The infectious Korean-Pop YouTube phenomenon “Gangnam Style,” which has gone viral since mid-July, has taken the world by storm and has managed to sustain popularity for four consecutive months, while most recently gaining popularity in Lebanon.
The video was named the second most watched video on YouTube early November with 757 million views.
With the catchy and upbeat tune being played at popular hangouts across the Arab country, it’s become almost impossible to miss. The latest trend in Lebanon is to host a “Gangnam Style themed party,” local DJ Anthony Kazandjian, known as DJ KAZ recently told The Daily Star Lebanon that “for some reason Gangnam Style gets the party popping and that after a few seconds of familiar synthetic intro notes, the crowd usually erupts into screams.” He also said the song brings new energy to the party.
Korean Ambassador to Lebanon Kim Byoung-gi wrote in a column published in The Korean Herald last month, that the song has helped bridge Lebanese and Korean cultures.
Lebanon has been no exception to Gangnam Style’s worldwide popularity. The craze has manifested into popular Gangnam Style party themes, amateur video clips, Lebanese pop stars breaking out with the song’s signature moves, and even local political figures giving a nod to the song.
A group of students at the Universite Saint-Esprit de Kaslik in Lebanon created their own Gangnam Style video clip – filled with giant stuffed animal heads, backflips and break dancing around the USEK campus.
Their YouTube clip managed to gain the attention of local TV stations such as MTV and has received more than 19,000 views.
There was recently a surprise performance of Psy’s dance moves which was also featured on MTV talk show “Men el-Ekhir” where Lebanese pop-star and actress Nicole Saba gave a half-hearted attempt at learning steps alongside fellow guests.
The dance has been noticed by local professional dancers who have claimed to also have caught the Gangnam “bug.”
Tatyana Zein, the founder of uDance classes held in the Verdun and Hamra areas, told The Daily Star that she plans to incorporate Gangnam Style into her dance lessons.
However, some DJs and radio producers feel that the song has overstayed its welcome.
Local radio host and DJ Roger Saad has said “It’s the most talked about song this year. But it’s so ridiculous and cheesy.” He also said it is the most requested song by teenagers. This is the first time a K-pop tune has made it big in Lebanon.
The song has successfully stayed in the limelight and has continued to wow music critics. It has attracted the likes of the President of the Unites States Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon whom have all performed the iconic “gallop” style dance move. Psy, the South Korean rapper and creator of “Gangnam Style” performed the song on stage alongside legendary popstar Madonna last week as well as performing a mash –up of the hit and “Hammer Time” with MC Hammer at the 40th annual American Music Awards on Sunday.