It happened while I was hoping for my semester break to arrive. I was eagerly waiting for my exams to be over. Finally, I was done with my exams, and there was a long vacation ahead of me. I was so excited to visit my family who lived in a small town far away from Dhaka.
When I went back to my home, I found my younger sister listening to some unknown songs, and as per my inquiry, she told me that those were songs by a Korean boy-band BTS. Right then, I had no clue about any (Korean Popular Music) K-POP groups or what BTS was or what KPOP actually was. So she told me about them and I just mocked her that those songs had nothing interesting to offer and even the language was not comprehensible. She just said nothing and suggested me some songs of BTS. On YouTube, I searched for their songs. After listening to one song, I found that these songs were not as boring as I had thought. Then I kept on searching and watching many of their music videos. Slowly, I was getting into the songs of the band; it was as if I was spellbound by a powerful magic. In fact, my attachment to BTS gradually became quite stronger and I became one of their die-hard fans.
However, I kept on surfing the internet about BTS and got to know about their background stories. I have come to know that BTS stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan in Korean language or “Beyond the Scene” or “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. BTS has been described as “the biggest and most successful name in K-pop in the world”. BTS consists of 7 members; Kim Namjoon (RM), Min Yoongi (Suga), Kim Seok Jin, Jon Hoseok(J-hope), Park Jimin, Kim Taehyung (V), Jeon Jungkook. It is a group of three rappers and four vocalists. Not all of them belong to a wealthy family; instead some of them have come from the middle class background. But through their hard work they gained their position in the K-pop industry and also achieved huge fame throughout the world. Their music is not just music; they are enriched with art, literature and perfection. They are well known for their flaming performances, complex choreography and moving lyrics. They keep on inspiring us to love ourselves and to follow our dreams. They have taught us what unity is and what team work actually means. They show the other side of reality which the YOUTH are facing in today’s world and also give suggestions what to do to protect the values and ideals of young people. At the beginning of their journey they had no fame; rather they were criticized as that they couldn’t even sing. But now, they have extremely dedicated fans worldwide. They named their fans as “ARMY”.
In their songs, one may find words related with love, romance and all but actually they have deeper meanings with relevant social issues. Like in “Go-go” there is indication about wasting money on parties and other luxurious stuff. In “21st Century Girls”, they provoke the women of our society to go ahead. In “Not Today” they share their own experiences of their journey from an unknown to a well-known.
BTS also made history when their member, RM gave a speech at the United Nations last year. He spoke about his hardships as a young person trying to find himself, and encouraged young people to find their inner voice.
Now, on the other side of the spectrum, we can find another scenario. With the best “fans” come the worst haters. For BTS, they have a huge number of fans and also a huge number of haters. There are many people who don’t even regard their songs as “SONGS”. They call them “UGLY”; they say that the members of the band wear loads of makeup; their songs are full of nonsense lines and so on. But one can argue by saying that, everyone wears makeup in the media world. Every actor/actress/singer/dancer wears makeup. There has definitely been a positive shift towards acceptance in terms of who can wear makeup and the stigma around it and it is a significant example of how the world is changing.
And about their songs? – I’ll leave it to the readers by quoting one of the BTS members (Suga): “You’ll like BTS music, if you listen without prejudice!”
3rd year 2nd semester