Psy has delayed the release of his new single yet again in an apparent effort at pairing it with a dance move on par with the manic horse-riding dance that helped “Gangnam Style” log 1.34 billion YouTube views in the seven months since it was posted.
As he was ending his Penang daytime concert on February 11 — for which he was paid a reported $2 million out of the government’s kitty for performing “Gangnam Style twice” — Psy told the crowd to look for his new single in April.
That’s at least two months past the release date mentioned in interviews as recently as early February. The reason appears to be a last-minute decision to pair a killer dance move with the tune — or possibly, to replace or revise a dance move that had already been paired with it.
“I think I got it!!! #NewSingle,” Psy tweeted on February 8. “Now gotta look for da #NewMove!!!”
He has offered few clues as to what the new move might look like. The only hints dropped are those mentioned during an interview in Shanghai during the taping of a performance for the CCTV Lunar New Year Gala. In response to the comment that he seemed to like dances involving animals, Psy admitted that he had done two: a rabbit dance and the horse dance in the “Gangnam Style” video. He pointed out that he had come up with many moves during his 13-year career and that he would be adapting one of them for the new single. He also said it would not be an animal-related move.
As for the song itself, in various interviews during November and December Psy and his US manager Scooter Braun said the lyrics would be half in English and half in Korean. In December they said the song had already been recorded for release after the new year. In late December Yang Hyeon-seok, head of Psy’s Korean management firm, mentioned that he had seen the video of the new single and felt it would be well received. These statements suggested that not only a song but a dance move as well had already been taped.
At that time Psy and his people also said the single would be followed up by a new album in March. Psy himself hinted that the album would contain several new dances to go with new songs.
In more recent interviews Psy had suggested the album would likely be released in April, with the release date of the single moved back to February. The first mention of an April date was at the Penang concert last Monday.
The repeated delaying of the new single’s release date suggests Psy may be experiencing a case of cold feet about his new single. The jitters are understandable. With some critics already writing him off as a one-hit wonder who has only released one song in two and a half years, Psy is under pressure to drop some new material. But he’s reluctant to dash the high expectations built up by the most popular music video of all time. Nothing would validate the one-hit wonder jibe quicker than a dud.
Other factors are at work behind the delay. One is Psy’s perfectionism. He has revealed that it took six weeks of practice before he was able to tape the horse-riding dance moves for the Gangnam video. Given the amount of time Psy and crew have spent making appearances around the world since September, he simply hasn’t had anything like that amount of time to devote to a new dance move. Now that he’s done with his Chinese New Year appearances across Asia, he may be able to squeeze in the work it will take to make a case for lasting stardom.