Can he beat 'Gangnam Style'? Psy unveils new single 'Gentleman' with the refrain 'I am a party mafia!'
Friday 12 April 2013
South Korean rapper Psy released his much-anticipated new single at midnight last night - and is hoping to repeat the success of its predecessor "Gangnam Style" which has made him the biggest star to emerge from the growing K-pop music scene.
The video for "Gangnam Style" has become the most watched item on YouTube with more than 1.5 billion hits and Psy's horse-riding moves sparked an international dance craze.
The details of his latest single, "Gentleman", were kept firmly under wraps until the song was released at midnight in New Zealand.
The song, with a techno beat, is full of puns in Korean and contains the lines "I am a party mafia!" and the refrain, "I am a mother father gentleman".
Psy, 35, will perform "Gentleman" in public for the first time on Saturday at a concert at Seoul's World Cup stadium but he has been coy about what dance to expect this time, except to hint that it is based on traditional Korean moves.
"All Koreans know this dance but (those in) other countries haven't seen it," Psy told South Korean television last week.
He has asked fans to wear white to Saturday's event and his stylist told press last month that the concept for the new song would again be a formal suit with "an unexpected twist of fun"..
In "Gangnam Style", written as a commentary on materialism in the wealthy Seoul suburb of Gangnam, Psy was decked out in sunglasses, a white dress shirt, bow tie and tuxedo jackets.
The song racked up 3.59 million digital sales last year in the United States and Canada, according to Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen BDS, putting it ninth in the best-selling list. It was third on Amazon's MP3 song bestseller list for 2012.
"Gangnam Style" catapulted Psy to global fame after a rocky career in the music business over the past decade.
Psy, whose real name is Park Jae-sang, graduated from the Berklee College of Music in the United States and made his debut in 2001 with the album "PSY from the Psycho World".
But he ran into trouble with the authorities for "inappropriate" content in the lead song on that album, which was seen as sexually suggestive. He was also charged with possession of marijuana in 2002.
Since then he has released five more albums.
Psy's brash style - at a concert last year he parodied Lady Gaga, complete with fake breasts that he set on fire - stands in stark contrast to the squeaky clean singers that dominate K-pop which is finding an increasingly large international audience.
A Music Industry White Paper published by the Korean Creative Content Agency said sales of K-pop outside Korea surged 135 percent in 2011 from a year earlier to $196 million. In 2006 overseas sales were worth $16.7 million.
Psy acknowledged last month that the stress of following up Gangnam was taking its toll.
He tweeted a picture of himself covering his face at a recording studio, with the caption: "The pain of creation."
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
MOBO Awards 2014: Jess Glynne hits back at 'ridiculous' criticism of nominated white artists
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - review: Silly, sensational and sensitive
The Apprentice 2014: Nurun Ahmed and Lindsay Booth fired in double elimination
MOBO Awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board with four gongs
The Apprentice, episode 3 - review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with double elimination
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters