Saturday, 31 December 2016

[Article] 161227 BTS's successful growth as the "Daesang Boy Scouts"

They swept the "Album of the Year & Artist of the Year" awards at Melon and Mnet.

In just two months "WINGS" records 710,000 sales.
They receive great responses from Billboard and Youtube

Their tickets for Gocheok Dome concert in February 2017 are sold out
Even the tickets for North and South America "WINGS" tours are sold out

Idol group BTS's dream became a reality. BTS won the "Album of the Year" and "Artist of the Year" awards which are equivalent to the Daesangs at this year's Melon Music Awards and Mnet Asia Music Awards, now they're the "Daesang Boy Scouts". Their achievement shines brighter because they have won these awards in just 3 years since their debut and they are not from a big company. They are the first artist from a company other than the big 3 entertainment companies like SM, YG or JYP to win the MAMA Daesang.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

[Article] 161203 [2016 MAMA③] BTS gives dream and hope with "Blood Sweat & Tears"

Boy group BTS who is receiving love and attention from Billboard and other music charts hit their peak by winning the Daesang.

BTS won the "Artist of the Year" award which is one of the three Daesangs of "2016 MAMA"which was held on 2nd December evening in Hong Kong AWE. When actress Ha Jiwon who was the presenter of the award saw the card that had the name of the winning team, she looked convinced by the name written on the card. That was probably how we all felt. BTS gradually sang about the youth and now they represent the youth.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

[Article] 161119 [Interview①] Bang Sihyuk, "When I see fans crying while watching music videos.. that's when I really realize the power of BTS"

Korea is not the only stage for BTS. They've put their name for the third time on the US Billboard Chart which measures the worldwide popularity of pop music and they also penetrated into the conservative UK's main album chart. They ranked No.1 on iTunes Album Chart in 23 countries including China, USA, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Norway and Taiwan. It's not easy to understand the unstoppable parade of this 4-year-old group when you look at the stale "KPOP Craze".

BTS has built a solid global fandom and Bighit Entertainment CEO Bang Sihyuk is behind them. He is a hitmaker who produced perfect ballad songs which touched the listener's heart like 2AM's "Can't let you go even if I die" and Baek Jiyoung's "Like being hit by a bullet", BTS didn't start off easily from the beginning. Since BTS is a group with two keywords "Hip Hop" and "idol", it wasn't easy for them to be recognized from both fields. People were biased against them and called them "Idol group that do hip hop music" and this itself created a high entry barrier.

Friday, 18 November 2016

[Article] 161118 [XP Interview①] Bang Sihyuk, "BTS is not a "miracle" or "luck"."

If you ask "Which boy group recorded the most rapid growth this year" to any Gayo promoters, 8 to 9 out of 10 would answer "BTS" (Rap Monster, Suga, Jin, J Hope, Jimin, V, Jungkook) and mention Bighit Entertainment. BTS released their second full album "WINGS" on October 10th. The album and the songs received favorable reviews and achieved good results from Youtube, Itunes Chart and many other charts. It looks like they've built a fine bridgehead to extend their popularity from Korea to worldwide.

Bighit Entertainment CEO Bang Sihyuk is behind BTS's achievements. He was one of the influential producers who produced hit songs like god's "Friday Night", Baek Jiyoung's "Like Being Hit By A Bullet" and 2AM's "Can't Let You Go Even If I Die". He successfully created an outstanding boy group, BTS. In the KPOP industry where one can't survive unless you're from the top companies, the result brought by Bighit's first boy group "BTS" is indeed encouraging.

Bighit Entertainment CEO Bang Sihyuk sat down for an interview with Xports to talk about the behind story of creating BTS and the changes he noticed in the KPOP industry in his years as a producer, and he also revealed his final goal and dream as a producer.

Question and answer session with Bang Sihyuk.

◈ BTS achieved good result with "Blood Sweat & Tears"
- Although I didn't expect their second full album "WINGS" to achieve good results, I also don't think they achieved these results only because they were lucky. The members have been taking a step at a time and the result of their constant growth is finally revealing to the public. The members will continue to show their improvements and I would like to thank everyone who gives them overflowing love and interest.

