We wouldn’t be exaggerating if we said you need to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of BTS. The band recently made history for being the first Korean act to be nominated for the BRIT Awards.
Also known as Bangtan Boys, BTS is an award-winning, multiple records-breaking, seven-member K-pop group that is a worldwide pop phenomenon. Comprising V, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Suga, Jimin, and J-Hope, BTS was formed in 2010 and after rigorous training under Big Hit Entertainment, debuted with their first album 2 Cool 4 Skool in 2013. The band hasn’t looked back since then and their rise to the most popular boy band in the world has been nothing short of meteoric. In fact, Harvard Business School has even published a case study analysing their successful sprint.
What makes BTS special is that their music usually carries a message on prevalent social issues. Whether it’s ‘So What’ which encourages people to follow their dreams regardless of the opposition they face; ‘Cypher Part 4’ which emphasises self-love; ‘21st Century Girls’ which pushes women to live life on their terms; ‘(August D) –The Last’ that addresses mental illness in a frank manner – their songs are a beacon of inspiration to their fans. Speaking of fans, 2014 saw the formation of A.R.M.Y – Adorable M.C. for Youth, the official fan club of BTS. The A.R.M.Y, consisting of over 40 million fans, is known for having a massive social media presence, and in 2020, received attention for having matched the band’s $1 million contribution to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Whether you’re an ardent member of the A.R.M.Y or not (yet) part of the fandom, here are eight essential BTS anthems that should be your jam.