Refreshing, upbeat, and charming are words that can be hard to apply to a band, but there is one that has caught the attention of the world. BTS is the boyband that you will become obsessed with, just as I have. Consisting of seven undoubtedly gorgeous men, they are the Korean band that are slowly working their way up to world domination and, believe me, I am not exaggerating. Back in May, they beat Justin Bieber along with Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, and Shawn Mendes at the Billboard Music Awards with over 300 million votes, winning them the title of Top Social Artist.
Although K-Pop may not be the most beloved musical genre of the Western world, BTS is here to change that. In short, they’re good, extremely good. Not only are their songs incredibly well-produced, with flawless vocals and faultless rap, their performances are pristine with routines choreographed down to the step. They’re creative in their music videos, socially awake (or as the kids say, “woke”) with their lyrics and wholesomely humble as people, shedding tears when they receive awards they undoubtedly deserve.
Their origins begin with Big Hit Entertainment auditions and the search for a boy band that would, like many try and fail to do, capture the hearts of the public. In 2012, BTS was formed. The acronym has many meanings and has been translated from the Korean “Bangtan Sonyeondan” into “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”, but they are also known as Beyond the Scene.
Since their formation, they have been relentlessly producing music, with at least one album or mini-album a year. Until this year, their success has been limited to Asia, although they have appeared and headlined K-Cons in New York, Los Angeles, and Paris. Their turning point came with the release of their second full length album, Wings. This was marked by winning Artist of the Year at the MNET Asian Music Awards. With this accolade and the many others they have been given, BTS never forget their fans which they dub as the Army. It is worth noting that the Billboard award was voted for by these fans, making the group the first Korean group to win a BBMA.
They quickly began breaking records after this win. With it, BTS became the first K-Pop group to make it onto the U.S. iTunes top 10, the Billboard top 100, and the global 50 on Spotify. Their American debut was at the AMAs and with appearances due on Ellen and the Late Late Show with James Corden soon, they’re set to take the West by storm.
This endearing group is a breath of fresh air, not only because of their boundless musical creativity that sews together rap and melody so seamlessly, but because all of them are so loveable. Talented, enchanting, and bewitching, it’s exceptionally hard not to adore them.
The leader of the group is Rap Monster. Being fluent in English, he does most of the talking during interviews but they all have their say when RM translates the questions posed by interviewers. He raps with Suga and J-Hope. The other four members consist of Jungkook, Jimin (who is my personal favourite), V and Jin. They have had several reality TV shows and are incredibly devoted to the group, spending extended periods of time away from family and friends.
They never fail when it comes to style and being artistic. In their early days, they adopted a “tough boy” look with dark colours, ripped jeans, and hoodies. Now as they have evolved into K-Pop stars, they have become more expressive. They dress cleanly and look amazing at every event they attend, and don’t shy away from using make-up and dyeing their hair. This dreaminess features in their beautiful music videos that are mesmerising. One of the most alluring and stunning is ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’. The Alice in Wonderland-esque sets are fantastical and the boys seduce you with piercing eyes and captivating choreography.
The commitment they have for what they create is unwavering. The music they write is everything to them and this is especially prominent in the subject matters they deal with. They don’t shy away from topics such as mental health, obsession, pressured youth, and the ideals of society. ‘Pied Piper’ even addresses how their fanbase has put them on a pedestal, worshipping them as flawless idols. Their lyrics read “Stop, interpret the music video later. You have so many pictures of me in your room anyway. It’s not just one hour, it’s one or two years that will flash by.” This theme of misguided youth is also featured in ‘Go Go’ from their latest album Love Yourself: Her. The song looks at hedonistic lifestyles that modern day youth lead.
Creativity and imagination flows from their music videos which also highlight issues that affect their young demographic. ‘Save Me’ sees the boys find solace in the friendships that they have outside of their troublesome lives, dealing with domestic and substance abuse, reckless behaviour and mental health problems. This delivers the message to their fans that they are not alone in their struggles and worries. ‘Not Today’ urges their listeners not to give up and motivates them to keep going whilst ‘Burning Up (Fire)’ reassures that everyone is human and it’s possible to shed your fears.
This ties in with their recent campaign with UNICEF. Named LOVE MYSELF, its aim to make the world a better place for children and teenagers all around the world. This campaign reflects the beliefs of the band. Their home audience of young Koreans are incredibly pressured to perform academically.South Korea has one of the highest suicide rates among those in their teens and twenties,so BTS’s participation in this campaign is particularly significant.
BTS have struck a chord with me ever since I discovered them. They possess a quality that I think has been missing from music;humbleness. Everything they do, whether it’s interviews or performing, they do with the utmost passion. You can see how much awards mean to them and how hard they have worked to get where they are today. They have given up any sense of normality for an all-consuming career. No matter if it’s a performance or a documentary following them, their one goal is to create and share. They do all of this for their fans. Not once have they forgotten the Army and all the support they have given them. They want to see their followers grow and flourish with them as they move towards becoming the biggest pop sensation in the world.
BTS aren’t just making music, they’re inciting a revolution in our generation which bows under the pressure of work and expectations. They see our struggles and address them in the most motivating and reassuring way. They’re urging their fans that they can conquer anything, urging them on. This is one of their most lovable traits. With this, BTS should (and probably will) become your next obsession and they deserve every ounce of your love.