What It Was Like To Be Psy’s Roommate When He Was Dropout At Boston University in 1996; “He missed classes all day long. Flunked everything.”

What It Was Like To Be Psy’s Roommate When He Was Dropout At Boston University in 1996

Jim Edwards | Apr. 19, 2013, 6:21 PM | 7,618 | 4


No other singer has made a music video that has been seen more than 1 billion times, as South Korea’s Psy has. By that measure, he’s the biggest pop phenomenon on the planet. His new song, “Gentleman M/V” has been seen 166 million times after just one week on YouTube. On its own, that’s a huge achievement. But Psy wasn’t born a pop star. He originally planned to go into business. His father is Park Won-Ho, the chairman of DI Corporation (which makes semiconductors) and his mom is Kim Young-hee, a restaurateur in the Gangnam district of South Korea. In the late 1990s he went to Boston University to study business administration, but dropped out when his interest in music eclipsed his willingness to study, or even show up to class on time. He then briefly attended Berklee College of Music, but didn’t complete that course either. He spent his leftover tuition money on a computer, a keyboard, and a MIDI, and ultimately returned to Korea. We received an email from someone claiming to be Psy’s former roommate during his time in Boston. While we can’t verify everything our source tells us — these are memories from 1996 – 1998, after all — they certainly dovetail with what we know about the pre-fame life of Psy (real name Park Jae-Sang). At the time, his disinterest in studying was legendary among his friends, the roommate tells us:

… I will tell you the broad strokes.
I lived with him 97-98.
He was still fat. Lazy. Messy. Typical Korean-male studying abroad.
His family had money so he lived well.
He missed classes all day long. Flunked everything. When we ate and drank he would put on shows at the karaoke spots.
We used to grab his chubby cheeks and tell him to “wake up! You’re never going to make it in entertainment with a fat ugly face like yours!”
He would always respond with resolve. “I will make it! I’m going to be a star! Just you watch!”

That’s pretty much everything.

Psy, apparently, has had the last laugh.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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