Gangnam Style

Forget Kim Jong-un, Psy's new single is all the rage

Discussion of the follow-up to Gangnam Style overshadows Pyongyang's military threats

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 April, 2013, 2:25am

Even North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's threats of nuclear war can't divert world attention from the big event on the Korean peninsula this week - the launch of Psy's follow-up to his global hit Gangnam Style.

The details of his latest single, Gentleman, were kept under wraps until the song was released at midnight in New Zealand last night.

The song, with a techno beat, was full of puns in Korean and contained the lines "I am a party mafia!" and the refrain, "I am a mother father gentleman".

Psy, 35, will perform Gentleman in public for the first time tomorrow at a concert at Seoul's World Cup stadium but he has been coy about what dance to expect this time, except to hint that it is based on traditional Korean moves.

It was the video of Gangnam Style, and in particular Psy's signature dance, that pushed him to global stardom last year after it was posted on YouTube and turned into a viral sensation. A satire on the vulgar excesses of Seoul's upscale Gangnam district, it has become the most-watched YouTube video ever, with more than 1.5 billion views since it debuted last July.

Psy has promised a "Psy-style" take on a traditional Korean dance for the new video.

"I've been working and reworking on it continuously and I think the latest version will be the final one," Psy told a South Korean TV news programme earlier this month. "The dance is one known to all Koreans but new to foreigners. This will be presented in Psy-style," he said.

Psy's agency in South Korea, YG Entertainment, said it was not clear when the video - featuring several South Korean comedians and another female singer - would be unveiled.

The big release comes at an otherwise delicate time, with military tensions soaring on the Korean Peninsula, and North Korea expected to carry out a provocative missile launch at any moment.

But South Koreans have remained largely unfazed by the crisis, and discussion of Psy's new single overshadowed Pyongyang's threats on news portals and chat rooms.