South Korean pop group BTS has made waves since first crossing over into the US music scene in 2018.
The seven-member group is now gearing up for the release of a new album – their ninth overall – with their eye on Billboard’s Hot 100 and finally a Grammy Award in 2021.
Sitting down with WSJ. Magazine, the boy band opened up about their plans for the future after being named the 2020 Music Innovator.
BTS: South Korean pop group BTS has been named WSJ. Magazine’s 2020 Music Innovator. The seven-member boy band sat down and discussed their new album and ultimate goals for a Grammy in a new interview
The electric group formed in 2010 after group leader RM, 26, sat down with Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Si-hyuk and put together a boy band.
As of 2012 the band now consists of RM, J-Hope, 26, JungKook, 23, Jimin, 25, Jin, 27, Suga, 27, and V, 24.
With a legion of loyal fans dubbed their ARMY – Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth – the group has garnered a tremendous following, which has helped catapult them to the top of the US charts.
Taking to the stage at many coveted award shows and collaborating with heavy hitters like Halsey, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Nicki Minaj and Charlie Puth, the band’s future seems to be unstoppable.
ARMY: With a band of loyal fans dubbed their ARMY – Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth – the group has garnered a tremendous following, which has helped catapult them to the top of the US charts
Painstaking process: ‘[Writing songs] takes a long time for me…So it hurts, body and soul, when I have to throw one away,’ says RM, 26
Striving for greatness: ‘In the past, we had clear goals and a thirst. We had to do well—we were desperate,’ said JungKook
Despite their current success the group says they are always striving for more.
‘In the past, we had clear goals and a thirst. We had to do well—we were desperate,’ said member JungKook.
‘I still have a similar mindset. It’s the achievements we’ve made every step of the way that are prompting me to want to challenge myself more,’ he continued.
In spite of what appears to be an unstoppable future, the Coronavirus pandemic put a major wrench in their plans for a 17 city international tour.
Record breaking: The group – which sings almost entirely in Korean – broke the record for most views on YouTube in 24 hours with 100M views, and also broke the Guiness World Record for biggest virtually attended livestream music performance.
Research matters: Rapper J-Hope describes his process as very research-heavy when it comes to writing songs. ‘I first study the topic and think about what story I need to tell and what kind of content it should encompass,’ he said
Undeniable: ‘That feeling [of being onstage] is really the best thrill I probably get in life. Even if I leave one day, I think I’ll be back for this, said Jin
As the music industry learns to cope amid cancelled live events, BTS got creative and continued to perform virtually, ultimately breaking the Guinness World Record for biggest virtually attended livestream music performance.
Attracting fans from over 100 countries, they continue to build momentum as they look towards their new album despite the setbacks.
‘That feeling [of being onstage] is really the best thrill I probably get in life,’ said Jin, adding that even if he left the group he would likely come back as the rush of the crowd is addicting.
New album: ‘We’re preparing our next album now, [and I] think it’d be great if all our songs make it into Billboard’s Hot 100,’ said Jimin
In his feelings: V tends to be very introspective when it comes to his lyrics as he revealed he recently received a call where he was asked to ‘tone [it] down this a little’
Full throttle: Despite Jimin’s modesty about his hopes for a Grammy, bandmate Suga candidly interjected, ‘Just say you’d like to receive the award,’ as the group already picked up four MTV VMAs this past year
Additionally the band – which sings predominantly in Korean – recently won four MTV Video Music Awards this year, and shattered the record for most views on YouTube in 24 hours, racking up over 100M views.
With a new album on the horizon, the groundbreaking group have their eyes on a few prizes.
‘We’re preparing our next album now, [and I] think it’d be great if all our songs make it into Billboard’s Hot 100,’ said Jimin.
He continued, ‘Another performance at the Grammys would be great,’ before fellow bandmate Suga interjected, ‘Just say you’d like to receive the award.’
Video Music Awards: The group snatched up four MTV VMAs – a tremendous feat for any artist, notably a foreign group that sings predominantly in their native tongue; pictured Aug 30th at the VMAs