“Brilliant,” Simon Cowell said on the Ellen DeGeneres show. “It’s amazing.”
Such positive words are rare from Cowell, but he used them to describe the viral music video “Gangnam Style” Sept. 10.
Since Korean pop singer PSY (pronounced sigh) posted “Gangnam Style” on YouTube July 15, the video has gained over 220 million views and has become a new dance craze across the country.
Cornell students, for example, showed their appreciation for the video by organizing a flash mob in the school’s plaza. A large group of students assembled to dance in synchronization as “Gangnam Style” played over a loudspeaker.
Whitman sophomore Justin Kay saw the official music video on YouTube in September. The dance has captivated him ever since.
“It helps the song a lot and makes it really funny,” he said. “The whole getup is really catchy.”
Gangnam is a wealthy district of Seoul, South Korea, where many young people go to party. PSY’s lyrics parody their lifestyle. PSY sings in Korean about going crazy at the right times, and girls who like to do the same.
PSY’s new stardom has put him on the Ellen DeGeneres show to teach Britney Spears the “Gangnam Style” dance and on Saturday Night Live. “Gangnam Style” has also inspired many parodies, including videos by the Marine Corps and the University of Oregon’s mascot, the Duck.
PSY released “Gangnam Style” on iTunes Sept. 6. His fancy suit and goofy dance moves sparked explosive popularity and worldwide attention. It became the top-selling single on iTunes Sept. 17.
Senior Nick Rosenberg said he didn’t understand the video’s popularity at first, but enjoyed it more after each viewing.
“The more I started watching it, the more hilarious I thought it was,” he said. “I figured out that PSY was trying to make a joke and be over the top.”
Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber’s manager, recently signed PSY to Schoolboy Records. This will likely make “K-pop” music more commonplace in the United States, where PSY plans to release an album.
Rosenberg said that the humor throughout the video was the key to PSY’s success.
“PSY has a funny sense of humor,” he said. “That’s why the video did so well.”