Val Vita | Managing Editor
Every once in a while, a song becomes a smashing success overnight and seems to be played ubiquitously. It doesn’t matter if you love it or hate it, you are going to hear it sometime.
The 2012 viral hit “Gangnam Style” is in Korean. Even though you probably don’t have the ability to sing all the lyrics, you have probably already caught yourself singing the only English part of the song: “Eeeeeeh, sexy lady.”
You know you have already heard the hit “Gangnam Style;” you may be one of the 410 million viewers who have seen the clip on YouTube, which is performed by Psy, a Korean singer.
The song is such a hit that it was recognized as the most-liked video in YouTube history by Guinness World Records in September. The viral video arrived at Pitt State, and, during the breaks of the last two home football games, the PSU band played and danced to the song.
James Ji Won Kim, a Korean student, says there are two reasons “Gangnam Style” is successful. The first is that electronic music is a global trend that makes people want to dance.
“‘Gangnam Style’ is a very trendy electronic music that broke most people’s views on Korean music,” said Kim, sophomore in international studies. “Korean music seemed very exotic and not familiar to people, but ‘Gangnam Style’ made a good connection.”
The second reason, he says, is that “Gangnam Style” represents a fun aspect of life. Kim says Gangnam is actually a district in South Korea where wealthy people live.
For Kyongvin Jamie Lee, sophomore in international studies, the funny dance was what made “Gangnam Style” so popular in Korea and America.
“If you listen to the song, you will wait until you hear ‘Oppan Gangnam Style’ to start your horse dance,’” said Jamie Lee. “The jumpy moves are easy to learn and follow, so anybody can enjoy the dance. It’s also a funny music video.”
Youngjoo Olive Lee says Psy has been famous in Korea since 2001, when the “Gangnam Style” song was first released.
“It was crazy,” said Olive Lee, junior in English. “We thought the same thing that you guys would have thought: ‘Who the heck is this guy?’ He was crazy, but it seems like he has his own style and we love it. Although, some of the older generation in Korea thought he’s a psycho.”
But Korean students are not the only fans of the hit. Kyle Tallmadge says he discovered the music in July, and he thought the crazy dance was hilarious. He says he never thought it would be this famous.
“I watched the video a lot and imitated it to have fun and entertain friends,” said Tallmadge, senior in international business. “They are easy moves to do; even someone who doesn’t know the slightest about dancing can have fun.”