what the lyrics were about, although that did not matter much to the entertainment industry. Gangnam is a residential neighborhood in Seoul, one of the most expensive and exclusive, home to wealthy people and a reckless nightlife. Then, the “style” of life in Gangnam would be that of people with high purchasing power who go out to have fun without much consideration.

But according to the translations that can be read on the Internet, the lyrics make fun of that way of life, parodying the customs of the upper class. “It caricatures the residents in it, away from problems and who look arrogantly at those around them. Although the song also shows how those who do not live there, want to do so, ”says a note from Infobae by Matías Bauso.

PSY 2
The South Korean PSY.

born in a cradle of gold

The Gangnam style is well known to PSY, who was born in 1977 into a wealthy family in that district. his father, Park Won Howas the CEO of a major corporation and his mother, Kim Young-hee, owner of several restaurants in the neighborhood. But beware, the young PSY was not improvised: he studied at the Berklee School of Music and earned a place as an artist and comedian in South Korea. In 2001 he released his debut album (PSY From the Psycho World), for which he was fined. The names of some of his songs give a clue as to why that happened: I Love Sex, Adultery, Bitch. In 2002 he released a second record that was banned for those under 18 years of age. Then came the immeasurable boom of Gangnam Style.

PSY and the Gangnam style.
PSY and the Gangnam style.

down the path of alcohol

On April 13, 2013, PSY released the song through networks Gentleman. It did not go badly and some more money entered her bulging coffers. In 2014, she recorded hangover along with rapper Snoop Dogg and a year later he presented the song daddy with the singer CL, from the South Korean group 2NE1. Within 24 hours it became a resounding success, racking up more than 10 million views on YouTube.

But the success of Gangnam Style could not repeat it anymore. And the life of a megastar and billionaire took its toll on him, falling into a strong addiction to alcohol to which he has been a hostage for years. This was revealed by himself in an interview with the Sunday Times: “If I’m happy I drink, if I’m sad I drink, if it’s sunny I drink, if it’s cold I drink, if it’s hot I drink (…) Korean vodka is my best friend . I also drink whiskey, tequila, whatever. I drink at every moment of the day.”

In other interviews, he has also talked about the turbulent relationship with his father and the abuse that he caused him, which led him to have a difficult childhood. His alcohol and depression also affected his relationship with his wife Yoo Hye-yeonwith whom he has twins.

In this 2022 he stuck his nose out again with his ninth studio album: PSY 9th. Some may say: she did it for the money. But not. PSY has enough of that, to live the Gangnam style or the one that pleases him the most. (And surely his children and grandchildren will be able to do it too). He doesn’t even do it for the fame, which has left him quite stunned. It’s all about the love of music: the one that once made him dream of leaving a mark on this world (and boy has he done it).

Entrepreneur and industry promoter

“I had a huge dependency on the song… But you know, 10 years ago, so now I’m really free,” the singer said in a recent interview at his company’s headquarters in the Gangnam district. . Although he did not stop performing as a singer, today his main task is to search for new talents and lead his company. To highlight his vice, he regularly gives concerts at university festivals in South Korea, where the new generations continue to go crazy with the little step of riding and the imaginary lasso that shakes on the head.

Many critics have considered him a one hit wonder (“one hit artist”, as The Eagles have been called, for example, for their megahit Hotel California). However, others recognize him for the work he did for the South Korean music industry, paving the way for many singers from that little-known country in the international market.

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What happened to the life of the creator of Gangnam Style?