◈ What was the background and the priority behind creating BTS?
- I decided to create BTS at the beginning because of leader Rap Monster. I thought of making a hip hop group after watching Rap Monster's rap. I wanted to take a step further than a simple hip hop idol. I thought the members had to be able to talk about their own story. These thoughts continued to apply on BTS's music and it still hasn't changed. I wanted the group members to personally participate in composing and writing their own songs of course and also to produce and direct their own stage as well. We're gradually working to achieve these goals.

◈ We'd like to know if there were any Bang Sihyuk's philosophy or belief when you were casting the members.
- Before BTS's debut, I made a promise with the members. I told them as long as they trust in their teams' potential and do their best in their position, I would help them to become a team who will be recognized as producers. The members believed in my words and I did my best to keep my words. This didn't only apply before their debut, I have not forgotten this even now and I will continue to keep this belief in the future as well.

◈ This might be a typical question but what do you think is the secret behind BTS's success in Korea? 
- It's the fact that they express relatable contemporary story. They don't make common love songs, instead, they interpret the worries and uneasiness of youths with the unique voices of BTS and I believe this is why people like them. And I would like to add, in the same context as creating relatable music, I think the friendly images of BTS members is also another reason. I also think the members' trying hard to communicate and interact with their fans is another reason.

◈ If so, could you say that the current BTS's fandom corresponds to the target you had while creating the group?
- As I've said before, BTS mainly singings songs about contemporary story. BTS members made use of SNS to interact with fans who are similar to their age.

◈ People often say "Miracle of small company" when they describe BTS. Do you like this statement or do you feel uncomfortable?
- I don't pay much attention to develop feelings like "like" or "hate" to this matter. However, when I consider the size of our firm and the number of employees we had at their debut, objectively I do think "small company" is true. But the expression "miracle" sounds nice when to hear it but I think it's a word that puts a limit to many people. BTS will undoubtedly grow bigger but regardless of our company's size, I think our company should keep debuting great bands and help them grow bigger than BTS. So I don't want to put a limit on the value of this moment with the word "miracle".

◈ The first thing that comes to our mind when we think of BTS is their "series" albums, the albums they release with one concept. What is the story behind this series project?
- The reason behind starting the series project was simple. It's because we couldn't include all the stories BTS members wanted to express in just one album. The biggest interest of teenagers are dream and happiness and their story wasn't simple enough to express in just one album so that was why we produced school trilogy. Also,  we believed it wasn't possible to express the beauty and uneasiness of youths in a short story. Even the lives of individuals can't be explained in one section, isn't it?

◈ BTS's concept has strong novel-like creativity. Does this reflect the preference of their main producer?
- I personally enjoy watching romance comics and romance movies. However, BTS's concepts don't reflect my preferences. It's the result produced by the staffs' continuous planning. I believe we were able to create a synergy effect thanks to BTS members understanding the concept well and expressing it properly. 

Original article here
Response +940

1. I still can't forget his  "기쒄을 제압해~" ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ +1686 -81

2. I heard that he even filmed the video to recruit members of BTS. I respect your passion. +1441 -98

3. I think he's a great person the more I see him. Bringing together the 7 members together explains... +1444 -147

4. Cool Bang PD-nim has eyes to find the gems. Thank you for creating BTS. Please help BTS to become bigger★♥♥♥♥♥★ +1070 -118

5. Bang PD-nim, you're really amazing!!!! Please continue to take good care of BTS oppas~ ^^ +1096 -137

6. I can see Bighit taking good care of BTS... Hitman Bang I love you ㅋㅋ +237 -16

7. Bighit has great planning and  initiating skills~~!! I hope you will prove those skills by suing the haters this time~~ +219 -18

8. This is why I like them. I don't listen to the typical love songs because I'm sick of them now but when I listen to BTS's music I can relate to their songs and they comfort me. At first, I had a prejudice against them because they were an idol group but now they're my favorite singers. I really love each and every song they make. +219 -19

9. I became their fan by searching them online after watching their performance ^^ I love their current skillfulness and I also like their older less refined moments♡ Bangtan mani mani♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡ +204 -15

