Yes, he’s Park-Jae Sang, notably known as Psy. He’s the singer whose video has just recently broken the Guinness Book World of Records as the ‘Most Liked’ video on Youtube, going viral with more than 340 million viewers as of 2/10/2012. So that’s about 12 million views per day, the most in history ever recorded. Insane, huh?
OK. His music might not be the kind of music that many of us, authors and poets, are interested in listening to. I’ve heard people, some with strong literary propensity, commenting that his music is ‘reasonably tasteless’, ‘peculiarly absurd’, or ‘ridiculously dumb’. But hey, forget about it. Just like we don’t want to be judged on the basis of the color of our skin, the language we speak, our religious views and sexual orientation, or other superficial labels, we have no right to judge his taste for music as well as others who adore him, right?
Besides, we actually can learn a lot from this guy, whatever our music propensity is. Did you know that he spent about 2 years to produce the 4 minute video? He was on the verge of bankruptcy when his wife encouraged him to switch entertainment agency two years ago, and then he came up with the idea of the song, wrote the lyrics, worked on the rhythm, and choreographed the video; all these took approximately 2 years.
Wait a minute, two years for a 4 minute video? That’s right. Can you imagine the amount of effort that he put into a music video that lasts only four minutes? Surely the man has both passion and patience!
Music and writing are both art with two different mediums, but apply the same general principles. The creation of a brilliant work doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time, because it requires constant refinement of ideas to develop.
Now you must be wondering how long it took for Mozart to compose ‘Turkish March’, or for Kahlil Gibran to write ‘The Prophet’, or for Leo Tolstoy to write ‘Anna Karenina‘, or for Jean-Paul Sartre to write ‘The Age of Reason‘. Apparently not 3 months or so.
In ‘Chinese Bamboo and Paulo Coelho’, I wrote about the importance of having passion and patience in creative writing, about how important it is to firstly develop our characters and embark on “an arduous journey of ceaseless personal growth to overcome adversity and challenge” before expecting success in our creative writing career.
And now the pattern has become obvious: “We may invest weeks, months, or even years, without any visible signs of progress, and then all of a sudden, things take off. Our dreams come true. Toiling patiently towards dreams and goals while by the same token building strong characters are the only ways to reach success.”
Enough with the ramble. Now, ready for some Gangnam Style?
#I would like to thank my Korean student, Son Ahreum, who introduced me to Psy’s music so I could learn something from him.