This year marks the 4th year since BTS’ debut. Are they opening a new chapter in K-Pop? We met with BTS’ seven members and Big Hit Entertainment’s CEO, Bang Shihyuk, at their practice room in Nonhyeon-dong, Seoul, to ask what their secret is to global popularity.
The ‘let’s become a hero that one can rely on rather than a fake-image idol group’ concept gave birth to BTS’ image as next door older brothers, younger brothers, friends. Member Suga said, “Rather than hiding or going overboard, we constantly post about our real selves through YouTube and SNS. It isn’t something our company makes us do. We want to do it, and we do it because it’s fun”.
Fans all over the world had gone wild in real-time over the outgoing images of the members, who have been living together for 7 years since their trainee days. BTS’ outstanding ‘push and pull’ skill makes them both stars and friends. Rap Monster said, “BTS is the group that has seen the most benefits of media. If you broadcast live on Naver V app, like how you can watch it in real-time and high-definition in Brazil, I think it’s an environment where one can be active all over the world and not just in Korea”. Senior K-pop idols let the world know about their music through YouTube and communicate with global fans through SNS. They chose the method that builds their fandoms.
“Before our debut, I went to a senior singer’s concert together with Suga, Jungkook, and J-Hope. It took place at the Seoul Olympic Gymnastics Arena, and our way back, everyone agreed, “If you perform in that kind of place, I wouldn’t have any regrets even if I die.” But then, we actually performed there in May. Strangely, it became a reality.”(Rap Monster)
At the beginning of their debut, Suga, Rap Monster, and J-Hope mainly worked on producing songs. All of the members took part in their recent album. The words “we gain inspiration from each other” do not seem to be out of obligation. Maknae (youngest) Jungkook said, “Since all the hyungs work on songs, I naturally follow and learn from them.” Jimin said, “The hyungs made me feel that making music is fun.”
BTS’ songs are a series of storytelling. They released albums in series like the ‘school trilogy’ and ‘youth trilogy’ and made them themed around the youth’s stories. They covered subjects like ‘school violence’, ‘entrance exam’, and ‘spine breaker’ and not just the beautiful parts of youth. Suga said, “We put in effort in order to tell stories that friends of similar ages can relate to and stories that they can think about together. Our songs include the youth’s pain, insecurities, and things about the current social conditions the youth think about that are wrong.”
“(I’m) extremely split between sleeping more or doing other things. I could sleep 5 hours today but would it be better if I cleaned my room for an hour and only sleep 4 hours? Ah, I need to diet to, it’s a concern (for me).”
– ‘Bangtan Bombs’ in this article is referring to how BTS exploded over the internet but is a pun to the Youtube videos they post.
– 밀당 in the headline means to ‘push and pull’, often used when flirting or ‘playing hard to get’.)
Summary & Trans by ARMY Base | @bangtanitl
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