A YouTube Rise to Fame

PSY ExplodesCredit: http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/35Nau0Tct8Jrcuux6bRiQg--/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NQ--/http://mit.zenfs.com/880/2012/10/thumbPSY10-16-12-copy.png

The reach of the hit song "Gangnam Style" shouldn't be news to you at this point. It all started when Korean pop sensation and hip hop artist PSY broke new ground by uploading the song's video to YouTube in August earlier this year. The song climbed in views at an alarmingly high rate and has since beat Justin Bieber's "Baby" for the most viewed video ever on the popular social media site. 

The song has made its way to the top charts even in the United States. You can turn on the radio on your way to work or school any given day and there's a good chance you can catch the song's Korean lyrics. To wit, it's the first time an Asian artist has ever had one of his or her non-English songs compete with the leading hits of America on its own radio stations. And for good reason; the song is catchy, the video is hilarious and the musical beat is keeping with the current American trends.

If by some miracle, you have not seen the sensational new video yet, then now is the time to check it out:

I frequently say to friends and family, "it's like a korean LMFAO!"


The true surprise is that the song's fame and fortune is almost entirely because of its viral outbreak on the 'Tube. It's one thing for a song to become famous because it's a great musical addition to the Zeitgeist, but it's a whole other accomplishment to have that song become popular the world over--and not need to be translated to do so. "Gangnam Style" has surprised everyone. Even PSY himself. “I’ve only done this for 12 years, only for Korea, not for overseas at all,” he said in an interview for the NY Times. “I didn’t expect anything like this. So what can I say? Everything moves way too fast.”

PSY has been called the new king of pop, becoming so rapidly famous that none will soon forget his name. He's a household item even in America, and he's from across the globe; it's very likely he has opened a door for future great Asian artists to step into the U.S. scene. 

One thing is for certain, when a video reaches 1,000,000,000 views on YouTube, it's pretty hard tPSY in Your Face!Credit: http://www.gossipcop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Screen-Shot-2012-09-04-at-11.58.29-AM-400x317.pngo contest how much of a cultural phenomenon it has come to be. I would expect that PSY's monumental break into global fame has only just begun. And after the huge impact a Korean hit has made on North American ears, I expect that many music fans will branch out their interests to other languages, giving some talented artists a chance they may not have had before. As a longtime fan of Japanese and Korean music, myself, I sincerely hope more Asian artists see similar overseas fame with the casual listener.

If you want to know more about the origins of the korean superstar and how he has broken new ground for Asian music, check out this article by my fellow InfoBarrel writer, Amerowolf.