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Psy vows concert 'shout out' to North Koreans

"Hopefully with my 'Gangnam style,' 'Gentleman,' and my music video, choreography... hopefully they might enjoy it too."

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

"Gangnam Style" star Psy said he and 50,000 fans would give a "shout out" to the people of North Korea at his concert on Saturday when he unveils the all-important dance video for his new single "Gentleman".

At a press conference before the concert, the 35-year-old South Korean rapper also acknowledged the "enormous pressure" of following a global phenomenon like "Gangnam Style, but argued he had been singing too long to be called a one-hit wonder.

Some 50,000 fans packed Seoul's World Cup stadium for the concert, which comes at a time of soaring military tensions with North Korea, and with South Korea's armed forces on heightened alert for an expected missile test.

Describing the division of the Korean peninsula as a "tragedy", Psy said he wanted North Koreans to share in the "fun and happiness" of his music.

"Tonight me and 50,000 Korean people... we are going to sing out loud. We are going to shout out loud and we are really close to them, so they can hear," he said.

"Hopefully with my 'Gangnam style,' 'Gentleman,' and my music video, choreography... hopefully they might enjoy it too," he added.

"Gentleman", the long-awaited follow-up to "Gangnam Style", hit online stores Friday in a midnight rolling release across 119 nations.

In a move that surprised some industry experts and frustrated a lot of fans, it was released without the music video which had been the main focus of anticipation and speculation.

It was the video of "Gangnam Style", and in particular Psy's signature horse-riding dance, that pushed him to global stardom last year after it was posted on YouTube and turned into a viral sensation.

A satire on the luxury lifestyle of Seoul's upscale Gangnam district, it has become the most-watched YouTube video of all time, registering more than 1.5 billion views since it debuted last July.

The "Gentleman" music video was expected to be posted on YouTube at 9:00pm (1200 GMT) after Psy debuts the song's dance moves at Saturday's concert.

"Gangnam Style" was always going to be a hard act to follow, and "Gentleman" has had a mixed reception as Psy acknowledged, although he was happy with its initial chart showing.

"Many expressed disappointment, saying I made too many calculations and I should have remade some of the songs I did in the past. But this is the best song, best work and the best choice I could possibly do," he said.

"I made the song feeling enormous pressure," he added.

"Gentleman" went straight into the top five of the iTunes charts in South Korea and other Asian markets like Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, but could only manage 90th spot in the crucial US equivalent.

In Britain, it rose quickly to number 25, but elements of the British music press were scathing in their assessment.

"Like a seven-year-old on a Casio," was the judgment of the Times newspaper, while the underwhelmed Guardian critic called it "a fairly standard issue, pop-dance single".

The song -- a satire of a self-proclaimed "gentleman" trying to woo women at a party -- contains more English lyrics than "Gangnam Style" in a clear nod to the singer's newfound global audience.

"Let me tell you about myself. I'm such a charmer with guts, vigour and humour," Psy sings in Korean before launching into the song's English catch-line: "I'm a mother-father gentleman."

"Gonna make you sweat. Gonna make you wet. You know who I am? Wet Psy!" he sings in English.

Already an established artist in South Korea with six albums under his belt, Psy has been building and polishing his own style of quirky, explosive music and his flamboyant stage persona since his debut in 2001.

"I've been doing this for 12 years. Would it be fair to call me a one-hit wonder just because my next song falls flat?" Psy said Saturday.

"I gained international fame almost by accident but that does not mean that I will make desperate efforts to maintain that global popularity.

"I will just continue to do what I have been doing for all these years. If it satisfies people's appetite it will. If not, it won't."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130413/psy-vows-concert-shout-out-north-koreans