Legendary soloist and P NATION label founder PSY is soon to release his ninth album, PSY 9th, featuring title tracks “That That” with BTS‘s Suga, and “Celeb” with actress and soloist Suzy, as well as a slew of other musical collaborations, leading fans to believe that he seems to know just about everyone in the K-Pop industry.
Despite this, PSY’s collaborations are not just for show. In fact, he is often very careful and articulated in the ways he teams up with artists, keeping the target audience and thematic message in mind.
Here are four songs were PSY bands together with other artists to share important messages of virtue and cultural diplomacy.
1. Parris Goebel and ReQuest Dance Crew in “LOVE” Featuring BIGBANG’s Taeyang
While BIGBANG‘s Taeyang is the featured singer in PSY’s 2017 inspirational song, “LOVE”, award-winning dancer and choreographer Parris Goebel takes center stage in its music video.
“LOVE” encourages listeners to radiate love and positivity throughout the world in the face of life’s many hardships. As the music video director, Parris Goebel and her ReQuest Dance Crew blend their dance moves into the animated graphics and lyrics that flash across the screen.
In the chorus of the song, Taeyang and PSY’s key line, “All we need is love” is shown on screen in various languages, such as Spanish, Japanese, and Hindi. Simultaneously, ReQuest Dance Crew raises their arms in a cheer dance to the lyric followed by pointing to their chest, emphasizing the heart.
PSY uses this moment of international collaboration with ReQuest Dance Crew, which hails from New Zealand but is well known across the globe, to accentuate and spread an encouraging message to the world.
2. Lang Lang in “FATHER”
While PSY’s music is usually quite quirky and upbeat, this is not the case when he collaborates with well-renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang in “FATHER”, to tell a story of the sacrifices a father makes for his family.
This 2015 animated rap ballad, a revamped version of PSY’s 2005 single of the same name, comprises of Lang Lang providing piano instrumentals, while PSY raps in Korean during the verses.
During the chorus however, PSY sings in Mandarin Chinese, as the two artists work together to translate the song and add on-screen Mandarin subtitles to the entirety of the music video. For this reason, the song went viral in China, leading to PSY winning the “Most Influential Global Artist Award” at the 2015 QQ Music Awards.
The song’s message of maintaining familial love throughout time, combined with Lang Lang and PSY’s efforts to share this story to both Korean and Mandarin speakers, is nothing short of heartwarming.
3. Snoop Dogg in “HANGOVER”
U.S rapper Snoop Dogg‘s upcoming 2022 collaboration with BTS will not be his first time making music with a K-Pop artist. In 2014, he partnered with PSY to make “HANGOVER”, an electronic dance track that comedically features drinking and party culture in South Korea.
All through the music video, Snoop Dogg and PSY travel to various places where people drink in South Korea, including a Noraebang (karaoke) studio (with a surprise cameo from BIGBANG’s G-DRAGON), and a Pojangmacha (pop-up tent bar). The two even drink herbal supplements and eat Ramyun (instant ramen) with triangle shaped Kimbap at the GS25 convenience store chain, which are both common hangover recovery cures.
“HANGOVER” is one of the first prominent international K-Pop collaborations. PSY possibly kept that idea in mind as he works with Snoop Dogg to introduce these aspects of modern Korean society to the world.
4. National Gugak Center in “KOREA”
In “KOREA”, PSY joins forces with the National Gugak Center to celebrate Korean culture, both modern and traditional. Gugak (national music), refers to the prominent folk music and performance arts traditions within the country, and the National Gugak Center is the primary educational facility for such arts.
You can spot various instruments and dance styles throughout the music video, such as Samulnori (drum performance), Buchaechum (fan dance), and Bukcheong lion dancing.
PSY and all of the National Gugak Center performers march through the gates of Gwanghwamun in Seoul as a way to cheer on South Korea at the 2012 London Olympics.
PSY 9th will be released on April 27th at 6:00pm KST.