After Psy, S Korea dreams of conquering music world


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Well, they outrank any other nation in terms of popularity within Asia, with Japan being the largest audience outside SK itself, but not sure how well it would fly mainstream in the US and Europe. One reason some bands do enjoy popularity in said nations, to an extent, is that a number of SK boy/girl bands employ ethnic Koreans from Western countries, which gives them a wee bit of a foothold.

Anyway, good luck! And here's hoping other nations do their best to compete.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

"Well, they outrank any other nation in terms of popularity within Asia..."

Meant to qualify that with 'any other ASIAN nation in terms of popularity within Asia', sorry.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I don't think Asian acts will be big in the US. Know any domestic Asian singers hitting the charts lately? And of course, aren't boy bands still taboo? the only reason why any US-artist would collaborate will be to gain more exposure in the Asian market. Not sure what to make of this. I'll stick to my Jpop.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Hardly. Korean is an obscure language. Lyrics and arrangements make sense only to other Asian nations. Plus, Koreans are seen as a knit-closed community everywhere, they don't socialize without their inner circle. There's no empathy for their culture or way-of-life, crucial to conquer fans abroad. Japan, which is an admired nation, with words and culture recognized anywhere has yet to conquer the Western world. If Japanese artists haven't done it yet, much less the Koreans will do.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

One hit wonder.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

They believed they were going to dominate world soccer and sports after the 2002 Italy WC game. This lot came to Boston in immi waves in the 80s and had something to prove with narcissism and all eyes on me complex (starting fights and hitting girls). Deep down this guy hated the US until YouTube made him a star and green started to roll in ( I would say half of those hits were Koreans)... Head to a club in Seoul with 500 of these guys and see how much fun you will have.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The people nowadays just have no taste for music anymore. What PSY calls it music is only few chords and same lyrics repeated 100 times. You can teach your dog to play his music. His voice isn't that great either, only the music video was kinda funny. He should try to get as much as he can on his "Gangnam Cow" for as long he can. Before you know it, Gangnam will die like his music and all trends are like that. Next year, he's invisible.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

One hit wonder.

yup, still wondering why this was a hit.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Might sound harsh but I feel the only reason this was a big hit in the Western Markets was because people thought 'those funny Asians'. Gangnam Style is a 1 hit wonder and nothing more.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Maybe one small correction might help?

"After Psy, S Korea dreams of conquering music world"

Simply change it to "After Psy, S Korea dreams of conquering the ECONOMIC music world", which is of course a completely different world.

So the question is now, can anyone over there come up with something that so many will find "sensational" as they did with psy. Or is there anyone out there, who believes, that this became such a success because the muiscal quality was so great?

PS. I still have neither heard nor seen it, and I never will.....

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The Korean music industry is overly confident. One hit wonder is an apt description.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Psy was a one hit wonder. 2ne1 however is pretty big globally. BUt with facebook K-POP is growing immensely. Faster than J-POP.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

J-pop? K-pop?

Neither of these move me.

Just bubblegum with a different (w)rapper.

I guess I'll have to wait for L-pop, M-pop and N-pop.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Unlike my Japanese counterparts here I choose not to be one of the haters. It shows how culturally different the U.S is from Japan. The truth is hardly anyone in the U.S knew what he was singing about. How many Americans have actually been to the Gangham district in Korea? How many even know where that is?

What we have here is an expression of creativity. His spirit shines through his work. We seriously doubt that his focus was on money and fame. He did what people in admire, he was just being himself. Love him or not, he's doing his thing. It came through. It hit home. Look at this guy. He's a little bit strange, he's a little bit weird. He doesn't care if we like it or not. Haters and trolls beware, this is pure kryptonite for you.

The business side of the industry will be scratching their heads forever. What's the recipe for this? How can this be duplicated? Fact is, it can't. J-Pop can't do this. That industry is so profit driven. There's only one formula for the masses.

