fbpx
Photo credit by P Nation

Ode To The Artist: PSY

We’re back with a brand new Ode To The Artist and this week’s feature probably doesn’t need a huge intro because we’re writing about PSY. 

Beginnings

PSY (Park Jae-sang) debuted with a full-length album in 2001. ‘Psy from the psycho world’ with his self-written and self-composed title track ‘Bird’ earned him a fine by the Korean government for its inappropriate content. PSY’s stage name comes from the word ‘psycho’

His comeback ‘Ssa2’ in 2002, after a brief stint in prison, earned him a 19+ rating because half the songs were explicit and received countless complaints by civil groups. 

That didn’t stop PSY of course. Furthermore it also didn’t stop his rise to fame. It’s his third album that cemented his name in the industry. The single ‘Champion’ from this album was rather appropriate at the time because the Fifa World Cup was being held in Seoul. 

His discography is honestly enormous. Because he has eight full-length albums out. Some with a whopping twenty songs, others with a more modest ten. That’s not including singles or special remixes. While I recommend going through a couple of his albums and just browse through the songs if you don’t have time to listen to all of them. It’s definitely worth it. 

Even though it’s not on Spotify for some reason, you can find this gem with features from Dynamic Duo, Tiger JK and Yoon Mi Rae. 

The Gangnam Style Revolution

The 2012 single ‘Gangnam Style’ is the one that bombarded him to worldwide fame. The song is currently at almost 4 billion views and that’s utterly insane. 

PSY has managed to take his nickname ‘the bizarre singer’ and turn it into his very own badge of honour. The age of viral videos definitely helped to spread the joy of some of his works all around the world. Even now if I mention the word K-pop to strangers, they’ve always heard of ‘Gangnam Style’. Even if they mean it in a joking way (sometimes including doing the choreo), the fact that they’ve at least heard of him, remember his name and the song, is impressive nonetheless especially in such a fast-paced industry. 

Also the song is just a total earworm, not gonna lie. 

After that success, he collabed with Western artists like Snoop Dogg and will.i.am. He shared stages with many, many more.

He also created iconic Korean collab singles like these.

PNATION

In 2018 PSY officially left YG Entertainment and started his very own record label P Nation. Today he has incredible artists like Jessi, Crush, Heize, Hyuna, Dawn and D.Ark signed under his record label. 

He did these Instagram post series with new releases that I was obsessed by. Because look at these and tell me they’re not iconic.

Lastly, the footprint that PSY has left on the Korean music industry is gigantic. I’m pretty sure that we’re going to see many more amazing releases by both him and the artists under his label. 

In short, I’m more than excited, what about you?

Ilse Van Den Heede
A writer with a slight coffee addiction and a tendency to find K-Indie gems in the YouTube rabbit hole.