Korean wrapper Psy, whose "Gangnam Style" has become a global hit, recently performed a free concert at the Seoul City Hall to say "thank you" to his home fans for their support. More than 80,000 screaming fans took over the city center for the concert.
Questions have been asked how such monotonous and inelegant music became a global hit. A video of the tune went viral with more than 300 million people viewing it on You Tube. The Christian Science Monitor reports Mark Russell, author of "Pop Goes Korea," a book that examines the Korean pop (K-pop) phenomenon, commented: “The music and style is very upbeat and fun without the usual western cynicism and overt sexuality. The videos and fashion and dancing are super-splashy and over the top.”
Russell observes that Psy may be "unusual in terms of appearance," (Psy admits "I am just a fat man with two kids") but his music is "light, catchy, and fun,” mixing “braggadocio with slightly self-deprecating lyrics.”
The Christian Science Monitor comments: "The song gives an impression of rich sensuality, of the high life where high-end department stores, coffee shops, restaurants and nightclubs vie for customers, nowhere so much as in the Gangnam district south of the Han River that bisects the capital."
Psy performs in Seoul
The Sun reports that Psy (Park Jae-Sang), 34, told his fans: “I did not get here because I was worthy of it. I’m here because of all of you. I’m just a fat man with two kids. It’s a golden opportunity to show the world how well we Koreans play.” He added: “I knew one of these K-pop stars would hit the world, but I didn't know it would be me.”
Psy performs Gangnam Style
Psy had promised Korean fans that he would give a free concert in Seoul if his "Gangnam Style" becomes a global hit. "Gangnam Style" is now topping the charts in US and Britain. Time reports Psy has been famous in South Korea since 2001, when he released his first album. Many of his songs have topped the chart in South Korea, but his hit tune “Gangnam Style” is his first global hit.
Psy performed for his home fans for two hours backed by a dozen dancers. The Seoul Plaza was filled with a large boisterous crowd that spilled out into the surrounding streets and took over the entire center of the city. Police closed down the center of the Korean capital for the concert. The Sun reports the crowd made a deafening roar, screaming "Psy, Psy," hysterically when the rapper appeared on stage. At a point in his performance, he stripped off his shirt and did his signature cantering equine dance.
City hall official Lauren Ran, said: “He (Psy) said if ‘Gangnam Style’ hit the Billboard chart, he would have a concert in front of a crowd in Seoul City Hall Plaza. He wanted to keep his word. This is an iconic place.” According to The Inquisitr, the local government paid for lighting, sound equipment, video screens, and security.
The CS Monitor reports that Psy is the son of a wealthy Korean business man who lives in Gangnam. He studied management at Boston University and then moved on to study music at the Berklee College of Music. He probably acquired his style of music, a synthesis of American and Korean pop, while studying in the US. According to Han Koo-hyun, director of the Korean Wave Research Institute, some people may dislike American culture, but there is a close relationship between Korean and American styles. He asks: “Why not French or Japanese or Chinese? They have their own culture. It’s not familiar to the people of the world. We accepted American culture.”