Rather than hate, I'm glad he made it. I'm glad to see someone from Korea step and just do his thing. Even if it's funky. America despite it's flaws maintains an affinity for diversity and creativity. Although it may be a source of friction for some, it is in fact, our greatest asset.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Gangnam was a novelty hit. popular for the weird dance and visuals, not for the music. Most other K pop is quite different. Very structured, choreographed (with often really simple dances), musically devoid of much originality or talent and based on the "good loooks" of the "artists". well, lots of the women look great but some of the very effeminat blokes are a bit much (but then I would say that). If you watch some of the "behind the scences of K pop" shows on J TV you also get a sense of just how miserable these poor artist lives can be. No dating, no drinking or drugs (it's rock and roll, right?) no free time, continually on show or practising. Makes for some pretty shallow people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

fortunately boy bands that look like girls, and girl bands that look underage will not catch on in the US. Psy is just a ONE HIT WONDER.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Korean is an obscure language. Lyrics and arrangements make sense only to other Asian nations.

"music" is the only language we need. same as listening to italian operas, madrigals in latin, Baroque music in german, and your modern days inaudible lyricists. if people likes the music, it don't matter what language it is in.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Ah, and thus the Japan fan elitists sigh in contempt. It's great, really, when anti-kpop pro-jpop individuals step up with something insulting to say against another countries music.

Personally, I feel that pop has been a European/American influence for far longer, and the artists in Asia who follow that style are the ones who are mostly noticed because they mimic the western music style. Like it or not, Hollywood is the most recognized dream and talent home. Therefore, music that mimics the style found in America will be noticed by a broader audience.

PSY did just that, with its pulsing beats that somewhat sounded like a dubstep beat. So even without the video, it achieved that appeal to the ears just with the way it sounded. Of course, it's funny to think that k-pop will soar in other countries, but it's true. Has been. If you look up their videos (like Big Bang, 2NE1, DBSK) on youtube, you'll realize that the viewer count is high. Of course, people from the East contribute those views, but plenty from other countries do as well. So I feel that as far as popularity goes, k-pop achieved that long ago. But yes, PSY did bring out k-pop, not only because of the way the music sounded (because not everyone who likes it understands Korean) but because of the visual representation.

Here's a man who's seemingly short, who's chubby, looking a bit older than what he might be. He's not like those muscle built lean young k-pop boy band singers, so it's not an attractive appeal that he achieved. He's like The Lonely Island (as made popular by SNL casts), and you'd notice this in PSY's music. He loves to make himself the comedic spotlight, in style, dance, lyrics and video plots.

So yeah, he made himself famous with his comical achievements. But isn't that how it usually works in other countries as well? Especially if the audience doesn't entirely understand what he's going on about?

But I'm not sure as to how this will achieve greatness for K-Pop music as a whole, even if their rap groups and pop music style is more appealing than the Japanese attempt (J-Pop is too sparkly, cute and high pitched, fast and overly dramatic- not western at all). I feel that PSY and only PSY will be recognized over other groups. Sure, they'll try, but when it comes down to it, it'll be PSY fishing in all the attention.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

and may the earth open and swallow us all up

0 ( +0 / -0 )

LostInNagoya: "Japan, which is an admired nation, with words and culture recognized anywhere has yet to conquer the Western world. If Japanese artists haven't done it yet, much less the Koreans will do."

ANY language that is unknown to the majority of people in a nation is 'obscure', including Japanese, so I'm not sure what your point on language is. As to what I quoted, Koreans have had more success overseas than Japanese, and one reason, as I mentioned before, is the fact that some second generation Koreans from the US get integrated into bands in Korea. There is often flawless English spoken by even the Koreans in Korea (and of course, more often NOT flawless), and they have a better ability to translate the songs or write originals in English (or Japanese for that matter, if you look at Tohou-Shinki, 2pm, Big-Bang, and others). Utada Hikaru is one of the only Japanese acts to have produced an album in the US (which didn't do very well), but a number of Korean bands have been performing in the US for a while. What's more, you seem to forget that Psy is possibly the biggest name in entertainment at present, where no Japanese can come even remotely close, despite him being a one-hit wonder (I truly believe he is, by the way). So none of this, "If Japan can't do it, Korea can't" stuff because Korea HAS done it and Japan has not.

