A belated welcome back from the holiday. If you celebrated Labor Day by doing things with people, there’s a very good chance that you wound up listening to, watching the video for, or otherwise discussing that oddly dressed K-Pop star with the horse dance everybody’s gotta have, PSY.
What? Who? If you don’t know the name, we’d bet “Gangnam Style” will ring a bell. The video for the song has been viewed over 100 million times via YouTube, with 80 million of those clicks happening over a mere 45 days. It is, most likely, the most widely known Korean-made song to ever exist.
Which is why it should come as no surprise that Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun wants a piece. In a clip uploaded to PSY’s YouTube channel on Monday, the pair announced their plans and clinked plastic cups of the Korean rice booze soju.
“So me and PSY here,” says Braun. “We’ve been hanging out in California for four days becoming friends and we’ve come to an agreement to make some history together. [To] be the first Korean artist to break a big record in the United States.”
PSY is reportedly signing with Island Records and Braun’s Schoolboy Records, home to Carly Rae Jepsen and Asher Roth, and part of the Universal Music empire — an empire the New Yorker expertly probed in last week’s issue. He’s also set to appear on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday, though no word as to whether or not he’ll do the dance.
As it turns out, PSY is kind of a badass back in his native South Korea. At 34, he’s six albums deep into a career that’s founded on poking fun at the K-Pop machine, and his taste for satire has gotten him fined and his record sales restricted to adults. “Gangnam Style” skewers the country’s wealthy Gagnam District.
“To Psy, to Korea, to breaking down barriers, to the future,” says Braun at the video’s end. Amen.