SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Psy's seventh studio-length album Chiljip Psy-da comes three years and five months after his sixth album, Psy 6-gap, which included the global sensation Gangnam Style.
"It's been too long," he said at a press conference in Seoul on Monday.
"Maybe it was pressure, maybe it was stress," he said about the wait. "I kept thinking, 'This won't do as well as Gangnam (Style)... or if I changed it, 'overseas fans wouldn't understand this.' With every line I wrote, there were voices fighting in my head, and it took a while to get them all sorted out."
According to him, the breakthrough came when he was performing at university festivals early this year. "I realised that I had chosen this job because I wanted to do what I wanted to do. Why was I paying so much attention to what other people thought?"
He said he remained true to that initial idea, doing what he wanted in this nine-track album.
"As always, the album includes many different genres," he said. "The base is in dance music. There's EDM (electronic dance music), trap, hip-hop, funk, medium-tempo... in the lyrics, I tried to include all of the emotions people feel going through life."
The two lead tracks of the latest album are Bell-Bottoms (Napal Baji), a retro funk song Psy described as being "the most Psy" through a broadcast on Naver's V App, and Daddy, a fast dance track featuring CL of 2NE1.
The two songs are very different, according to Psy, because they were born while he was in two very different states of mind.
Daddy was written last year while he was still in the afterglow of his United States promotions, while Bell-Bottoms was written after he had decided to go back to his pre-Gangnam Style mindset.
"The lyrics to (Daddy) have elements that target both Korean and overseas fans. It's in Korean, but there's an English line that repeats in the chorus. Since I made it while I was overseas, it was tailored more towards reaching the overseas audience than fitting exactly what my Korean fans were expecting from me."
In the video for Daddy, unveiled at the press conference, the chorus hook repeated the lines "Where'd you get that body from?/I got it from my daddy."
Meanwhile, Psy described Bell-Bottoms as being similar to the song I'm A Guy Like This, which he previously wrote for the group DJ DOC.
"The arrangement and genre is retro funky dance, a genre I've wanted to do for a long time... in the lyrics, I decided on the retro key word 'bell-bottoms,' and it worked out because a lot of women seem to be wearing bell-bottoms these days," he said.
Daddy was initially written to be released soon after Hangover, but was reworked many times before finally being deemed ready. "I don't think any other song has given me so much trouble as this," Psy said, also mentioning that Bell-bottoms came about with relative ease. "It'll be interesting to see which one does better," he said.
Other tracks on the album include Dream, featuring JYJ's Junsu, I Remember You, featuring Zion.T, and ROCKnROLLbaby featuring will.i.am.
As to expectations of domestic and international success of his album, he stated categorically that he thought "Billboard No. 1 (was) out of the question," and that "something like Gangnam Style would never happen again. Statistically, it was highly unlikely in the first place that a song in Korean would be played across all continents."
Rather than the ranking, Psy said he hoped fans would enjoy his full album. "For an artist, releasing a single and a studio-length album are very different. A single is like a snack, while a studio-length album is like a full meal. I prepared this album with the heart of a Korean mom, so I hope everyone would enjoy it all from start to finish without being picky."
After performing his new songs for the first time at the Mnet Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong on Wednesday, he will hold a concert series called All Night Stand from Dec 24 to Dec 26.
Although he has no definite plans for overseas promotions, he said he is leaving the option open if he is "called."
The album title Chiljip Psy-da plays on the name of a popular beverage in South Korea, Chilsung Cider. Chiljip Psy-da means "This is Psy's seventh album" in Korean. The album is to be released tomorrow.