Posted on October 1, 2012


“Gangnam style,” number 1 in all these countries by the end of September 2012!

12 years ago, when my cousin came to visit me from Vietnam, she told me that she loved Korean music- my 13 year old self laughed. In 2009, when I told people I loved K-Pop, they laughed at me. Now in late 2012, people are laughing for a whole other reason; Psy’s “Gangnam style,” comical music video have people’s sides splitting and has spawned thousands of parody versions. Finally, now we’re not laughing at Kpop because we think it might embarrassing,  stupid or (ignorantly) because we think it’s related to North Korea.

Kpop has been bubbling away for years, gaining momentum in the Far East and earning millions of fans along the way, but I can say that I’ve only noticed a popularity of Kpop, in the Western World, these past 2 years. South Korean production companies have pushed their artists’ hard; making them take up English lessons, changing their image, their music styles, and pulling in American music producers, all in the hope of making a dent in the West with Kpop. And yet, seemingly out of nowhere, one of Kpop’s most quirkiest artists has managed to blow the West apart!

As a long-standing Kpop fan, Psy hasn’t really popped up on my radar for his music- I purely knew him as a Kpop star who took a comical twist with his music and style. Him dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” during his concert pops to mind, as how I remember him (you can watch his rehearsal of that dance HERE.) However, it seems that all it took from a Kpop star to make it in the West was just a sense of humour! I mean, it’s not to say he’s without talent; having studied at Berkeley in the past, having English skills that surpass his peers, and the talents to write Gangnam Style himself, as well as come up with the song’s choreography  It’s just surprised me that it’s HIM whose pushed Kpop into the spotlight. I can’t predict if Psy will just be a one-hit wonder in the West, but it doesn’t matter, because he can now say that he was THE 1st to have made it.

For myself- Korea and Kpop is a poignant memory and things I hold dearly in my heart after having lived in Korea for a year, and having recently left there….a country I have grown to love and long to go back to! In some ways, my own selfishness wishes that Kpop didn’t have to make an impact now, as I’m back in the UK, because it just  makes this transition home that little bit harder. But on the flip side- I’m glad that the world is beginning to understand and grow to love this country that I’ve come to claim as my second home. I just hope that they world doesn’t taint the country’s image or hold onto it forever!

If you’ve still not heard or watched the video for Gangnam Style, then press play pronto and see what’s been taking over the world lately..Korea makes me feel as proud as Psy does to the country itself.

Read my past posts about KPop HERE