PSY Talks 'Gentleman,' Pink & 'Harlem Shake' in Billboard Music Awards Q&A
With the 2013 Billboard Music Awards rapidly approaching, we caught up with BBMA finalist PSY to help recount the incredible high points, new discoveries and memorable moments that caught his ears during the past 12 months.
PSY is a finalist in the Billboard Music Awards' Top New Artist category, among others. His breakout single "Gangnam Style" surprised many, becoming a viral sensation and peaking at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 2012.
Watch the 2013 Billboard Music Awards Sunday, May 19th at 8|7c on ABC live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas as host Tracy Morgan welcomes the biggest names in music to the stage.
What was the highlight of your year in music?
PSY: It was really hard to pick just one scene because there were too many to remember. If I gotta choose one, I might say the American Music Awards. I closed the show and the closing of the show was a very big piece and another big piece was Hammer.
What song really made an impact on you this year?
I really like the P!nk song with the guy from fun., “Just Give Me a Reason.” Last February I did a seven-city tour in Australia. I was in Melbourne after one show, and the weather was so hot. I was moving out of my hotel and the song was on the radio. The first time I heard it, that song healed me. That and the Bruno Mars song “If I Was Your Man,” a very touching soul song for me.
What was your favorite music-related meme or viral video this year?
I’ve gotta talk about my new video, “Gentleman.” It has a lot of likes and a lot of dislikes [on YouTube] at the same time—a lot of fans and a lot of haters. You can’t make everybody feel inspired. Both sides should exist. But with “Gangnam Style,” most of the country didn’t have any haters with the video, with the music and with the dance moves. That was abnormal. So literally, I was used to an abnormal situation, and one day I considered the abnormal situation to be the normal situation. I was spoiled with all of the likes and fans. Then I released the “Gentleman” video and the first day, second day, third day everybody seemed to like the video. So the spoiled side of me was like, “OK, this one works.” But on the fourth day, as is normal and understandable, given that it’s a culture product, there were a lot of dislikes. So, now things are back to normal for me. And I really like this situation.
I was shocked with the “Harlem Shake,” because at that time I was preparing a new single. Most artists feel the same way when they are preparing something, because they are not doing anything: “I’m down, I’m nothing, and I’m stuck.” At the same time “Harlem Shake” came out and everyone did the “Harlem Shake” dance, every media outlet kept saying, “Goodbye ‘Gangnam Style.’ Hello ‘Harlem Shake.’”
How has social media affected the way you engage with your fans?
I was not familiar with the internet thing. Honestly, you know with all kinds of internet media, I was not that familiar. I was not that kind of guy. Accidentally "Gangnam Style" happened and you have YouTube and all other sorts of stuff like Facebook and Twitter and so on. So after that I learned and learned. So after that I learned how to use Facebook, how to use Twitter and how to use YouTube and how to use all those platforms with each other. By this time I’ve realized like, wow this really is a big deal. This is another kind of a new show. I’m kind of a classic guy. I really play for old school songs, older songs and the platform and media. I was that kind of person.
How do you live like a high roller when you're in Las Vegas?
I want to live like a high roller, so why do I live life as a workaholic?