In June of 2013, BTS ambitiously debuted with traditional hip hop swag, which is hard for idols to do. The 7 boys who asked, “What is your dream, punk?” stole the hearts of fangirls in a single breath. Their debut album, ‘2 COOL 4 SKOOL’, sold roughly 60,000 copies to record, and these boys became more powerful as time passed.
The second album, ‘Skool Luv Affair’, sold 100,000 copies to record. The continuously growing BTS released their first full length album, ‘DARK & WILD’, on August 20, 2014, 1 year and 2 months after their debut. With the title song, ‘I NEED U’, from their EP album, ‘HwaYangYeonHwa Pt.1’, released in April 2015, they won their very first No. 1 on a music show. Growing as a respectable top singer, they swept Daesangs at the year end music awards last year, drawing a proper growth curve. And they are now the proud, world dominating kids of Bang Sihyuk.
Q. How did you come to gather the current members?
“I honestly prefer people who are picky about what type of music they listen to over those who listen to a wide variety of genres. I listened to the music of a guy named Pdogg from Gimhae* and I immediately brought him to Seoul because I felt that he had listened to a lot of hip hop. Those who did hip hop with Rap Monster introduced me to him. After listening to Rap Monster’s music, I found him really good, even for my standards. I felt a sense of calling that I definitely had to debut him. The company management said that it was going to be hard to make it big if it wasn’t an idol route, so I decided to make idols who did hip hop. I met Suga through an audition and taught dancer Hoseok (J-hope) hip hop after taking him into the dorm. By forming the members in that way, the current BTS was created.”
*(T/N Gimhae is a city in South Korea)
Q. Please brag about the members
“It’s embarrassing to talk about each individual member, but they were able to get to this point because all of them have a passion for music. Their passion for music is enormous. Isn’t this is the duty of singers? All 7 members are very wise. They are also wise as a team. Each member knows exactly what role he plays in the team, and understands what he has to do. How can there be no fights when there are 7 men gathered together? However, whenever a conflict arises, they solve it as a team and not individually. They are praiseworthy, pure/innocent, and everyone is kind. They aren’t foolishly kind, but they don’t seem like celebrities to the point that it’s surprising. Friends with common sense and good will are [how I would describe] BTS’ Rap Monster, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, V, Jungkook, and Jimin. I am also surprised and often learn lots of things when I am with them.”
Q. Aside from the business side of things, you must personally be happy/proud to see them grow
“Because I met Rap Monster for the first time when he was in 9th grade, I have watched him for about 7~8 years now. I share the same emotions as the fans. Since he started training at such a young age and debuted, it’s fun to watch his personality change from when he was a trainee to now. Honestly, when Jungkook was a trainee, he could never sing when we asked him to do it. He would twist and fidget from shyness for 15 minutes. He was even evaluated by the company that he would be impossible to debut because he didn’t have any charm. But he has since become one of the beagle* members. All of their personalities have changed, except that of the oldest member, Jin. He is a very, very sensible person. He is a good guy who holds the other members in their place so that they don’t cross the line.”
*(T/N: Beagle is a term used to compare the hyperactive personality of the beagle dog to members who are also hyperactive and loud.)
Q. Is there something that you, as a company representative, would like to see from them?
“Musically, I would like them to continue what they are doing. I hope that they will continue to do music because they want to and enjoy it, not because it’s their job. I hope that they will grow to the point that they can do music as individual musicians in the future. Because, truthfully, there are members who cannot work on their own as of now. I want them to properly grow and continue to write sincere lyrics.”
Q. Do you drink with the members often?
“We did drink together to celebrate the youngest member, Jungkook, becoming an adult, but we don’t drink often. The members are not very good drinkers. Suga drinks the most out of all of them by how I, the heavy drinker, see it.. [I suspect that] one of the members made a mistake at a gathering so they are trying to drink less. But BTS’ schedule is always so busy, I hardly get to see them.”
Q. Any plans for a BTS unit and sibling group?
“Possibilities for any units within BTS are open. The members’ decisions and ideas are important. However, the members and I have decided to focus on the team for now. The possibilities of having a sibling group are being discussed within the company, but nothing has been decided yet. We do have quite a few trainees, but we aren’t sure what will become of them just yet. To clarify one thing, our company does not have any female trainees. I saw discussions of ‘BTS younger sister group’ on the internet, but we don’t have any female trainees.”
Q. BTS is occasionally mentioned as a role model among rookie idols
“Our musical advice for them would be to never lose their passion for music and to not forget how precious the existence of their fans are. Because they (fans) are that hard to keep. I personally don’t like the saying, ‘Don’t lose your original intention’. Shouldn’t you receive better treatment when you progress? After all, that is why you grow. As long as they don’t lose their musical passion, and don’t forget their gratitude to the people who have helped them become successful, I think that they will all do well. Especially because fans support their idols with their lives.”
Q. You must be very thankful to the ARMY fandom
“Amongst the international fandoms, the US fandom is the largest. However, globally, the tendencies of the fandoms are the same. They are surprisingly non-aggressive and they think a lot about the public’s opinion. It seems as if they all act together as a group under a common denominator called BTS and behave nicely, so I am proud. The members and the company also fit well together. Although they are called ARMY, they aren’t aggressive. Also, if you look at the overall demographic of fans, there are more male fans (than average). This is also one of our prideful points.”
Q. Is there an ultimate goal or big picture you have?
“I’m not the type to think up things like that. I merely try my best for each task at hand. I want to show the fans that BTS are constantly growing. The members think that way too. Their growth will eventually stop at some point, but I will try my best to ensure that does not happen. I would like for BTS to continue growing until they enlist, but only God will know what happens after that. They have yet to reach the summit (of success). This is just the beginning. We have to work harder.”
Q. If you could say something to the fans on behalf of the members?
“BTS making it this far is 100% the strength of the fans. BTS and I simply do music the way we want because it’s our job, but the love of the fans have enabled us to reach this point. We will continue to make fans our #1 priority as we create more music, so I hope you will continue loving BTS. Thank you and thank you again.”
Trans by ARMY Base | @bangtanitl
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