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PSY is back: He gets back to the basics

PSY is back. The worldwide star released his 7th full album on December 1. The album has a total of 9 songs including double title tracks 'Napal Baji'(bell-bottom pants) and 'Daddy', while it has been 2 years and 8 months since he released his former hit 'Gentleman' in 2013.

On November 30, a press conference for PSY's comeback was held at Conrad Seoul hotel. I was there, and more journalists than ever attended the press conference because it was world star's comeback after a long hiatus. Let's see what PSY talked about his new album.

Q. You made a comeback after a long hiatus. How do you feel?
PSY: Yeah, it took me a long time to release my new album. It has been 2 years and 8 months since I released 'Gentleman' and 3 years and 5 months since 'Gangnam Style' was released. It was once very easy for me to write songs, but I felt pressured after a great hit of 'Gangnam Style'. I needed some time to sort things out in my head.

Q. Tell me about your double title tracks 'Napal Baji' and 'Daddy'.
PSY: I think 'Napal Baji' is similar to DJ DOC's 'I'm a guy like this' which I wrote years ago. It's funky dance music that has retro guitar line. As you know, Park Jin Young usually writes this kind of song. Actually, I could complete the song very easily. In contrast, it took 19 months for me to complete 'Daddy' even though I'm not a great musician such as Beethoven. At first, I planned to release the song in the summer of 2014, but I should change arrangement and choreography of the song many times over.

Q. What is the difference between the two songs?
PSY: I wrote 'Daddy' last year and 'Napal Baji' was written this year. Actually, I was big with pride last year. I thought I was a close friend of Madonna. That's why 'Daddy' includes musical elements which are familiar to foreign fans. And when I wrote 'Napal Baji', I wanted to get back to the basics.

Q. What the basics mean to you?
PSY: After a great hit of 'Gangnam Style', I've always tried to make a song which is better than 'Gangnam Style'. But one day, I realized that it's meaningless to mind the others when I write songs. I became a singer because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. That's my basic. Through my new album, I did my music as I like, and I will humbly accept the public’s response to the album.

Q. It's notable that many famous artists such as Zion.T, CL of 2NE1, XIA of JYJ,, Jeon In Kwon and Gaeko of Dynamic Duo were featured in your album.
PSY: I felt the importance of featuring when Lee Jae Hoon of Cool was featured as a singer in my song 'Paradise' in 2002. To convey the emotion of my song better, I collaborate with various artists. When I went to watch a musical, I was really surprised because XIA sang so well. His voice is pure but sad. And Gaeko is the best rapper among Korean Ajeosis(middle-aged men) I've ever known.

Q. People say you are certainly different from the other singers who are in the mainstream culture. What do you think of it?
PSY: I didn't intend to be so at all. Nobody would try to be away from the mainstream. I tried my best to make mainstream music, but I think people do not consider me as an ordinary mainstream singer for various reasons. Yeah, I think it's because of my face, dance, body, etc. 

Q. Have you ever been on a diet?
PSY: Yes of course. However, I’ve barely lost any weight. I don't know why. Actually, I go on a diet because I drink much and I should maintain my weight.

Q. It seems that many Korean fans are waiting for the day when you rank No.1 on the Billboard Chart.
PSY: Well, I even don't go to Gangnam these days because 'Gangnam Style' really puts the pressure on me. I know that a miracle will not happen again. It's almost impossible to gain global popularity with a Korean song. Even before the hit of 'Gangnam Style', Kpop was loved by many people in the world, and I just hope I can play a role as one of the kpop singers.

Q. What do you want to achieve through your new album?
PSY: The album has various genres including dance, EDM, trap, hip hop, funk, and medium tempo. I've worked tremendously hard on the 9 tracks, and I hope many people will listen to all of them.

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