BTS hopes to use its power to spread ‘positive influence’

April 18, 2019

BTS said Wednesday it took several years of sweat and tears and fans’ support to become the K-pop superstars they are today and now they want to use their power to spread a “positive influence.”

“At first, we started out as innocent (boys),” BTS member Suga said in a press conference at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul to promote its new album. “All seven of us wanted to do music and performances, and it took a long, hard time. During the time, we failed and tried again, and failed and tried again, a process by which a lot of people seem to have been inspired.

“When we thought about how we can pay back our fans, we all had the same wish to give a positive influence … as we are in a position to be able to have a lot of influence,” Suga noted.

BTS poses for photos during a press conference on April 17, 2019. (Yonhap)
This photo shows BTS member J-Hope during a press conference on April 17, 2019 (Yonhap)
This photo shows BTS member Jungkook during a press conference on April 17, 2019 (Yonhap)

BTS poses for photos during a press conference on April 17, 2019. (Yonhap)

The band’s new album titled “Map of the Soul: Persona,” released April 12, fully embodies the common wish of the band members and is inspired by Carl Jung’s “Map of the Soul,” member Jungkook said.

“ARMY said they get to study due to us. When I see ARMYs get excited with their own presumptions and interpretations of our new album, it makes me want to work harder to entertain them more,” the youngest member said, referring to the famously devoted BTS fandom.

This developed into a concrete picture, while the members pitched ideas for the new album and became the foundation of “Map of the Soul: Persona,” the opener of a new BTS album series with a new social message of soul-searching, according to Jungkook.

“I feel the power of music has grown when I hear some fans saying our music changed their lives. And it increased my sense of responsibility,” he said.

The press conference was held five days after the release of “Map of the Soul: Persona,” which immediately was a global hit.

Billboard said Monday the new album is set to top the Billboard 200 album chart for the week of April 27. If confirmed, it will be the band’s third No. 1 on the Billboard album chart just in a single year.

The album’s main track, “Boy With Luv,” featuring American diva Halsey, became the fastest YouTube video ever to collect 100 million views, having surpassed the milestone in less than 38 hours of its release Friday.

Team leader RM said the sensational fame and success the band has had over the past years has not been “purely happy.”

“If your height is high, so is the shadow. For me, stage lights looked intimidating at some point … and I was scared of audiences … and I had times when I wanted to just run away,” RM said of the pressure and stress stemming from its global ascent.

“At the same time I have a lot that I want to achieve, and the positive energy that I get from fans and I think I give to fans is bigger than the urge to run away. So I try to keep a balance between them.”

After premiering the new album on the famous American show “SNL” last weekend, BTS is on course to further cement its presence in the United States and global music scenes with its appearance on the Billboard Music Awards on May 1.

The band plans to keep pursuing collaborations with American artists as it has done with Steve Aoki, Halsey and Nicki Minaj, although currently it has no plans to release an English-language version, the member said.

Member Jungkook apologized to fans, referring to his failure to keep his promise to fans to release his own solo mixtape.

“I will work harder to be better,” he noted.

“We wanted to talk about the power of love which drove me to where we are now and the source and the shadow of the power as well as the future we ran toward with the power,” according to RM.

“Chart performance and ratings are important to me personally, but for our latest album, there is no goal greater than making the fans enjoy and be happy,” according to Suga.

Asked to comment on their nickname as The Beatles of the 21st century, RM said, “Whenever I heard BTS compared to The Beatles, I am humbled and honored … I am a fan of The Beatles myself.”

“But, BTS is BTS, a hard-working band in South Korea. BTS will get on as BTS,” the leader said.