Belinda's Bash

Belinda Naylor-Stables

Gangnam style - wup - wup

It’s gloomy and wet out there. We’re on the edge of winter and hibernation seems like the natural thing. But hang on a minute – there are uplifting and challenging things to see and do… on the web. Following on from the Membership meeting which shared the secrets of networking, find out the secret of becoming mega-successful. You don’t have to go out – just go viral - Gangnam style.

Ann-Yeong [Hello there, in Korean]

I wouldn’t normally write about pop culture here – or even the Korean phenomenon K-Pop, which isn’t new. I’m cross enough that singers call themselves artists – particularly when I look up ‘artists’ on the web only to get music instead of images. It was only when internationally known visual artist Ai Weiwei made his own version of the song, a parody of Gangnam Style, that I began to take notice. It’s not the politics I want to comment on here – but the secret of viral success.

I guess everyone has heard about the phenomenal success of Psy’s song ‘Gangnam Style’. It all started in mid July this year when the song hit number one in the South Korean pop charts. It’s effect is still going strong. Nearing the end of October it has hit the Guinness Book of Records with an unprecedented number of plays on YouTube: well over half a billion!

For those not in the know, Psy is a South Korean singer. His style of music is K-Pop (Korean Pop) which combines a myriad of sound techniques old and new, from rock, blues and rap to electropop, urban electric, repetitive trance and more. It could be considered a visual art. If you haven’t already, you could find Gangnam Style on YouTube and while you’re there, if it interests you,  look at other YouTube videos by Psy like ‘Artist’ and ‘Right Now’. You could also explore K-Pop bands such as Big Bang and EXO-K. I quite like clicking the pause icon every so often and enjoying the imagery – mostly fashion with dance moves, often in a street setting. This might not be to everyone's taste. I have to warn you it might be shocking or alarming at times but you might find it cheeky, inspiring, maybe funny too.

The secret of success

Pop artistes like Psy use YouTube to spread their songs quickly and gain money from marketing. The more hits (people clicking on the video to view it) the better. My Korean is a bit rusty, but basically Gangnam Style is a song about a young man called Oppa who is from the Gangnam district of Seoul – known for its young, successful, rich population. The song appears to be both a celebration and send-up of the lifestyle and how far Oppa wants to take his relationships with girls. When people watch the video, whether they understand Korean or not, the main effect is that it makes people happy – that is the simple secret.

So to get famous quickly you could think about making a video. Ideas for starters:

  • You could make a parody by getting office colleagues or your offspring's school class to dance - ideally somewhere safer than a car park or street. 
  • To see what’s been done already you could visit the website and in the search box type ‘Gangnam Style parodies’ which will give you the latest links.
  • Or you could make something totally you - a hint of a story line or new ideas would be good. 

See the hits mount up – Gangnam style - if you're lucky. 

Ann-Yeong  [Korean for Goodbye -  but this time the inflexion has to go down instead of up – otherwise it means Hello again.]

If you have published any videos on YouTube and would like people to take a look, or if you have any tips for creating videos that might help members, then please share… I'm particularly interested if you want to make your own parody - I want to be in it!