Gwyneth Katker

The Korean boy band BTS (standing for Bangtan Boys), is made up of seven members. They are the next big thing and are gaining followers by the minute.

Manya Garg, Reporter

If you are a teenager and are unfamiliar to the planet’s top band – BTS – you have been living under a rock for the past few years. Bangtan Boys, or more commonly known as BTS, is a boy band from South Korea. The seven members of the band: RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, diligently work on their music and performances. Unlike the popular romance genre, their songs discuss subjects like bullying, elitism, and mental health. And their work has shown its outcome. BTS has broken innumerable records. To count a few, they were the first K-pop group to speak at the United Nations; performed the first Korean act on a US stadium show; appeared twice in the Guinness World Records; and have spent the longest time at the top of the US’s Billboard Social 50 chart. 


Along with their catchy beats and impressive dance moves, the internet facilitated BTS’s popularity and success. In this age of globalization, thousands of cultures interact and share their music, customs, and ideals. Specifically, K-Pop’s reach around the world is part of Hallyu, or the “Korean Wave,” which is the global popularity of South Korea’s cultural economy. Consequently, BTS derived success from Youtube and social media platforms which allowed millions of people around the world to recognize them.


Shahana Nizar, an IB sophomore, recounts her experience, “I discovered BTS through my friend, who happened to play their song. She told me it was ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ by BTS. So I researched more about them and discovered more interesting and catchy songs, and became a fan.”


They have a colossal fan following. Their millions of supporters introduce themselves as “ARMY” which is an acronym for “Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth.” It is said to be “the world’s most powerful fandom.” These members are loyal and dedicated to BTS, and some of them even stream the band’s songs and videos repeatedly to keep their idols at the top of the music charts. One can argue that the reason behind the band’s success is their fans. They have ensured that BTS has the most influential account on twitter, with 19.4 million followers. BTS also has 23.7 million on Instagram. These fans cast an unbelievable 300 million online votes to ensure that BTS won their Billboard award.


Another student in SHS, Fatema Khaki, describes the ARMY, “I’m part of the ARMY because I appreciate the authenticity and meaning of their songs. They have special meanings that are heartfelt and catchy! I think that many of the people that are in the ARMY are because of how authentic the members are. Of course, they hide some things behind the screen, but they are very open about other topics in the world as well. They just wanted to sell tickets for a 20,000 seat concert and now they’re known globally! They inspire hard work and compassion, and I really appreciate them for that!”


BTS’s new song Dynamite premiered on youtube on August 20, 2020. This euphoric, late-summer bop was their comeback song, and we can say it was a successful one. According to BTS, the song was “wasn’t planned at all.” ‘Dynamite’ was one of the songs in the new album they had been working on since January. However, they loved the uplifting energy of it and decided to share it early. The meaning behind their first english song is to soothe listeners around the world who had a hard year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. RM explains that they wanted to convey a special message to the ARMY, “It’s about all the little things that make life truly valuable and special. It’s just about positive energy and the stars at night, the beautiful things.” And Jungkook wants the song to be “healing and therapeutic” to make people happy. With such positive intentions and bright visuals, the song crushed many records: it got 101.1 million views in 24 hours, which is the biggest YouTube premiere for a music video ever. Dynamite also debuted at No. 1 on Spotify’s daily Global Top 50 chart, so now BTS holds the title for the biggest Spotify debut of 2020. BTS also became the artist with the most iTunes No. 1s. 


Nizar exclaims, “Their latest song is AMAZING! I really hoped they would do a full song in English so that I could sing along to the entire song rather than just parts of it. It’s a pop song, so that’s one of the reasons I really like it too.” 


The fact that this song is in English allowed it to reach newer heights and a wider audience. This made it their biggest chart success yet. However, Dynamite is released as a single, and BTS refuses to switch to English songs permanently because Korean is essential to their identity. 


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