Sunglasses-sporting Korean rapper Psy has been the subject of many a meme and a mashup and a viral video, but very little have we had the opportunity to hear the man behind “Gangnam Style” speak at length about his own experiences. Lucky for his fans (and all those intrigued by him), this week, Oxford University Unions invited Psy to speak as part of their “People Who Shape Our World” series. Psy takes the lectern in only the way he can, still sporting his shades for his lecture, talking about how he got his start, his college years in America and the music that changed his life:
“When I was 15, I saw video footage of Queen at Wembley Stadium, and they sang ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’” he tells the crowd. “It was literally shocking. First of all, the song itself, it was a shock. It was too long, and it has too many changes. I was Korean, I didn’t know what the lyrics where about. I didn’t know about the opera thing. And then the lyrics changed to opera, and then rock goes on, and then slow goes on… I was like, ‘What is that?’ For a year after that, I didn’t listen to music, because it was so shocking.”
He later goes on to say some important things about the music industry and being an artist, as well as the advent of his massive international hit. Turns out, the ridiculousness is very much intentional, a way to let loose and make the world laugh during trying economic and spiritual times. And through it all, appropriately enough, he’s really, really funny! Dude has some excellent one-liners. Watch.