BTS Take Over The World

Written by on October 16, 2018

I’m not quite sure what I am seeing. There are bright colours and catchy beats and I am thoroughly entertained. Someone has put the actual contents of a childhood sugar rush on my web browser and I am loving it.

I have been aware of BTS (to give them one of their many names) for a while now, mostly through the postings of people that follow me on twitter. The band themselves and their music have flown under the radar for the most part, luckily for my work day twitter mutes all of the videos that show up so they aren’t blaring out across the office. I haven’t looked further into them before now though, and wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t just seen a stand full of their music and merchandise in the local HMV. Strangely enough their album and books were some of the very few things that weren’t criminally overpriced.

Returning home I happily threw myself into the internet hole of YouTube and Reddit to find out more about the band themselves, I could perhaps have bought the book that was on the shelf, but that seemed like too much of a commitment. I recently tried a very similar exercise with Justin Bieber but that proved to be much less enjoyable or interesting.

Just to quickly give you an understanding of the popularity of the group themselves, and the growing expansion of K-pop into western culture, I have so far played 12 of their videos and have yet to see one that has less than 300 million views. That is more than the combined populations of Germany, the UK, France, Italy, Sweden and Greece. Who doesn’t love some random statistics? The current video that’s playing, Fire, has around 430 million so we could add in Russia for good measure.

From their formation in 2013 the BTS boys have gone on to international acclaim and popularity. They are the first K-pop group to have a song placed in the Billboard Charts, and the highest ranking Korean act ever. They have also become the first Korean act to perform at the American Music Awards. They are the only Korean group to be nominated and win awards at the Billboard Music awards two years in a row, they have had an album rank number 1 on the Billboard top 200 and have been included in the top 25 most influential people on the internet by Time.

Include on top of these accomplishments remixes of their songs being made by the likes of Steve Aoki  and it shouldn’t be a surprise that their star is also rising in the UK with sold out shows being played this month at the o2 arena. The group sold out their 14 North American shows within 3 days and their European leg within minutes of the tickets going on sale.

Whatever you may think of the groups popularity, their music is catchy, their videos are interesting and unusual, their appearance is like cartoon characters come to life, their impact does not seem to be likely to fade any time soon, and indeed is still growing. With more logging in to find out more about the group on a daily basis. The online world loves this group with the almost obligatory conspiracy theories growing around the group, but we will be covering those in a different article.


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