It doesn't mean the whole industry will be successful overseas -- not at all. But K-pop and dramas have already taken over Japan and much of Asia, so they have a far better chance of making it in the West than any other Asian nation at present -- one of the reasons the wingers here get so upset and demand companies stop selling Korean products, etc.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Last summer I liked Gangnam Style, I liked it then but it is what it is, a one hit wonder. I dont really listen to it now or any other K-music nowadays. I see k-pop just like J-pop, they will just crash and burn in the US.

I see a lot of comments of how Gangnam style isnt music and how people dont have taste... such haters, there is no need to be jealous. If you dont like it, good for you but let everyone else make up up their own minds if they like it or not.

Yes, this song can be compared to operas and etc, it is a form of music. I consider operas and madrigals as s**t as well because thats my choice. Everyone has the right to like whatever music they find enjoyable.

I see SKoreas endeavor a flop since the competition in the US is steep but thats just what I think. Also in the US the Boy Band scene is out and we dont want it back.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Gangnam Style was popular because it was quirky. Singing, dancing boy/girl bands releasing generic pop songs isn't going to catch the imagination.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Psy is typecast. He will forever be tied to the GS tune/image and to the visuals of the 'horse dance'. And if he doesn't quit over-exposing and over-selling himself, he'll become the face and sound of S Korean pop music for a long time to come. This runs counter to S Korea's "dream of conquering music world".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The people nowadays just have no taste for music anymore. What PSY calls it music is only few chords and same lyrics repeated 100 times. You can teach your dog to play his music.

The only appropriate place to listen that "gangnam style" sort of so-called "music" is a water closet.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

two words: Wonder Girls.

they tried so hard in America and despite being the top girl group in S Korea, they failed hard.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's happened before -- Sukiyaki Song and Pink Lady were huge smash hits in the U.S. in the 70s. And then, amazingly, people moved on. Americans wouldn't really like South Korean music in a big way unless it were made more banal and insulting to the intelligence of listeners, like everything in America.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

PSY is unique because he is funny. He is natural. He did not change his looks for more western. He looks more Korean. It is making him chubby. His song is joyful. His girls movement are sexy.

He invented Horse dancing and Kangaroo walk. Therefore he is creative. He is the one to hit western market unlike other failed K or J artists. Whether he will be one hit wonder or not, he is a living legend of K pop.

He will be a Korean Michael Jackson in the history.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Somebody said Sukiyaki was a "70s" hit. This party started almost 20 years earlier I think my first recollection was in the late 50s and it was part of the rotation in 1962 at a lot of clubs, etc. If Psy matches that record, he will be horse dancing in a walker. For now, he is an incredible show man. Go for it, Psy.

Why is it such a hit? It starts with a good thumping melody with good harmonics included. There may be some frequencies that trigger body responses, too. I wonder if the sub-harmonics trigger brain waves? This is one of the reasons Wagner and Richard Strauss have had enduring hits. When the Beatles applied full arrangement to rock and roll (a relative first), their star was born.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'd rather much listen and be forced to watch K pop than j pop any day. Add in that many of the Koreans actually learn Japanese and English. Can the same be said for ANY j pop group? Can't think of any of the top of my head. The females are sexy, not cute which will help. The guys are ripped and not all look like girls - some do though I will say that. Good luck K pop!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@peterpayne I didn't realize that KPop was too esoteric for the US audience. There was me thinking it was rubbish. Pearls before swine, eh?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Let time takes its course...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many times have we heard the tired refrain "[RANDOM ASIAN COUNTRY/POPSTAR] set to conquer world"?

Dream on.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Let PSY enjoy his 15 minutes of fame .... but lets be honest, this tune really is a mash up of parts borrowed from a zillion other tunes ... sort of like a Samsung version of a pop hit.

