Success still weighs heavy on Psy with latest album release

December 1, 2015
K-pop star Psy speaks at a press conference about his newly released seventh album at the Conrad Seoul in Yeouido, Monday. (Courtesy of YG Entertainment)

K-pop star Psy speaks at a press conference about his newly released seventh album at the Conrad Seoul in Yeouido, Monday. (Courtesy of YG Entertainment)

By Brian Han

In case anyone has forgotten, Psy is human, too.

Behind the large sunglasses, flamboyant clothing and infectious dancing lurked fears that he could never quite reach the same heights as he did with his 2012 mega-hit “Gangnam Style.”

Upon the release of his seventh album “Chiljib PSY-Da,”, the global K-pop sensation revealed on Monday that the unprecedented success caused overwhelming feelings of anxiety and self-doubt.

“The weight of ‘Gangnam Style’ is still so heavy that I don’t go to Gangnam anymore,” he said during a press conference at the Conrad Seoul Hotel in South Korea.

“I don’t think another success like ‘Gangnam Style’ will happen to me again. It is a miracle when songs full of Korean lyrics gain worldwide popularity. I cannot compare the new track ‘Napal Baji’ to ‘Gangnam Style’ and I don’t want to.”

When he first sat down to write a follow up album, each song represented a psychological block that he had never experienced in the past.

“There was a time when it was very easy to write songs,” he said. “But at some point I began to think, ‘If I do this, it won’t be as good as Gangnam Style,’ or ‘If I do this, my foreign fans won’t be able to understand.’ Before I could even complete one or two phrases, there were many thoughts in the way.”

It took some time, but the South Korean rapper came to terms with his success and disregarded pressure stemming from public perception.

Three years later, his first two singles “Daddy” and “Napal Baji” amassed over 8 million YouTube views on the day of their release, while featuring a production style similar to the one that brought him worldwide recognition.

“I did not produce the two songs with any intention or strategy,” he explained. “It’s just not the way I work. I tried to make the most exciting songs that can go along with the most joyous choreography.”

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