• In South Korea, K-Pop Gets New King

  • 한국의 K-POP이 새로운 왕을 맞다.

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  • September 15, 2012 - GUY RAZ, HOST:
  • And if you're just tuning in, you're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. And it's time now for music.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
  • (노래의 한 부분, "강남 스타일")
  • PSY: (Singing) Oppa is Gangnam style.
  • PSY: (노래중) 오빤 강남 스타일
  • RAZ: And the music video for this Korean pop song...
  • RAZ: 그리고 그 K-POP(한국 대중 가요)의 뮤직 비디오는...
  • (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
  • (노래의 한 부분, "강남 스타일")
  • PSY: (Singing) Gangnam style...
  • PSY: (노래중) 강남 스타일...
  • RAZ: ...has rocketed one musician to international stardom.
  • RAZ: ...한 음악가를 국제적인 스타의 반열로 부상시켰습니다.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
  • (노래의 한 부분, "강남 스타일")
  • PSY: (Singing in foreign language)
  • PSY: (외국어=한국어로 노래중)
  • RAZ: It's the work of rapper Jae-Sang Park. He goes by the name PSY. And for 12 years, he's had a pretty successful career in South Korea. But now, thanks to the video for "Gangnam Style," PSY is on top of the world. The video has also launched a dance craze in which PSY gallops like a horseback rider and with a lasso. It's the most viewed Korean pop music video ever on YouTube, 170 million views.
  • He's done "The Ellen Show," the "Today Show," the MTV Music Awards, and he's now just signed a deal with Justin Bieber's manager. In fact, just today, the song "Gangnam Style" reached number one on the U.S. iTunes chart. And remember, this is a song in Korean. And now, the phenomenon, otherwise known as PSY joins me from New York. PSY, welcome to the program.
  • PSY: What's up?
  • PSY: 안녕하십니까?(인사)
  • RAZ: First of all, congratulations on your success.
  • RAZ: 먼저, 성공을 축하드립니다.
  • PSY: Thank you so much.
  • PSY: 정말 감사합니다.
  • RAZ: A hundred and seventy million views on YouTube. Were you surprised?
  • RAZ: 1억 7천만명이 유투브에서 (동영상을) 봤습니다. 놀라셨나요?
  • PSY: Yeah. Still surprising every day.
  • PSY: 네. 매일 여전히 놀라고 있어요.
  • RAZ: You didn't imagine it would happen.
  • RAZ: 이런 일이 있을거라고 상상하지 못하셨을 거예요.
  • PSY: Never. I just made my album. I did my best, and I uploaded the video just at YouTube. That was all. And within 60 days, I'm here and making interview with you.
  • PSY: 절대로요. 저는 그냥 앨범을 만들었어요. 제 최선을 다했고요 그냥 동영상을 유투브에 올렸어요. 그게 다예요. 그리고 60일 만에, 저는 여기서 당신과 인터뷰를 하고 있습니다.
  • RAZ: I mean, I'm here talking to you. So, I mean, I got to tell you, I've seen your video...
  • RAZ: 내 말은, 내가 여기 당신에게 말하고 있습니다. 그러니까, 내 말은, 당신에게 말해야 겠군요, 당신의 비디오를 본 적이 있습니다...
  • PSY: Uh-huh.
  • PSY: 예.
  • RAZ: ...maybe 20 times. Maybe 30 times.
  • RAZ: ...아마 20번 쯤. 아마 30번 쯤.
  • PSY: Aw, come on.
  • PSY: 이야~
  • RAZ: It is addictive.
  • RAZ: 중독성이 있더라고요.
  • PSY: Make it more, please, from now on.
  • PSY: 지금부터 더 많이 봐주세요.
  • RAZ: All right. I'm going to boost up the YouTube views. All right. First of all, tell us what is Gangnam style?
  • RAZ: 알겠습니다. 유투브를 더 열심히 봐야겠네요. 좋아요. 그럼 먼저, 강남스타일이 뭔지 말씀해주시겠습니까?
  • PSY: Gangnam style, let me describe it. Gangnam's like a territory in Seoul, Korea. I describe it as normal at the daytime and going crazy at the nighttime.
  • PSY: 강남스타일, 제가 그걸 설명해 보겠습니다. 강남은 한국의 서울에 있는 한 지역입니다. 저는 그 지역을 낮의 평범함과 밤의 열광함으로 묘사하였습니다.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
  • (노래의 한 부분, "강남 스타일")
  • PSY: I compare ladies to the territories. So normal at the daytime, going crazy at the nighttime. The lyrics said I am the right guy for the lady...
  • (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
  • (노래의 한 부분, "강남 스타일")
  • PSY: (Singing in foreign language)
  • PSY: (외국어=한국어로 노래중)
  • ...who's like that.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
  • (노래의 한 부분, "강남 스타일")
  • PSY: (Singing in foreign language)
  • PSY: (외국어=한국어로 노래중)
  • RAZ: I watched you appear - you appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"...
  • RAZ: 저는 당신이 출연한 것을 봤어요. - "엘렌 드제너러스 쇼"에 출연했죠...