10. 2, 3! BTS I love you and I respect you Bang Sihyuk PD-nim +194 -17

Monday, 7 November 2016

[Article] 161107 "Bangtan Bomb" on SNS... Push and pull worked with our global fans

It was a hectic one-month long parade. After releasing their second album "WINGS" on October 10th, seven-member idol group BTS shook US Billboard chart and many other international music charts. From overseas to Korea, their achievements were bigger than an actual victory. BTS was the first Korean singer to debut at #26 on "Billboard 200" (album chart). Billboard 200 ranks the albums based on the overall quality of the album. and in 2014 girl group 2NE1 set the highest record by ranking at #61. Billboard published several articles focusing on "Bangtan phenomena" and said, "BTS hit a new land for the scene with no songs in English, no U.S promotion.". BTS ranked No. 6 on Youtube Music Global Top 100 Artist chart (October 7th~13th). They scored higher than Australian singer-songwriter Sia (8th) and Ariana Grande (9th).

Sunday, 6 November 2016

[Article] 161102 [Man in Culture] Global contents strategy... Seizing the sensitivity of young UK and US listeners

Trend "BTS"'s strength, from where

If you compare the number of times the following artists were searched on Google (BTS (blue), EXO (gray), Big Bang (white))

The countries BTS topped the chart in general or genre chart


When Agent 7 (journalist Lim Heeyoon) heard this word for the first time in 2013, she was quite surprised.

"Are they the little superheroes ready to bounce off bullets on Earth?", the moment she was going to do a background check on them, she stopped herself when her colleague agents talked sense into her . "I can't work overtime at night. They're just an idol group. Created by Bang Sihyuk producer…,"

I- idol…, but what's with their group name..., they aren't some secret peacemakers who appear on kids' TV shows. But this "boy scouts", grew up in gigantically rapid speed and they finally "did" it.

According to the music service "Genie",  the number of times BTS's recent second full album "WINGS" was streamed on their service is almost 1000 times (942 times) higher compared to their debut album "2 COOL 4 SKOOL" which released 3 years ago. This is based on the information collected after 30 days since the release of the album. The group recently debuted at #26 on Billboard 200 (album chart) and recorded the highest charting result as Korean artist.

"We tried to create globally relatable contents from the beginning. I assumed that the sensitivity of the youths in UK and US would be similar to ours." (Bang Producer) That could be true but still. Agent 7 is curious to find out how BTS reached top 30 on Billboard in just 3 years.

○ "Hardcore fans who go out of their ways to purchase albums, there are many in the US too"

According to Billboard, the first-week sale of "WINGS" was 16000 unit. 5000 unit is the converted figure of digital streaming and number of downloads into CD sale. Billboard 200 made changes in 2014 December to incorporate streams and track sales. Even if we subtract 5000, BTS sold almost 11000 physical copies. Jessica Oak, Billboard Korea Reporter said, "this is possible" and nodded her head. "11000" "16000" is the reflected sales figure in the US. Of course, "Big Bang" would be the popular KPOP group, generally. However, there are many US fans who follow BTS when they don't know about other K-POP artists and this is their characteristic. BTS could have more loyal fans who would buy their albums compared to Big Bang.

○ They keep SNS short, but long album -music video

How did they form such ardent US fandom? Kim Yoonha, Pop music critic, paid attention to their music style. "For instance, their second full album title track "Blood Sweat & Tears" doesn't feel too foreign and it blends in with the US songs in the chart. It fits perfectly with the current pop trend and the melody sounds uniquely Korean too.".

Their two-track strategy which brings familiarity and mysticism played an important role. BTS has been uploading 1 minute short "Bangtan Bomb" videos on their Youtube Channel since their debut. Bangtan Bomb is an alluring series that shows daily lives of the members. They spread fast because they are short. BTS recently also topped "Social 50" Billboard chart. This chart ranks the most active musical artists on the world's leading social networking services and BTS even ranked higher than US popular singer Ariana Grande.

