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Beyond the Scene

Korean boy band breaks records in the U.S

The BTS fanbase, Army, have helped them make it big in the U.S by helping them win

The BTS fanbase, Army, have helped them make it big in the U.S by helping them win "Top Social Artist" at the Billboard Music Awards

Overtaking YouTube views, music awards and teenage hearts, is the Korean pop band, Beyond the Scene (BTS). They recently reached new heights as international artists by winning “Top Social Artist” at the Billboard Music Awards (BBMA) in May and by taking a Top 10 position on the Billboard 200 with their album “Love Yourself: Her” in Sept., becoming the highest ranked Korean album ever in the States.

“On their success in the US, I think it’s revolutionary. It means that not only are people realizing how influential music can be, regardless of what language it is sung in, but it’s also a symbol of open-mindedness that I feel the United States lacks,” Sarah Curelaru, senior and BTS fan, said. “It’s music without borders.”

While some of their success may be because of their large number of fans, also called Armies (singularly Army), their success in the U.S may also be attributed to the smart marketing decision of their entertainment company, Bighit.

“I think what really pushed BTS into the American market was the timing. I think One Direction going on hiatus in 2015 really gave BTS the chance to step in and make themselves the next big teen dream because many of the 1D fans soon became BTS stans in 2015,” Cynthia Medhaug, senior and Kpop fan, said. “Their entertainment company makes promoting in America a priority.”

 

In the past, Korean pop music and international music, in general, have had difficulty taking off. For some, it’s the language barrier that turns them away. But with subtitles and bits of English incorporated in the lyrics, Kpop has made itself enjoyable for many fans. However, for others, the barrier isn’t felt and the connection is made.

“I think it’s cool to just listen to something that you can enjoy the melody and beat of,” Medhaug said. “Lyrics are important, but I’ve always preferred the general mood a song can set through its instrumentals.”

Artists like Psy, Big Bang and Girl’s Generation have made their mark in the U.S as international entertainers. With more international artists being popularized in the U.S, BTS’s success will also further encourage the entrance of international music.

“BTS being successful in America right now is for sure going to encourage more international music,” Medhaug said. “I think all this will do is normalize international music.”

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