Park Jae Sang is better known to the world as Psy – the man behind the 2012 viral hit, “Gangnam Style.” Although the Gangnam Style sensational seemed to have happened overnight, Psy’s road to fame was anything but.
Psy had always loved music, but being born in to a family of entrepreneurs in South Korea meant that his future was almost completely out of his hands. He was sent to the US to study business to prepare for a role in his family’s company, but Psy had other plans.
After spending all of his money intended for business studies on musical instruments, Psy enrolled at Berklee College to study music. Just as things were looking up, news of his father’s passing sent him back to South Korea.
Yet, during his lowest moments he would often find escape by writing music. Unfortunately, his cheeky lyrics and off-beat sense of humor did not sit well with certain conservative groups which resulted in the banning of some of his work. But Psy would not give up.
Fast forward six studio albums later, Psy was still a minor player in the booming K-Pop scene, but that would all soon change. Word has it that T-Pain, a rapper, shared Psy’s video via Twitter and what followed surpassed everyone’s expectations.
More and more people including Justin Bieber began sharing his single resulting in the viral smash-hit that would soon become the first YouTube video to exceed 2 billion views. Despite all the hurdles and challenges, Psy had made it.
Comparing with other stories, Psy’s persistence were not so incredible, I think. But under the situation that his future was almost completely out of his hand, he had continued his thought of music. He had never give up even though his 6 albums’ result were not good.
Is it difficult to disobey the wishes of one’s family or superiors? Why?
I think it is very difficult thing to disobey the wishes of one’s family or superiors. The reason is that it is considered that they have a lot of experience of life and they can appropriate decision about such a things. But actually you well know about your talent and what you want to do, so your decision may be right regarding such a things.
Do you consider Psy a legitimate artist or just plain lucky?
I think Psy is a legitimate artist. “Gangnam Style” YouTube video views now exceeded over 4 billion. I can’t understand the lyrics of “Gangnam Style”, but the rhythm and music are very catchiness and have a sense, I think.
Would you be willing to give up your current career to pursue a life-long dream?
I don’t care about my career so much. But also I don’t have a dream which I have to quit my job for pursuing it. My dream is to live in happy everyday. And sometimes it may good for me that I can go to abroad. That’s all.
Hi there, Ko! Today we learned the story of Psy, who battled criticism throughout his career, and against all odds managed to make a name for himself in the tough world of entertainment. Thank you for reflecting on how going against the fate may sometimes work well and help one succeed. Have a great day!