It was their extra base hit (albums and music videos) strategy that was carried out along their base hit (social media) strategy. "School trilogy", "Youth trilogy", their series albums extended the fans' curiosity who were captured by one of their series. The music video of "Blood Sweat & Tears" which helped them to enter Billboard 200 is 6 minutes and 4 seconds long. It's almost double the length of usual pop music videos. The playful members on Twitter sang in front of "Pietà" sculpture in the music video and narrated lines from "Demian". BTS recently ranked No. 4 in Music category in Global Chart by Youtube and their music video for "Blood Sweat & Tears" reached 40 million views just 3 weeks. 

All of a sudden, Agent 7 remembered the dream she couldn't fulfill  and she started singing along the following line. What happened to my passionate youthful days, the days when I thought I could bounce off bullets too. "My blood, sweat and tears/ take all of my last dance away"

That moment, a sharp booming sound that sounded like a bullet that has been waiting all this time divided into the air.

(to be continued...)

Previous article by them here
Original article here
Response +391

1. BTS is a group that has to do well~ +274 -2

2. BTS is really different compared to other idols. Our sentimental Rap Monster, I can't believe how thoughtful he is when he's still so young.. BTS, I hope you guys fly higher and higher!! +232 -1

3. is this the stream of consciousness? ㅋㅋ BTS fighting! I wish I could read the next episodeㅋㅋㅋ this is refreshing +231 -1

4. Articles like this, I love them. I love articles written from a different perspective ^^ BTS has the charms to make ahjummas like their lyrics +228 -0

5. Wow BTS let's only walk on flower road +218 -2

6. wow~ you just included the real details and facts in your article~ thank you~ I was in LA in 2014 Summer and I went to see Kcon... I was surprised after watching BTS who was the first artist to perform on stage.. I didn't realize their popularity in Korea but I'm not even lying, I think they had the most number of fans at the venue~ US audience sang along to their songs even when they don't appear on their tv~ ㅎㅎ +74 -0

7. I think they really have a lot of hardcore international fans +70 -0

8. BTS has to fly higher than now. We shouldn't measure them by their popularity. It's apparent that only songs from 3 big companies exist in Gayo industry and the media focuses only on them and puts them under the spotlight. People refuse to listen to idols' songs because they're "idols". Whereas, the public pays attention to the idols from the big companies. That's because the companies capture the public with variety show appearances and mediaplay. I think Gayo industry is caged by the music trend of the big companies. BTS will do better and grow bigger because they have already reached the global public  with their own music. +67 -0

9. Journalist~~ You really pointed out the main points in short and refreshing way ^^ thank you!!!! I want to learn more about BTS but it's frustrating because I don't see them often on variety shows or talk shows ㅠ I wish documentary shows would do a show about them~ As a fan, I wish I could learn more about BTS ㅋ +67 -0

10. As expected from BTS ㅋㅋ +64 -0

Thursday, 22 September 2016

[Article] 160922 BTS "Our goal is to win the Daesang, and to become the global artist" (Interview)

[Interview to celebrate the 12th anniversary of Star News]
Korea's first real time entertainment news media Star News, established in 2004 September, is celebrating it's 12th anniversary this year. Star News sat down for an interview with BTS who is now the most popular group in Korea and overseas.

Bulletproof Boy Scouts (Rap Monster, Jin, Suga, J Hope, V, Jimin, Jungkook). Prejudices directed towards the teenagers and 20s are expressed as "bullets" and meaning behind our group name "bulletproof" is to block out those bullets with our own music and performances. Their group name makes a strong impression. Ever since their debut until now, BTS constantly did their best to not lose their original intention and after 4 years they've grown as top idol group, boasting a wide fandom both domestically and internationally.

4 years can be a short and a long period. Like any other group, BTS had their ups and downs since debut and they were able to build more experience in the K-Pop industry. 

"Our debut? The only thing I can remember is that I had so many emotions. There were so many things I didn't know. The only thing I could do was to do my best." (Rap Monster)

"Honestly, I did feel scared too. But I believe we weren't the only ones who felt that way and that all rookie artist would feel the same way." (Suga)

BTS emphasized their keyword as hip hop idol. It was a keyword that could create many concerns when finding the group's identity. BTS's biggest concern was how they were going to express hip hop genre as an idol group. Ultimately they had to compromise the conflicting views. It wasn't so easy.

