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Gangnam Style Taking The West By Storm.


I would not say I am the biggest music orientated person. Sure, I like certain genre’s and favour those in particular; rock, heavy metal, drum and base, 80’s music and so on. Never have I really indulged in K (Korean) Pop or J (Japanese) Pop despite having some knowledge of the languages more so Japanese. Songs  from the East strike me mostly as being flat out “cheesy” or at times annoying. Yet here comes Korean rapper PSY with his annoyingly addictive “Gangnam Style.”

So what is the appeal here for the west i.e. the mainstream music lovers? Well, K pop like J pop borrow and are influenced by the western pop music scene with their jazzy beats and diverse music videos. Recently in the past year especially, their has been a hike in interest in far-eastern music and for good reason. Looking at Gangnam Style which is a song about a man admiring a woman from the Gangnam district in Korea- Beverly Hills to the West in essence. He exclaims his desire to be with her while she is “as warm as coffee.”

The real appeal here though is how clean the song is. Yes the video is at points…strange but the lyrics and PSY’s “Gangnam Style dance” makes it so appealing to all ages. Very much like European songs in the 90’s that made the breakthrough internationally, PSY might have just started something with Gangnam style taking the UK and US by storm being in the top 3 in the singles charts in both nations. It comes after polarizing popularity on social networking sites mainly twitter. Many A-list celebrities such as Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Robbie Williams amongst others sharing the video with their fans and followers with many of the celebs amassing over 20 million followers.

As a result also, it has been named in the guiness book of world records for officially being the most liked video on youtube and at the time of writing being viewed over 330 million times on the site in two months since being uploaded on the site. I look at this and in an industry filled with sexualised and media centric stars looking the part and not at times necessarily delivering the fun that should be in music. Yes its Korean and only the chorus will be sung along with. It is refreshing to see something different and someone different deliver one of the best guilty pleasures in music in recent times. Gangnam style is not going anywhere just yet and will be here to stay for a while yet. The dance especially will be remembered fondly for years to come.


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