PSY’s official youtube channel yesterday released a video of him sitting down with Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen’s talent manager, Scooter Braun to announce PSY’s new worldwide management deal with major, formerly British-based, label Island Records. After announcing the deal, the pair toast “To PSY, to Korea, to breaking down barriers, to the future!” in the Korean style, with a shot of soju!

Island Records has a rich and diverse history, beginning as an independent label in Jamaica it owned many of the world’s most innovative and popular rock bands, it was then based in the UK and it is now part of American-based The Island Def Jam Music Group which is part of Universal Music Group, the largest record company in the world. Nowadays, Island focuses mainly on pop and pop rock artists with artists like Justin Bieber and The Killers on their roster.

So far, it appears to be only a management deal, so it is unclear what the future for PSY outside of Korea will be. If this is the only deal that they make then it is unlikely that PSY will begin to make music specifically for an international audience. However as Scooter Braun has made SUCH a public announcement of his intent to make PSY “the first Korean artist to break a big record in the United States”, it seems that PSY will have a big and knowledgeable team behind him working hard to continue his worldwide success.

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We believe this makes PSY the first Korean artist to sign a worldwide management deal with a major record label although Girls’ Generation and the Wonder Girls have signed with major labels for distribution and management in the States before and of course dozens of K-pop bands are signed with the Japanese arm of many major labels. This can only be a good sign for PSY that he is being taken seriously as an artist and is not just being viewed as a temporary viral oddity.

In the meantime, while we wait to see what will happen, PSY is back off to the US on the 6th for the MTV VMA awards which UK MTV viewers can usually watch a day or so after broadcast in the States.


What do you think? Are you excited for PSY? Do you think he will be able to continue his success in the international market or is Gangnam Style a one-off viral hit? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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Former writer at UnitedKpop, you can now find me at Beyond Hallyu.