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He’s the UK Chuseok #1 – but will he ever be allowed to perform anything else?

PSY: Gangnam Style (image courtesy YG Entertainment)
PSY: Gangnam Style (image courtesy YG Entertainment)

In this evening’s UK popular music chart listings, PSY finally made it to the top slot, having reached number three last week. Not bad going for a track released in mid July the other side of the Eurasian landmass.

It’s been interesting watching the Gangnam wave as it has spread from Seoul to the rest of the world. Whether it’s a one-off for Korean popular music, or whether it will open the Western market to acts (manufactured or otherwise) which, despite all the marketing push, have hitherto only reached a limited Western fanbase, remains to be seen. It’s noteworthy that despite having been in the music-making business for over 10 years (his first album was released in 2001) his name will have been under the radar to all but the most well-informed enthusiast of Korean popular music – really until this year when he was chosen to front Korea’s London 2012 Olympics cheering song. Will PSY’s new fanbase search out his back catalogue? Or will they look to his future collaboration with Island Records for more western-friendly content? Or will PSY be ever pigeon-holed as the Gangnam Style guy? Whatever, he seems to be enjoying milking it at the moment.

Here’s a reminder of some of the coverage the catchy tune and amusing video has generated:

Here’s the original video:

Version featuring HyunA from 4Minute

And the “Making Of” video

And a subtitled version

And at the Dodgers Stadium

Mitt Romney doing Gangnam Style on Jay Leno

One of the first parodies (uploaded 31 July) is Pyongyang Style:

Another reasonably early adopter is Gangjeong Style – supporting the campaign against the Jeju naval base (uploaded 29 August)

And a pretty lame attack on Park Geun-hye, which may or may not have NORK hands behind it. (Uploaded 3 September)

Less quick off the mark is the next batch uploaded in September. First, a cover by some US naval cadets (uploaded 16 September)

A laid-back K-indie take on it by 밤에피는장미, with Latin vibes (uploaded 16 September)

But the best of the parodies is London Style (also uploaded 16 September). Try to spot all the locations.

And, moving on, from Key of Awesome comes Kim Jong Style (uploaded 21 September)

And even Klingon Style is pretty good (uploaded 27 September):

The anti-Romney campaign expands on the earlier Jay Leno joke (uploaded 2 October):

2 thoughts on “He’s the UK Chuseok #1 – but will he ever be allowed to perform anything else?

  1. Thanks for the extra links! I’d come across Pyongyang Style, but it was rather too similar to Craig Burrows’s Hell March, which was much classier so I didn’t post it. Sadly, that video is no longer available thanks to the Grauniad’s copyright police, so I’ve now posted Pyongyang Style above.

    Kim Jong style is rather fun, so I’ve added that one too.

    There were various links flying around to something on the uriminzzoki website which was claimed to be a “North Korean parody”. It would surprise me if the North Koreans bothered enough about K-pop to do a parody. But the uriminzzoki site never loads on my computer, so I couldn’t review the link to check.

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