I wasn’t too thrilled listening to some of the US interviews so far. In fact, I cringed at some questions. I felt if they did their research, they would have been far more respectful. I know I’m being naive – that’s what media is supposed to be about, right? Pushing the envelope? So perhaps my frustration lies more just with the downward spiral of media in general for awhile now.
It was just a missed opportunity for most, I felt. The BTS-mania has really been crazy while BTS traveled to the states to be guest performers at the American Music Award (and yeah – they slayed it!) Leading up to this monumental event, with all the BTS excitement, they had a great opportunity to ask some questions which would help non-BTS-fans understand and learn more about them. I wasn’t asking for hour long, in depth interviews. But would a couple of insightful questions have hurt?
Below is the only US interview that matters so far. The only one that didn’t ask lame questions – i.e. wanting to know if they would start producing full English albums, who their celebrities crushes are or trying to get a negative spin on some of the crazier fans. The only interviewer who actually did his research, talked about their social message of their music, spoke about how they are breaking barriers and boundaries to non-Korean speaking fans who don’t need English lyrics, the only person to talk about their biggest announcement where they are now close to $1M in donation (combination of their own $500K donation and sales) with their #LoveYourself and #ENDViolence UNICEF campaign which will continue for the next 2 years with direct 3% of their sales of the Love Yourself album and merchandise. I don’t know who Zack Sang is. He’s not ET or Hollywood Access. But he’s obviously very good at his job. Can he be our BTS media-ambassador for whenever they come to America?
As you can tell from the interview, Zach goes against the grain. Rather than inquire if they will start producing more music/albums in English, he is saying music transcends language and in fact is it’s own language. He respects they are able to communicate through their music to so many non-Korean speaking fans. And the reaction BTS continually gave Zach for all his questions and understanding was just so wonderful to watch.
I get what he is saying. I did have a friend ask me if it matters that I can’t understand Korean. I told him that it didn’t. Granted, I do go online and quickly read BTS’ lyrics but I’m not one of those fans who memorizes the lyrics in Korean and learn exactly what each line means in English. Over time I do sing along in Korean just from listening to their tunes so often. My curiosity allows me to get the gist of the meaning but most times, I find, I’m not completely off base of what their song means just by the feel of the music alone. Honestly – BTS’ music is so different in a good way. Why would I allow language barrier to take away my pleasure in listening to their music? That would be ridiculous. And shouldn’t we bring this concept to our every-day-lives? In a community and global sense? Language barrier should NOT be such a great obstacle as to divide us.
In fact, I don’t really know if I want them to produce more in English. I’m fine with the collaboration pieces in English but even with some of the ones that could come to reality in the future (especially after the AMAs), I’m hoping they throw in some Korean language, too. Full albums in English, though? Well – I’m such a huge supporter of theirs that if that truly makes them happy, then I’ll continue listening to them because at the end of the day, they’ve got talent.
But these Americans who are asking for English albums are missing the point – BTS is kpop. They’re asking BTS then to be something they are not. //END RANT