Korean Pop Music is now more global than ever, thanks to BTS and its massive ARMY of fans. And yes, we say ‘ARMY’ because their loyal and devoted fans actually call themselves the ‘ARMY’, standing for ‘Adorable Representative MC for Youth’.
If you haven’t heard of BTS, or KPOP even, there’s a high chance you’re living under a rock. BTS, or also known as Bangtan Boys, Beyond The Scene and Bangtan Sonyeondan, is a world-wide famous boy band that started early in 2010. Their debut album was released in 2013, which was considered as a ‘moderate success’.
With their vocal synchronization, dance routines and attractive personalities, their popularity rapidly grew and gained more and more fans by the year. During this time, entertainment agencies and music enthusiasts knew this wasn’t just a ‘moderate successful’ band, but a global phenomenon.
Today, they are now loved by millions across the globe, with their official Twitter account having 19 million followers and an Instagram account with almost 17 million followers. To top it all off, they won the 2019 TIME 100 Reader Poll, making it their 2nd consecutive win for such a prestigious award.
Why BTS is Loved by Millions
Aside from having good looks and all the nature of fame that goes with it, they also have a mission to promote self-acceptance. They use their platform well by addressing sensitive social topics, most especially mental health.
Being a global sensation that they are, they were invited to address the United Nations last September 2018. This made them the first ever K-Pop group to be invited on such a momentous occasion. The speech that came from the leader, Kim Nam Jun basically is about loving one’s self. He had this to say,
“I would look up at the night sky in wonder and dream the dreams of a boy. I used to imagine that I was a superhero, saving the world”
“Looking back, that’s when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes. I stopped looking up at the stars at night. I stopped daydreaming. I tried to jam myself into moulds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name, and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I, we, all lost our names. We became like ghosts.”
“I had one sanctuary, and that was music. There was a small voice in me that said, ‘Wake up, man, and listen to yourself!” But it took me a long time to hear music calling my name.”
“But I am still an ordinary, twenty-four-year-old guy. If there’s anything that I’ve achieved, it was only possible because I had my other BTS members by my side, and because of the love and support of our ARMY fans”
“Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. I am who I am today, with all my faults. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser, and that’s me, too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I was, who I am, and who I hope to become.”
“So, let’s all take one more step. We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to “speak yourself.”
If you heard even just one song from the boy band, the lyrics really radiates positivity, focusing on vulnerability and self-love. Unlike American pop music, which we already know is more about sex, drugs, hate, having fun, and love, all mixed together to embody its modern pop music.
Maybe it’s not all that bad, and yes, the K-pop music industry isn’t all rainbows and angels either as some people might think it is. Just recently, some of the most beloved K-pop artists were called out for their involvement on some sexual scandals.
That being said, maybe it’s not all about the music industry as a whole. Maybe it’s all about the artists and how they promote themselves to the world. Of course, let us not forget about the audience and the undying loyalty of their fans. Maybe that’s why the BTS fandom is growing more and more each day.