K-Pop fan or not, by now you may have heard of international K-Pop sensation BTS. Still doesn’t ring a bell? Allow us to enlighten you.
Who are BTS?
Bangtan Boys (방탄소년단 Bangtan Sonyeondan),also known as BTS, have been breaking chart records and winning over fans worldwide. Their popularity is partly powered by their huge social media presence and socially aware songs. In 2016, BTS were the most-retweeted artist on Twitter and now boast over 8 million followers, 4 million YouTube subscribers and 5 million fans on Facebook.
The seven members – Rap Monster, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, Jimin, V and Jung Kook – deliver an extremely catchy and polished mix of Pop, R&B and Hip-Hop songs.
Why all the fuss?!
With a massive following established across Asia, 2017 has already been quite an eventful year for BTS with the release of their fourth studio album, You Will Never Walk Alone. The album has conquered multiple charts around the world and allowed the boys to bag their first Billboard Award for Top Social Artist in May, ending Justin Bieber’s six-year winning streak (take that Biebs!).
With their latest mini album, Love Yourself: 承 ‘Her’ and its title track “DNA”, BTS are now spending an impressive second week on the Billboard World Albums chart, Hot 100 chart, Streaming Song charts and UK radio stations are starting to take note.
Where did they come from?
The Bangtan Boys’ career has recently skyrocketed, but they’re no overnight success.
Emerging from BigHit Entertainment Company stable (imagine Simon Cowell’s Syco but turned up to 11) in June 2013, BTS released the rap track “No More Dream” from their debut EP 2 Cool 4 Skool and became the voice of the Korean youth. Their music addressed issues about teenage struggles and the pressures of looming adulthood.
But it was only in 2015, with “I Need You” that BTS started making waves in the wider K-pop scene and helped spread Hallyu (the Korean cultural wave) overseas.
With the start of what fans would identify as the “‘The Most Beautiful Moment In Life” era (in reference to the names of the band’s third and fourth mini albums), the individual members showcased their skills not just as performers but also songwriters and producers on multiple singles. BTS’ most prolific member, Rap Monster, has penned over 60 songs and collaborated with some of Korea’s most respected Hip-Hop artists.
The power of the ARMY
BTS have always credited their devoted fans, known as ARMY (Adorable Representative MCs for Youth), for their growing success. Over the years, BTS has cultivated and nurtured a special relationship with millions of ARMY members around the world, using social media to reveal their personalities and share intimate moments.
So, will BTS produce music in English to widen their audience? The answer is a firm no.
The band have committed to stay true to their heritage, believing that if they’re going to gain further international recognition, it should be as a K-pop band that speaks for their generation. Kudos to them.
While we “WOW” at Love Yourself: 承 ‘Her’ and decide what colour we should dye our hair, check out the band’s new album on Deezer.