PSY’s “Gangnam Style” is up to nearly 170 million YouTube views and until recently, the South Korean musician who made the thing has only existed on screen to most of those viewers. But after signing with Team Bieber earlier this month, PSY’s been hanging out here in the States, doing a victory lap that mostly consists of doing his silly dance at the behest of famous Americans. But one brave fella has made a point to get to know the man behind the meme and that intrepid soul is … Ryan Seacrest?!
Yep. PSY stopped by On Air With Ryan Seacrest and the host posted the two-part video interview this week. The first sign that he might be taking a more engaged tack come with the first question: “Now your full name is what, PSY?” And a poignantly sunglasses-less PSY lights up like a Christmas tree (or whatever they have in Korea) responding, “My original name is Jae-Sang Park, so it’s totally different.” That’s not all that’s different. We’ve rounded up the revelations from the interview here.
1) PSY is a daddy: “I have twins. They are 4 years old. They know the word ‘concert,’ so they know father’s job is ‘concert,’ and they prefer concert [over] father.”
2) He’s a classically trained dropout: “I was at Berklee College of Music in Boston, but [I was] a freshman for four years. Class was too early for me. Yeah, freshman for four years — I was so fresh, ya know?”
3) He’s humble: “I’m still walking down the street like, ‘Why I’m here? Why I’m here?’ You know, I’ve done this 12 years in Korea, and I’m rookie here now. I never expect I would become a K-pop star.”
4) He may give Usher dance lessons: “I had a conversation with him and what I [told] him was, ‘I wanna teach you how to dance.” What did Usher say back? “He laughed all night long.”
5) He’s folksy. From manager Scooter Braun: “He came over to the States and we started talking business and PSY said, ‘Well this is very nice, but I’d rather just take you to Koreatown tonight and drink.”
6) He’s a mentor: “Most of the K-pop artists are boy bands or girl bands. Most of them are junior to me, so … it was my job [to] buy a drink for the juniors that go overseas — ‘Hey, cheer up, [keep] fighting.'”
7) On his inspiration: “Gangnam is a certain territory in Korea that’s noble in daytime and going crazy at nighttime, so I described a [hey! sexy] lady and gentleman [from that territory.]”
8) He’ll drink you under the table: “I didn’t speak any English when I arrived here [but] I was very good at drinking. [It was my] third day in the U.S., so I talked to the other students, ‘Let’s have a drink.’ They said, ‘How can you get the drinks? We are not allowed?’ And I said, ‘I can buy it in Chinatown.’ So I bought it and we drank in my room and we get crazy all night long and they don’t have enough tolerance for that, so they all starting throwing up. Suddenly there came four or five ambulances and they kept asking, ‘Hey, why, did you do that?’ My English was really horrible, so the only words I had were, ‘Not me!'”
9) “Korean age is different than yours.” WHAT? “They count one year when they’re born. So my birthday was Dec 31, so I got one year, and the next day, I got 2 years old.”
10) His general ethos: “I try to dress classy and dance cheesy.”