"Gangnam Style" Singer PSY Visits Harvard | Summary and Q&A

June 19, 2013
Harvard University
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"Gangnam Style" Singer PSY Visits Harvard


Psy expresses gratitude for his international success through the song "Gangnam Style" and his message of positivity in his speech at Harvard.

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Key Insights

  • 🥺 Psy's international success with "Gangnam Style" was unexpected and led to opportunities for collaboration with renowned artists like Madonna.
  • ☄️ Psy acknowledges the likes and dislikes that come with being a culture product and emphasizes the importance of embracing both positive and negative feedback.
  • 🛟 Positivity is a powerful force that can have a significant impact on individuals' lives, regardless of their background or circumstances.


ok ladies and gentlemen greetings my name is Carter Eckert the UN se young professor of Korean history and I'm delighted to welcome you all to this very special event in Memorial Church in the heart of Harvard Yard now this university has seen many special events and visitors in its long history but perhaps not since 1838 when Ralph Waldo Emerson d... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did Psy's international success come about?

Psy's international success came as a result of his song "Gangnam Style" going viral on YouTube, which led to widespread interest and recognition from international artists, such as Katy Perry and Britney Spears.

Q: What did Psy learn from his experience with "Gangnam Style"?

Psy learned the power of music to unite people from different cultures and languages. He also learned the importance of staying humble and continuing to strive for success even after achieving global recognition.

Q: How did Psy approach his next song, "Gentleman"?

Psy approached "Gentleman" as a defense to his initial success with "Gangnam Style." He wanted to avoid being labeled as a one-hit wonder and aimed to achieve similar levels of success with his new song.

Q: What is the key message of Psy's speech at Harvard?

Psy's key message is to embrace positivity and to believe in the power of positivity. He encourages the audience to remain positive in the face of challenges and to use positivity as a driving force in their lives.


In this video, Carter Eckert, a professor of Korean history at Harvard, introduces a special event featuring Korean pop star Psy. Carter acknowledges the effort put into organizing the event and thanks various organizations and individuals who have helped make it possible. He also talks about how Korean popular culture, particularly K-pop, has become an international sensation and an important part of his teaching on modern Korean history.

Questions & Answers

Q: Who is Carter Eckert?

Carter Eckert is a professor of Korean history at Harvard and he is hosting the special event featuring Psy.

Q: What is the significance of the event taking place at Harvard?

Harvard has a long history of hosting special events and visitors, but this event is particularly cool because it showcases the international success of Korean popular culture, specifically K-pop, which has generated intense interest worldwide.

Q: Who are some of the people and organizations that have helped make this event possible?

The Korea Institute, the learning from performers program in the office for the arts at Harvard, and the Edwin Alicia our Institute of Japanese studies, along with various Harvard faculty and staff members, have all played a role in organizing this event.

Q: Why is K-pop important in the study of Korean history?

K-pop's international success and impact make it an important part of modern Korean history. It reflects South Korea's economic development, democratization, and also fits into a larger history of popular culture in Asia and the world.

Q: How has K-pop attracted such a large international following?

K-pop's success can be attributed to the training and grooming of talented artists by talent agencies, the use of digital platforms like YouTube to reach global audiences, and the creation of catchy and visually appealing music videos.

Q: How did Psy's "Gangnam Style" become a global phenomenon?

"Gangnam Style" went viral on YouTube, attracting attention from artists and celebrities like Katy Perry and Britney Spears. Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber's manager, reached out to Psy and helped promote the song internationally. Psy's unconventional and humorous style resonated with audiences worldwide.

Q: What is the significance of Psy's success in the US market?

Psy's success in the US market is significant because it breaks barriers for Asian artists trying to enter this market. He represents the potential for more Asian pop culture to have a global impact.

Q: How has this international success affected Psy and his career?

Psy has received offers from various countries around the world and has become an international sensation. However, he remains humble and grateful for the opportunities he has been given.

Q: What does Carter Eckert mean when he says there is something "beyond language" in music?

Carter suggests that music has the power to unite people regardless of language barriers. Even though Psy's lyrics may not be understood by all, the fun and catchy nature of his songs crosses cultural boundaries and brings people together.

Q: What does Psy hope to achieve with his music?

Psy's main goal is to make people laugh and have fun through his music. He wants his songs and performances to bring joy and entertainment to his audience.


Psy's global success with "Gangnam Style" and K-pop's international popularity highlight the power of music to transcend language barriers and bring people together. Psy's unique and humorous style has resonated with audiences worldwide, making him an influential figure in the global music industry. The success of K-pop is not just significant for Korean culture, but also represents a larger trend of Asian pop culture gaining recognition on the global stage.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Psy expresses his gratitude to the Korea Institute and other organizations that helped organize the event at Harvard.

  • He reflects on the international success of Korean popular culture, particularly K-pop, and its impact on global interest in Korean history and popular culture.

  • Psy discusses the power of music and how it transcends language barriers, using his own experience with "Gangnam Style" as an example.

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