Artist You Should Know: BTS
Do you ever sit and think that wherever you are right now – whether you're reading this in Los Angeles or New York, London or Australia, China or Brazil – there is an enormous world surrounding you? Travel for miles in either direction and you will find somewhere new, explore something you've never even conceived of before, discover something totally unique.
In music, we all have our favorite artists and playlists of our favorite songs; but at any time, you could go discover something brand new. That's what we did with our latest artist you should know: BTS, a seven-member Korean pop sensation blazing up the worldwide charts.
Pop music is massively beloved all around the world, but there is no place on Earth that loves pop like South Korea. In Korea, pop stars are held to such high esteem that they are seen as godlike figures with voices descended straight from the heavens. K-Pop masters Big Bang paved trails, much like US acts like Backstreet Boys and N'Sync. Now the path that Big Bang laid down, BTS blazes down, kicking up fire and dirt in their wake.
BTS's second full length album, Wings, charted at No. 26 on the Billboard 200 in 2015 – the highest ranking for a K-Pop album ever. Their online presence is extraordinary; their tweets often rake in 5 million retweets and in June 2017, TIME included BTS as one of 25 of the most influential 'people' on the Internet. These guys are like if One Direction were interested in making genre-spanning, bilingual pop-electronica music.
Their sound can be described as very stylized pop with heavy influences from electronic artists like Calvin Harris, DJ Snake and Avicii. Some of these songs bump, with rattling bass and hectic drums popping all over the place. Some build and rise before an epic drop like an EDM song should. All of the songs are highly energetic and could easily soundtrack a workout.
"Not Today" is the kind of song that makes you feel like you could run through a brick wall. From the opening moments, the song has you captivated. There is a Braveheart-esque speech before the song breaks into a super catchy hip-hop beat. There are some awesome verses dropped, before the hook leads into an unstoppable chorus. The song feels massive. It's easy to see why these guys are such a big deal across the world. They have countless styles and attributes that make them stars.
"Dope" goes in so many directions and stays interesting from start to finish. BTS sounds like The Chainsmokers at the beginning, followed by a Martin Garrix style drop; then it features some crazy rap verses all over this thing. The most wild thing about this group is that they can do anything, including sound like Ludacris, Chris Brown and Skepta all in the same song. And all in Korean. This song will keep you fascinated from the first second.
Let's take a moment to talk about these music videos. These things are big budget action movies condensed into about six minutes. The cost of producing one of these videos must be astronomical. There are special effects, outrageous production value and impressive direction. Each video also has amazing choreography just to add to the skill set of each member. Oh, and did I mention that each music video averages about 200 million views? That's unheard of in K-Pop.
These guys have incredible style and are often reminiscent of One Direction wearing Japanese street wear or Justin Bieber if he was Korean and there were seven of him. BTS truly is conquering the world of Korean pop music, and the pop world in general. Based on their trajectory, they will just keep getting bigger and bigger. So why not say you knew about them before then?
It's a big world out there, go explore it. There's so much more to discover. Millions of artists are releasing music worldwide, all you have to do is listen.