Producer attributes BTS success to sincerity and true message

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2017-12-11 13:48 Updated : 2017-12-11 16:10
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[Bit Hit Entertianment]

Bang Shi-hyuk, the producer who created BTS, attributed the success of his boys to the "sincere" goal of conveying true messages, laced with their "visually beautiful and wonderful" stage performance, that transcended language barriers to create a global fan base.

The CEO of Big Hit Entertainment praised BTS for making an "epic" global debut this year and paving the way for K-pop bands to compete in the home of pop music. He received a presidential citation for nurturing the seven-member group into one of South Korea's most popular K-pop band in the world.

"It was a dynamic epic covering the global stage," Bang told reporters ahead of the final concert of the group's tour Sunday at Seoul's Gocheok Sky Dome.

"K-pop is an unfamiliar genre, but I think we're able to get familiar, based on black music," Bang said, adding BTS appeared to have lowered the entry barriers by keeping their authenticity with their stories. "Through their music, they tried to convey their true message."

Because of its worldwide popularity, BTS won "Top Social Artist" at the 2017 Billboard music awards earlier this year. "Love Yourself: Her", produced by Bang, became the highest ranked K-pop album on Billboard's 200 Chart.

[Photo by Yoo Dae-gil =]

BTS was invited to perform live at popular talk shows in the United States last month. The group's latest song "Mic Drop" reached No. 28 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, becoming the highest-ranking K-pop band in the prestigious music chart.

"It is too early to talk about success, and it is hard to give a clear answer at this time, but I can say that we are here today because we believed in the sincerity of music and the encouragement and power that pop music can tell," Bang said.

BTS tried to create a fandom in June 2015, when "DOPE" started getting the attention of YouTubers, and "FIRE", released a year later, collected a condensed response from idol fans, Bang said.

Finally, he said the group became popular with "Blood Sweat & Tears", which was unveiled in October 2016, drawing attention from Billboard and American media.

The producer said he had a sense of responsibility after witnessing the cheering of fans abroad. However, he said his boys would go their way without targeting the American market with English lyrics.

"I think it's not K-pop when singers learn English and contract with an American company. That's just like an Asian singer making a debut in the U.S. market," he said.

Fans love BTS because of the music itself, Bang said, adding he and BTS have pursued what is "visually beautiful, totally present and wonderful on stage". "I think it is working as a means to transcend the language barriers."

Bang did not rule out possible collaboration with other languages but he said that his boys would "work hard as we do". "It is industrially meaningful to keep K-pop's unique value."

"If you can work happily between artists like a remix, and if you can be a gift to your fans, then we will be able to collaborate with other languages or cultures," the producer said.