Still the members tried to solve this problem with their talent. They didn't want to remain as an average rookie group. Even their debut in Japan was successful in short period and they received favorable responses. Led by Rap Monster, Suga and J Hope, the group's ability to produce songs that talk about dreams, love and happiness of teenagers, plus their large scale choreography and performances of their dynamic songs like "Boy in Luv", "Dope", "FIRE" captivated their fans. BTS is gradually walking on the royal road.

The members shared their thoughts about this "royal road".

"Lately, many people have been telling this to us but we went through many situations to reach where we are at now. Personally, the first Gymnastic Stadium concert which we held last May and the first music show stage of "Danger" which was the title track from our first full album are the most memorable stages." (Rap Monster)

"We did go through hardships so we didn't exactly walk on royal road from the beginning. Every moment is unforgettable to me." (Suga)

"I still can't forget our debut stage. I believe we're told we're walking on royal road now because we had a starting point." (J Hope)

"Many things happened to us. We experienced and learned many things. And we also learned to be grateful. This very moment is very precious to me. I hope we could become a team who could later say that this very moment is our best time." (Jimin)

We asked BTS members what were their top 3 hit songs. 7 songs were mentioned and the most mentioned songs were "I NEED YOU", "DOPE" and "FIRE". Among these songs "I NEED YOU" and "FIRE" helped them to win many No. 1 trophies while the official music video of "DOPE" has reached one hundred million views. It's a super addictive song and it's also the song that can't be forgotten in BTS's promotion history.

BTS is still silently taking a step at a time to complete their own music. The members believed that their ability to understand their own world, popularity and their musical capability weren't enough. The members always try to remember and improve when they encounter any flaws.

We asked the members what their current concerns were.

"Right now I'm concerned about the songs I'm going to include in my next mixtape" (Rap Monster)

"I ask myself if I'll be able to dance to our choreographys even when I turn 30 or 40." (Jin)

"We have to continue making good songs and I want to do that so my biggest worry is if I'd be able to do that." (Suga)

"I wonder how long this happiness and the love you give us will last." (J Hope)

"I want to serve my parents devotedly as soon as possible" (V)

"What should we do to make BTS a cool group? What could make every one of us happy? What should I do to sing good songs to our fans? These are my concerns." (Jimin)

"My current concern is how I should live to let others know that I'm leading a good life." (Jungkook)

They had various and similar concerns. Although they still have these concerns, BTS emphasized that they will not stop evolving. When we asked BTS's goal for 2017 they replied, "Our goal is to win the Daesang, and to become the global singer".

Finally we asked BTS where they see themselves in 12 years.

"We still have 8 years left. We always want to be young boys!"

Original article here
Response +354

1. You will be able to achieve your goals if you continue to work hard. Your effort will never betray you. +412 -110

2. You've done well until now so I believe you'll continue to do well. BTS fighting! +253 -57

3. I hope BTS's goal blooms! I'll cheer for you! +220 -46

4. I can really feel their music quality becoming better every album and I think they are a group that can pull off many genres. I hope you continue to always work to improve yourselves just like now and focus on your work! +214 -44

5. Please remain as brilliant singers~ fighting~ +148 -22

6. You guys will win the award. I really think you will +144 -21

7. I support you guys~ You will be able to win Daesang! Fighting!! +111 -10

8. Since you guys took a step at a time to reach where you are today I know you will do better in the future. I will support you guys until the very end. We'll do our best to help you win the Daesang! Hoping 2nd full album to succeed again ♥ +248 -56

9. You guys are doing well so I hope you don't really worry too much! Don't be disheartened when things don't work out and just like BTS's songs, as a fan I hope you keep moving forward with strength. We know that BTS members try their best to show us better performance. Your effort is very cool! We will continue to support behind you so I hope you will cheer up by listening to our applause and support! Our BTS is so cool♥︎♥︎♥︎ +116 -12

10. It's nice to see you working hard constantly. I'll support you! +113 -11

Take out with full credits!
Translated by PEACHISODA