January 15, 2013
"Gangnam Style" guru Psy explains how you too can create a song-and-dance sensation that's catchier than bird flu.
Photo by Don Arnold / Wireimage
1. Go electric.
“Around the world it’s all about electronica, right? Beatwise, make it catchy and include a pause. It’s total silence, but it says, ‘Oh, my God, it’s coming!’ ”
2. Forget the language.
“Even if audiences have no idea what I’m talking about, they look so happy when they hear ‘Gangnam Style.’ I saw a flash mob in Italy with 20,000 people, and they sang every part. It’s a nonverbal thing.”
3. The dance is key.
“I spent so many nights with my Korean choreographers, I can’t even count. We tried everything that exists in the universe—falling leaves, snakes, animals, whatever—before we discovered the horse.”
4. Respect “Macarena.”
“People compare ‘Gangnam Style’ to ‘Macarena,’ but honestly ‘Macarena’ was stronger, because at that time we didn’t have YouTube or Twitter or anything. YouTube is kind of a shortcut to going viral worldwide.”
5. Be replicable.