BTS aka The Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band. The group’s latest album, Love Yourself: Tear has just topped the Billboard 200 album charts. BTS has not just been selling digital copies but tonnes of physical album packages as well. The CD package includes photo books, mini books and photo cards.
The band has a lot of fans in the Middle East and the United Arab Emirates accounts for a large chunk of that fan base. Their first single Fake Love is currently trending on Anghami’s UAE top 10 and Love Yourself: Tear is ranked No. 1 on the UAE iTunes Top Album chart even edging out Kanye West's new release. Oh Yeezus
Yes, BTS is pop but if you give their album a listen it sounds like a compilation of multiple artists, which is not necessarily a bad thing since it exposes them to a wider audience. However it also doesn’t produce a signature sound for the band. Their first single Fake Love is an emo hip hop song recorded over a trap beat. BTS seems to have defied traditional thinking of signature sounds and is blending different genres possibly better than anyone before them.
Truth is most modern pop songs are not hits because their lyrics are amazing. These songs are built on a formula of a catchy chorus, an off beat breakdown and replacing a guitar or a piano phrase with a rapper. BTS seems to have perfected this recipe and added a light sprinkle of English lyrics before serving.
Why the UAE
Korean and Japanese pop culture are generally well received in the UAE and the bands recent gig in the country has only appeased their loyal fanbase. A look at the BTS UAE fan army on twitter @bangtanUAE indicates that these fans are serious about their fandom, which is a great change to customary English chart toppers. After all, positive music that crosses boundaries and unites people is always welcome in society.