It has been 10 years since the cultural phenomenon Gangnam Style was released on YouTube. If you could believe it.
A decade ago the South Korean singer and rapper Psy broke onto the music scene in a bright blue tuxedo with the catchy K-pop theme and meme-able horse-riding dance to lyrics that muse ‘Oppa Gangham Style’ (with ‘oppa’ meaning ‘older brother’ in Korean).
Ahead of the anniversary, Psy addressed the pressure and impact of creating such an iconic song.
‘When the song is a hit, then your songs need to continue to be hits,’ he told CNN. ‘When the person is a hit, the success is more sustainable.’
Psy also led the way for other K-pop bands to enter the global market, such as BTS who have often cited the Gangham Style singer for their massive, worldwide success.
Bandmate Suga said in a youtube video that Psy ‘paved the way for K-pop in the US, which allowed (BTS) to follow that path more comfortably.’
When was Gangnam Style first released?
On July 15 2012, Psy dropped the hit.
It soon went viral and became the first YouTube video to hit over 1 billion views, as well as hitting number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and breaking three Guinness World Records.
Where is PSY now and how old is he?
Since the viral success of Gangham Style, the musician – who is now 44 years old – has spent the last 10 years releasing new tracks across three albums filled with dance tracks and even some gentler ballads.
His second hit and follow-up song to the viral sensation, Gentlemen, also hit 1.4billion views on YouTube.
While none of his other tracks have received the same success, Psy has also focused on supporting the next generation of South Korean acts with his music label P Nation.
Psy also performs in an annual concert series Summer Swag which is about to start after being delayed in the pandemic.
The star admitted that his vision for his music hasn’t changed throughout his career: ‘To make fun music, fun dances and bring joy to my fans.’
‘That’s my hope,’ he added to CNN, ‘I was of the same mind 10 years ago and I think I’ll feel the same way 20 years from now as well. I’ll always be true to that.’