Is Gangnam Style Kpop? All About PSY’s 2012 Sensation

Gangnam Style K-Pop
Gangnam Style by Psychology

It’s the year 2012. You are, say, at a mall or a fine dining restaurant, and you hear the very familiar sound of “Oppan Gangnam Style”. Yes, the song was THAT popular after it came out. It was so popular that even my school played it on the sports day. The song created records like any song ever did before. It was undoubtedly a smashing hit. It was especially groundbreaking since, for the first time, so many people were enjoying a piece of music that was in a language they probably hadn’t come across in mainstream media yet. So, here we shall answer the question, is Gangnam Style KPop?

It was produced by the South Korean hotshot music producer Psy. Psy sang the song and was also featured in the music video for it. I think he never thought that a Korean song would receive so much love and become a viral sensation. But don’t they always say, “Expect the Unexpected!”. Let’s go back in time when Gangnam Style first came out and dissect its popularity among the masses even now.

Is Gangnam Style Kpop?

Yes, Gangnam Style is Kpop. Gangnam Style was a song from Psy’s sixth album, “Psy 6, Part 1”. Psy was then mostly popular in Korea and Japan. He was known for his humor and funny recreations of popular celebrities’ impersonations. When Gangnam Style’s video was released, something shifted, and the video started getting popular and eventually went viral all over the world. The reception, interest, and love the music video received were off the charts, quite literally. In almost a month of its release, it was topping charts everywhere. The song ranked on the number 1 ‘Most Viewed Videos’ monthly chart on YouTube. It also charted at number 1 on the iTunes Music Videos chart. The song also peaked at number 2 position on Billboard Hot 100. Usually, only American pop songs hold high places on music charts, but Gangnam Style effortlessly broke that stereotype.

Literally, everyone was talking about Gangnam style. Our favorite celebrities also took to social media to appreciate the song. These included superstars Tom Cruise and pop sensation Britney Spears.

Psy Gangnam Style
PSY in Gangnam Style

The horse dance in the music video became so popular that people still can’t stop themselves from shaking a leg or two every time this song plays, even after ten years of its release. Many people around me often tell me that Gangnam Style was their first brush with K-Pop music, and it’s true for most of us. The visually colorful and hilarious song gave us an insight into what K-Pop music was like when we didn’t even know it was called K-Pop. K-Pop as a genre boomed up with Gangnam’s Style release. It can easily be called a catalyst for boosting the Korean or Hallyu Wave across countries. And no, you didn’t hear this from me. The then-American president Barack Obama was the one who said this.

Gangnam Style’s video became the first video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube in December 2012. Guinness Book of World Records also iterated it to be the most liked video on YouTube at that time. Hence, the song really was able to reach a wide audience and was loved immensely even when it was in Korean.

Psy And His Notable Works

Psy or Park Jae Sang is a South Korean singer born on 31 December 1977 in Seoul, South Korea. The popular musician wasn’t originally going to pursue a career in music, but he eventually did, and we are glad. He is one of the biggest names in the South Korean music industry right now. His song Gangnam Style, which was about the lifestyle of people in the posh district of Gangnam, Seoul, took over the world by storm.

Following the popularity of the song, Psy was even invited to meet with then-United Nations general secretary Ban Ki Moon at the UN headquarters in New York. Furthermore, it is said he was appointed as the goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Gangnam Style really catapulted Psy’s career and made him a known face all over the world. The song even appeared on the popular tv show Glee, where the cast performed a rendition of the song.

Psy was signed with YG Entertainment, but in 2018, he left the company for good. In 2019, he established his own entertainment company called P-Nation. The label houses popular artists like Jessi, HyunA, E’Dawn, Crush, and Heize.

Psy P-Nation
P-Nation Artists cr: @42psy42/Instagram

More recently, Psy came out with his new album in April 2022, whose title song, “That That,” is produced by Suga of BTS. Undoubtedly, the song is breaking records too. P-Nation is also coming out with its first boy group called TNX, who will debut on 17 May 2022. We can’t wait to see what more good stuff Psy has in store for us!

In case you’ve forgotten, which I’m sure you have not, watch Gangnam Style again for some serotonin boost.

Also Read: BTS’ Suga Matches Steps With PSY In The Upcoming Title Track ‘That That’