BTS’s popularity is hard to deny. The k-pop group may have started at the bottom when they debuted in 2013, but BTS has become one of the genre’s most famous acts over the last year. Much of the band’s credit has gone to its members and their company’s CEO. And, now, the founder of BigHit Entertainment is opening up about why BTS doesn’t have to make English music to succeed abroad.
Recently, BTS wrapped their on-going WINGS tour with a slew of finale dates in Seoul (via Soompi). Bang Shi Hyuk held a press conference on the last concert date for press, and it was there the CEO stressed BigHit never set out to promote the boys overseas.
“We never targeted the overseas market consciously. A variety of causes gathered. It might be tiring for analysts but I can’t say there is one success strategy,” Shi Hyuk explained.
“We set out to protect the value of K-pop’s distinctness that was made in the 90s. Visually beautiful, creating music as a package, and a group that is cool on stage. This surpasses language. Upon this we added BTS’s unique value along with hip hop and Black music. The members like hip hop and Black music. These two things lowered the entry barrier to Western markets. K-pop is unfamiliar to Westerns but they are familiar with hip hop and Black music.”
Fans online were quick to translate the CEO’s full comments for English speakers. According to recent turnovers, it seems like the CEO even went to far as to say international k-pop fans enjoy BTS songs and others for the same reason “Despacito” did so well.
“Targeting the US by releasing an English song isn’t something in our plan. If you teach a k-pop artist English and sign with an American company, that is just basically Asians debuting in the American market. That is not k-pop,” Shi Hyuk revealed.
“We believe in our fans who love us and they do not request that we write songs in English. When someone asks them why they listen to k-pop, their answer is ‘Why do you listen to Despacito?’”
As BTS continues to grow, fans have been curious whether the band would push into the U.S. market with more English-centric singles. Recently, the group dropped a remixed single of their hit “MIC Drop” that has predominantly English lyrics, but it doesn’t look like BTS is looking to leave their roots behind. When it comes to the future, k-pop fans can expect BTS to stick with their Korean lyrics, and Army is more than okay with that decision.
Are you cool with BTS's plans to stick with Korean lyrics? Hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to let me know and talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!