Being in the music business is tough. There is competition everywhere with new artists trying to be the next big thing. But recently there has been a new musical group that is sweeping the music charts in the United States. And the most interesting aspect of their music is that it is not even in English, but Korean.
This new musical group is BTS, which is Bangtan Sonyeondan in Korean and the literal translation is Bulletproof Boyscouts. In July they released a video promoting their new logo and group name in English, Beyond the Scene. They wanted to have their English name to go along with their acronym.
There are seven members in the group: Kim Namjoon, the leader and main rapper; Kim Seokjin, the vocalist and visual; Min Yoongi, the lead rapper; Jung Hoseok, dancer and also lead rapper; Park Jimin, lead vocalist and dancer, Kim Taehyung, vocalist and Jeon Jungkook, main vocalist, lead dancer, sub rapper and center. They first debuted on June 12, 2013, with the song “No More Dream,” which was about the recent generations focusing only on making money to make their parents happy instead of following their dreams.
When they first started out they had a gangster look. They all wore black with bandanas over their mouths and thick eyeliner. Their theme then changed to bad boys, schoolboys, casual then pastel, and currently they have a retro theme.
BTS has accomplished many things that no other K-Pop group before them has. They were the first K-Pop group to be nominated to receive an award at the Billboard Music Awards and the first to win an American award.
Billboard.com stated, “BTS continues to push where no K-pop act has gone before with a debut in the top ten of the Billboard 200 album chart.” BTS’s new album, Love Yourself: Her, debuted as number seven on the charts. “BTS earns both the highest-charting album ever on the Billboard 200 by a K-pop act, and the genre’s biggest sales week,” said Billboard.com. The new album has 11 tracks in total, but two of the tracks are ‘secret tracks’ and are only available if you have the album. The other nine tracks can be heard on Spotify, Apple Music, or any other media form. The album consists of “Intro: Serendipity,” “DNA,” “Best of Me,” “dimple,” “Pied Piper,” “Skit: Billboard Music Award Speech,” “MIC Drop,” “Go Go” and “Outro: Her.”
Both “Serendipity” and “DNA” have music videos on YouTube with “Serendipity” having over 32 million views and “DNA” having more than 81 million views. The other songs do not have music videos to accompany them, but are still great songs. “Best of Me” was a song collaboration with US music duo The Chainsmokers. It has a soft EDM-esque Chainsmokers tune to it, but the vocals that accompany the song make it better. Like many of BTS’s songs, it has the theme of love and being with your significant other. “Skit: Billboard Music Award Speech” is the speech that Kim Namjoon, or stage name Rap Monster, gave when BTS won the award for Top Social Artist at the Billboard Music Awards. He thanks the fans, which are called ARMY, for voting for them and supporting them and thanks the U.S. for making them a nominee to receive the award.
BTS had charted number 26 before with their 2016 album, WINGS, and was previously the highest-charting K-pop album as well as the group that had the most album sales for their genre. They beat their own record this year with Love Yourself: Her and these two albums have been the only K-pop albums that have been in the top 40 in the Billboard charts.
Along with charting on Billboard, they have also received many awards both in Korea and internationally. At the Melon Music Awards, they won the award for New Artist of the Year in 2013, the Best Male Dance in 2015, Album of the Year in 2016 and Top 10 Artists in 2016. At the Mnet Asian Music Awards, they won the Best World Performer award in 2015 and Best Dance Performance-Male Group and the Hotels Combined Artist of the Year Award in 2016; this only a few of the awards that they have received. During their time as music artists, they have been nominated to receive 87 awards and have won 50 of those nominations.