3 ( +4 / -1 )


Who cares.

The umpteenth article about how this one-hit wonder might change the world.

Has it happened yet?

No, I didn't think so. (And don't hold your breath.)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

One hit wonder.

Pretty much sums him up.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The only reason this Psy has a popular hit is because it is a novelty act. I don't even think he would deny this. Boy bands the world over are more about whether the female audience finds them attractive. My question is, how many American young are going to find cheesy Asian men attractive? I know it's not politically correct to say so, but it's the truth.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )


That's rather unfair. In the history of 20th century (and now 21st century) popular music, America is second to none. The British punch well above their weight, and are the only serious rivals, but the Yanks have got the breadth and the depth. You could spend a lifetime in American musical traditions, and not even begin to scratch the surface of what's there. You could even just pick a region of the States - Texas, say - and find a vast amount of music to explore. In some countries, people have just got music in their bones. Korea isn't one of them. Or Japan.

Korean music has been mostly influenced by American music. It's just the way things go, when you have the largest collection of Americans in the Pacific (outside of Hawaii/Guam). Good beats, gibberish lyrics or the same 3 spoken lines over and over again. I was listening to a song by Sistar19 and my Korean buddy translated it to me. It sounds great, but once you learn the lyrics, you're just completely turned off.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Too bad that BoA and her songs, one million better than the Gangnam Style, never surpassed the Far West region, they deserved to be heard in the Occident.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds nice but its to bad that a lot of Americans dont like the singer for PSY for he hates America

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In response to the comments regarding American music. It should be noted that the majority of popular music has been pioneered by african-americans.

Case in point:

1.)Blues 2.)Jazz 3.)R&B 4.)Rock n' Roll 5.)Soul 6.)Funk 7.)Hip-Hop 8.)Rap

All these musical styles are more or less the invention of black people.

I nice contribution to benefit American music culture.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Legends in Their Own Minds but if they're having fun, who am I to argue!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

When I first heard his music, I thought it sounded like LMFAO. Same beat and rhythm.....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where is Japans answer to Kpop and PSy?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Where is Japans answer to Kpop and PSy?

Japan doesn't have to answer to such a failure, you know.

FYI, here is what jpop is like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OfyUEbLa-k

Simply beautiful

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was listening to a song by Sistar19 and my Korean buddy translated it to me. It sounds great, but once you learn the lyrics, you're just completely turned off.

you mean the lyrics aren't as classy, in-depth & intelligible as "Rump Shaker"?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gangnam Style is a musical shit,,,,,,,,,i hate psy,,,,,,,,,,but i hope someday japanese artists become famous in the US just like Kpop-bands are now,,,,,,,,,,,SakuraGakuin,AKB48,Yanagi Nagi,,,,however ,,,,,,the Japanese have already brought a new genre to US ,,,,,its Vocaloid,,,,,Hatsune miku,Luka,Len & Rin kagamine ,others

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I live in oz and I love jpop and kpop we have a show here called pop Asia and we get clips from all over Asia. Pay song could be a one hit wonder but it is better than anything beiber ever done

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why doesn't this industry hire someone with common sense? A 1 hit wonder gives them hope. SMH

Boy bands are taboo in America after the country was overdosed with them back in late 90s and early 2000s. Adrogynous boy bands that look girly and girl groups that look underage. They'll have to try a VERY different approach to get a footing in the US. The entire cast of 'To Catch A Predator' would be entertained by this. Outside of the 'anime fans' in America I don't see it changing that much. There've been very talented Japanese and Korean artists that have gone over to America and it just didn't have the splash they'd hoped.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gangnam Style We've seen all this before right, people. A ridiculous song with a BS dance added to it and it makes millions. Where did this start? Hmmm? Anyone remember "Crank Dat (Souljah Boy)" back in what was it 2006 or 2007? Or the old US "Snap Music" from 07 or 08.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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