Love him or hate him, 2012 has undoubtedly been the summer of PSY, with Gangnam Style topping the charts in 15 countries and overtaking Justin Bieber (thank God) as YouTube’s most ‘liked’ song. In the midst of Gangnam fever it’s easy to forget that this is just the peak in PSY’s 12 year career, during which he has released seven albums. Having been to his incredible concert in Seoul a couple of weeks ago, I now have new found love for PSY and his music, here are my five favourite songs! (click on the song titles to watch the videos on YouTube)
Korea – Few countries do patriotism like Korea does (let’s not forget Dokdo), but this song is perhaps one of the better examples, as it doesn’t involve beheaded pheasants. Released earlier this year, with the video set in the grounds of Gyeongbokgung, ‘Korea‘ is a rousing anthem for all things Korean.
Shake It – My personal favourite, this song has me dancing around my apartment like a loon, singing the few words I do know loud enough to compensate for the ones that I don’t! It was released in 2011 and reached number 4 in the Korean charts. It features fellow South Korean entertainer Noh Hong Chul, who also happens to be ‘the elevator guy’ in the Gangnam Style video. This song has a kind of 50s vibe to it and is almost as catchy as Gangnam Style.
Right Now – Although it was released two years ago ‘Right Now’ has done pretty well off the back of Gangnam Style’s success. The song is rapidly gaining popularity online in the US, perhaps proving that PSY isn’t just a one hit wonder. Rather controversially ‘Right Now’ is one of three PSY songs to have been given an R19 rating by the Ministry of Gender, Equality and Family for its ‘obscene’ lyrics comparing life to toxic alcohol.
Champion – This was PSY’s fifth single and it went to number 1 in 2002. However, it too has been at the centre of a recent controversy as many international fans mistook some of the Korean words to be racist slurs. Many people asked for this seemingly offensive song to be taken down from YouTube while K-Pop fans were jumping to PSY’s defence and explaining the meaning of the Korean words. This song remains popular with Koreans today because of its catchy lyrics hailing anyone who can have fun as a champion in life!
We Are The One – Another cheer for Korea, this song was the national football team’s official chanting song during the 2006 Fifa World Cup. It seemed to be one of the most popular songs during PSY’s free concert in Seoul as the crowd were going crazy for it. Unfortunately the team were knocked out in the group stages, and PSY didn’t fare much better in the charts, but I like it anyway!
With a new single rumoured to be out in the US next month, it seems PSY is here to stay!