SEOUL, Jan. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Many have attributed the high popularity of the K-pop boy band BTS to its clever use of social media, but the group said its sincerity and quality were more integral to its success.
“People pay attention only to the fact that we have well communicated with our fans on social media. But more important is that since we’re singers the quality of our music and performance should be unconditionally good,” RM, leader of the group, said during a recent interview with Yonhap News Agency in Seoul.
“On top of this, there were our true heart and messages that we wanted to show and tell, and the frequency of our communication (with fans),” he said, adding that Bang Si-hyuk, chief executive officer and producer of the team’s agency Big Hit Entertainment, rendered full support to whatever the group did.
Bang has always encouraged the members to think deeply about what they want to tell through their songs, member Suga recalled.
“I think we started from thoughts such as, ‘Preferences should be respected’ and ‘Why is there nobody who talks about school and the society?’ at that time. The most regrettable thing is when people analyze us and say we achieved our success solely based on our SNS prowess,” he said.
Last year, the band broke into the top tiers of both the Billboard 200 and the Hot 100 charts with its new album “Love Yourself:Her” and a remix of “MIC Drop,” the single originally included on the album. It performed at the American Music Awards (AMAs) and even appeared on three major U.S. TV shows, including “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
With over 12 million followers on Twitter, BTS is the most-followed Korean account on the platform, and the group was the most tweeted-about artist in 2017.
“Looking back, it was a year of many accomplishments and I feel proud of myself for this. Behind all the accomplishments were our fans who cheered us up so enthusiastically,” said member J-hope.
“Whether it were awards ceremonies or NBC’s ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ I was never nervous. That’s because I believe in our fans. In those moments, I felt I made the right choice to pursue a singing career,” Jungkook said.
RM recounted the moments when the single landed at 28th on the Billboard Hot 100.
“I was shocked to see our team name in the Hot 100 chart,” he said. “In the United States, a song that breaks into the top 40 is considered a nationwide hit, you know. The fact that we were in the top 30 was just unbelievable.”
Suga said the band’s performance at the AMAs was the most memorable of all.
“I grew up watching the awards show on the Internet since it was not available on TV. I felt so proud to be on the show and couldn’t believe we performed on stage just prior to Diana Ross, who received the lifetime achievement award.”
Member V said one of the most frequently asked questions when they appeared on the American TV show was about the group’s enthusiastic fans.
“The most memorable were questions like ‘Why are your fans so passionate?’ and ‘How did you get such a nice group of fans?’” he said. When asked how he responded, he said, giggling, “RM kept answering questions because he speaks English well.”
“Originally, performing briefly on stage was the only thing that we were supposed to do on the three talk shows,” RM said.
But after watching the BTS fans loudly singing along with the band’s songs and screaming, the production teams added programs in which the band members interacted with the emcees, both talking and playing a game on the spot.
“That’s the power of our fans,” he said, proudly.