  • PSY: Mm-hmm.
  • PSY: 네
  • RAZ: ...with Britney Spears.
  • RAZ: ...브리트니 스피어스와 함께요.
  • PSY: Yes.
  • PSY: 네.
  • RAZ: You taught here the dance.
  • PSY: Yeah.
  • RAZ: I'm doing it right now. I'm lassoing that - doing that lasso part. What is the story behind that kid who dances with you in the video wearing the sleeveless T-Shirt...
  • PSY: Oh, yeah, yeah.
  • RAZ: ...in the park in Seoul? What's the story behind that?
  • PSY: You know, you have that program called "America's Got Talent," right?
  • RAZ: Yeah.
  • PSY: In Korea, we have "Korea's Got Talent." And the boy came out from "Korea's Got Talent." You know, he's 5 years old, but you know what, he started do all the Michael Jackson moves when he was 3. I'm going to bring the kid some time next visit.
  • RAZ: Oh, that's going to be huge. You've got to bring him on stage with you.
  • PSY: (LAUGHTER)
  • (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
  • RAZ: You actually studied at the Berkeley College of Music. Is that right?
  • PSY: Yes, I was.
  • RAZ: What did you study there?
  • PSY: Well, my major was music business. But honestly, class was too early for me.
  • RAZ: (LAUGHTER)
  • So you actually never showed up for class.
  • PSY: Not at all. And I was young at that time. So the young thought was it's all about creation. And I cannot learn any creation from others. That was my thought at that time. So I didn't go there.
  • RAZ: How do you speak English so well?
  • PSY: Well, I didn't attend the school, but I was there still. So I got to speak some English in the market or gas station. And, you know, it's only four-year-old English. So I have lot so interviews, and you're asking some things, and I got to answer quickly. So I got to translate all my answers in my brain. So right now, I'm really tired because I woke up so early because of the "Today Show." But, you know, after all this, I'm not going to sleep tonight. I'm going to go get some drink, which is soju bomb.
  • RAZ: Oh, you're going to get a soju bomb?
  • PSY: Oh, yeah.
  • RAZ: All right. You are actually quite possibly the biggest export from Korea to the U.S. since the Hyundai.
  • PSY: (LAUGHTER)
  • PSY: Thank you. Thank you for the mention.
  • RAZ: Do you think that K-pop is now, like, has found its moment in America, that Americans might hear a lot more of it?
  • PSY: Yeah. So as you see, like, I cannot say Korean is the best, but I can see Korean has lot of potential. They are so dynamic. So if I can do something little to make some chances to other Koreans, then we're pleased to do that.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
  • (노래의 한 부분, "강남 스타일")
  • PSY: (Singing) Oppa is Gangnam style.
  • PSY: (노래중)오빤 강남스타일
  • RAZ: Now, you have just been signed by...
  • PSY: Scooter Brown.
  • RAZ: ...by Scooter Brown, Justin Bieber's manager.
  • PSY: Oh, yeah.
  • RAZ: He said he's going to make you an even bigger star in the U.S. What are you guys planning to do?
  • PSY: Well, actually, like, a week ago, we were saying, like, hey, I'm going to promote myself because, you know, music video is much more popular than I am. So I don't like the situation. But in a week, especially after "Ellen Show" and "Today Show," when I'm walking down the street, like, some of them recognize me finally today. So me and Scooter is thinking, like, should we prepare for the next single or something? So we are beginning to make that kind of conversation about my next step.
  • RAZ: Have you managed to meet Justin Bieber yet?
  • PSY: I think it's going to be sometime early next week.
  • RAZ: Oh, really?
  • PSY: He just made a phone call today.
  • RAZ: Wow. Are you going to record with Justin Bieber, by the way?
  • PSY: Well, if song fits to us, and if it is suitable for both of us, then why not?
  • RAZ: You're going to take him to Gangnam and live the high life?
  • PSY: (LAUGHTER)
  • We just promise we're going to drink all night long.
  • RAZ: All right. OK. You heard it here first. Are you going to - by the way, are you going to - are you planning to record any music in English?
  • PSY: Oh, yeah. That's one of my next step. But I got to think about it, because I can speak English, but still, if I have a chance, I want my music lyrics to be Korean because "Gangnam Style's" working right now, right?
  • RAZ: Yeah.
  • PSY: The world's most famous and popular language is music. So if we have some sort of, like, solution with this kind of dancing and this kind of music video so that I can use Korean, if possible, then it's really a huge history for my country. So I'm thinking about that too.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
  • PSY: (Singing in foreign language)
  • PSY: (외국어=한국어로 노래중)
  • RAZ: That's Jae-Song Park. He's better known as PSY. His music video for his song "Gangnam Style" is the most viewed K-pop video in YouTube history, 170 million views. It's rocketing up the Billboard charts as well. PSY, thank you so much.
  • PSY: Thank you so much.
  • (SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")
  • (노래의 한 부분, "강남 스타일")
  • PSY: (Singing in foreign language)
  • PSY: (외국어=한국어로 노래중)
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