“It might seem like things have come to a standstill, but we have to keep moving forward. Even in the face of this new normality, our life goes on”. This is the message South Korean boyband BTS — comprising RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook — wants to give with their new music. And they surely are practising what they preach. Even as the world came to a halt amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the K-pop septet kept making music and churning out content to distract their fans from the gloomy reality of 2020. They topped music charts around the world, set records, spoke at the UN General Assembly, released a video game… All during an unprecedented crisis. Probably that’s why they are called the biggest boyband in the world right now.
Titled BE, their latest album is expected to be the most “BTS-ish” yet. Speaking to media at their global press conference today, Jin said that they wanted to address the feelings of “emptiness, confusion, frustration and sadness”, which would resonate with everyone in the current times, in an “honest way”. The album expresses their emotions as the world grapples with coronavirus, the fear and uncertainty a universal experience. The title track, quite aptly named Life Goes On, hopes to comfort the listener in the face of abrupt disruption of our routines.
“We hope to give our listeners the message that we can endure this, find happiness in our lives, and that life goes on,” Jin said, echoing their lyrics “Like an echo in the forest, the day will come back around”. J-Hope added that “it was fun to present their unadorned selves, just as people in their twenties, and not the BTS you see on the stage”.
On the subject of their musical process, group leader RM said,” What can we say now? What should we say now? That’s where it all starts.”
While BTS is known to self-produce their music, with several members being prolific lyricists and composers, the group shares that they went a step ahead with this album. The group members were directly involved in every facet of the album creation process — music, concept, composition, design, etc. In fact, their youngest member Jungkook, who has always expressed an interest in wielding the camera, is credited as director for the title song’s music video.
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Also included in the album BE is their latest single, Dynamite, their first-ever English track which made them the first Korean act to stay on the top of Billboards Hot 100 for two consecutive weeks. The song received love from Indian celebrities such as actor Tiger Shroff and dancer-actor Lauren Gottlieb, who posted videos of themselves dancing to the peppy number.
Answering a question about BTS’ goals for the future, Jin mentioned hopes for a Grammy nomination. The septet has attended Grammys as the first K-pop act to present awards (in 2019) and perform (in 2020) at the ceremony. While they made history as the first K-pop act nominated for Best Recording Package in 2019 (for Love Yourself: Tear album), they are yet to be nominated in a musical category at the Grammys.
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