K-Pop sensation Psy appears to admit to having a drinking problem in an interview with the UK’s The Sunday Times this weekend.
“If I’m happy, I’m drinking, if I’m sad, I’m drinking. If it’s raining, I’m drinking, if it’s sunny I’m drinking. If it’s hot, I’m drinking, if it’s cold, I’m drinking,” the article (paywalled) quotes the 35-year old as saying.
Psy also is quoted as saying that Korean vodka is his “best friend” and “vice partner” but that he also enjoys “whisky, vodka, tequila, whatever.”
Psy then apparently says the only time he doesn’t drink is when he is hungover, which happens a lot.
These revelations are made at the beginning of the article and then never referred to again.
The article’s author, Camilla Long– The Sunday Times film critic — takes a derisive and at times condescending tone towards Psy throughout the article, at one point calling him a “frustrated cruise-ship singer.”
“Gentleman is the same as Gangnam Style, but even less sophisticated,” Long writes, referring to the follow-up to Psy’s international hit that propelled him into stardom.
After explaining that Psy put in an enormous amount of effort to create a dance for his Gentleman song, Long writes dismissively “(It’s the same one as the donkey dance)” from Gangnam Style.
Long also at times seems to mock Psy for the fact that he sometimes struggles to speak English.
“He makes his way precisely through the interview in English learnt from Twitter,” she writes at one point in the article. She adds, “I think he only understands 50% of what I’m saying.”
Still, at times Long digs deeper into the international star of which so little is known (He apparently is happily married and has twin 5-year-old daughters.)
The article notes that he grew up with a very strict father who apparently used to hit Psy “all the time.” Psy’s manager, who was present for the interview, asked Long not make a big deal about this fact, saying, “It’s very customary.”
He also briefly opens up for the first time about the time he was imprisoned briefly for using marijuana.
At times, Long’s attitude toward Psy will remind many of the kind you’d expect from a 19th Century British colonialist.
But this does appear to be Long’s general approach to writing. Last year she won the “Hatchet Job of the Year” award, which is given to the “writer of the angriest, funniest, most trenchant book review of the past twelve months.”
The award-winning article was a book review Long did of British-Canadian novelist Rachel Cusk’s marriage and divorce memoir. In the review Long reportedly refers to Cusk as a “peerless narcissist” and described the memoir as “a needy, neurotic mandolin solo of reflections on child sacrifice and asides about drains.” (The full review can be read here).
In 2010 Long also came under some fire for an interview she did with British politician Nigel Farage, in which Long made much of the fact that Farage had survived testicle cancer, going so far as to follow-up with his press secretary to inquire which testicle he had lost.
“I’m quite relieved that Nigel Farage MEP has only one testicle,” Long began the 2010 interview with.
Meanwhile, Black Eyed Pea’s star Will.i.am and Psy are reportedly considering collaborating on a track.
Earlier this month Psy’s YouTube channel also received its three billionth viewer, making him just the fifth channel on YouTube to reach that milestone.
Zachary Keck is assistant editor of The Diplomat.