“Gangnam Style” was the phenomenon that took the world by surprise back in 2012, making South Korean singer PSY a household name and a multi-millionaire. However, he recently revealed in an interview that the global fame the massive viral hit brought him was also the most difficult time he faced since his music career began.
PSY, Park Jae-sang in real life, told audiences of JTBC’s Knowing Bros in a recent episode that he suffered a lot of stress and pressure after Made Psy “Gangnam Style” reached millions of views from across the planet in a matter of days.
He shared that people’s growing expectations from him bothered him greatly as fans awaited his next hit, according to Koreaboo.
“I had no idea ‘Gangnam Style’ would get that big,” he was quoted as saying. “I started it for laughs but it got too big for me to handle. I started believing people were anticipating my next release, and it scared me.”
He explained that while it was an incredible experience, he is weary of having no back-up plan to fail.
“If we compare it [his success] to the day before my birthday, the day of my birthday, and the day after my birthday, it felt like the day of my birthday just wasn’t ending. It was like I reached the summit of a mountain without a parachute. I had no idea I would end up flying that high.”
PSY also expressed that the pressure began taking a toll on his mental health.
He kept reminding himself that pure luck caused the “Gangnam Style” to go viral and set his expectations that his next release may end up not being as popular.
In the long run, he realized he was the only person anticipating his next hit. He then made an effort to stop comparing his newer creations to the success of “Gangnam Style”.
“I realized that I was the only person who had expected so much from myself. From then on, I found myself thinking, ‘Why isn’t this blowing up as much as Gangnam Style?’ after every song I released. So for those two years, it felt like the biggest slump in my career. And it’s still a mystery why Gangnam Style became so viral.”
He admitted that if he only knew what made “Gangnam Style” tick, he would use the same formula to replicate its success via his future works.
Released on July 15, 2012, Gangnam Style went on to break records, win awards, and top the charts of more than 30 countries worldwide.
The song has earned more than $40 million in 2012 via sales through concerts, TV commercials, and social media revenue. Under his 7:3 profit-sharing contract with YG Entertainment, PSY was able to earn $28 million in that year alone, according to Korea Times.