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BTS takes aim at Billboard 100 chart with ‘Love Yourself Seung Her’

BTS is back with a new release that is likely to send fans around the globe into a frenzy.

The K-pop act returned with its new EP, “Love Yourself Seung Her,” on Monday, with the ambitious goal of making it on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. 

“People always say that their goal is to make it to Billboard 100. But to make the list, we have to sell a lot of records and our song has to be aired on the radio a lot, and it’s not that easy. This makes us wonder, ‘Is it possible?” said band member Sugar during a press conference for the new EP in Seoul on Monday.

“But since radio shows in the US are introducing us and are playing our songs often, we thought that maybe it’s possible. We’re happy that (people) show a lot of interest and have big expectations for our album, and we are hopeful that we’ll make the Hot 100 this time,” he added.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)
Band leader Rap Monster also said, “Before our debut, our goal was to perform at Gymnastics Stadium in Olympic Park, but now we aim to leave a permanent footprint in the K-pop scene by debuting high on Billboard 100 just like Psy.”

The 11-song album is led by the lead track “DNA,” a song influenced by electronic dance music and peppered with whistling sounds that linger in one’s ear. Bearing the message that “We are all entangled with each other from the beginning of time like fate, coming from the same root of one DNA,” the song is about the younger generation’s passionate and pure love.

The album also includes “Intro: Serendipity” a love song sung by Jimin and written by Rap Monster, “Best of Me”; a high-energy EDM number co-written by Chainsmokers and BTS’ Rap Monster, Suga and J-Hope; disco-funky “Pied Piper”; and a sound clip titled “Billboard Music Awards Speech,” which was compiled from a conversation among the members in a studio after they received Billboard’s Top Social Artist award in May.   

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

As BTS has always done with its previous works, such as “Dope,” “Baepsae” and “Am I Wrong,” it did not forget to include a track that delivers a critical message about Korean society.

“Don’t Worry, Go” (unofficial title) from the new EP offers BTS’ interpretation of the overuse of the acronym YOLO (You Only Live Once) among young people regardless of the context, said Suga.  

Other members explained BTS’ musical identity, with Rap Monster saying, “I decided to become a member of BTS as the company promised me that I would be able to express what I want to say in our music. BTS has its distinct identity in that the members share their thoughts through music.”

“Love Yourself Seung Her” is the first part of BTS’ latest “Love Yourself” series, which will be rolled out through 2018. It follows “School,” “Most Beautiful Moment in Life” and “Wings.” 

The concept of the EP, “Seung,” refers to the second part of the four-stage story structure made up of “Ki, Seung, Jeon and Gyeol” in traditional Korean literature.

Each part can be compared to the introduction, development, climax and conclusion of Western-style narratives. 

(Big Hit Entertainment)
(Big Hit Entertainment)

“We are the most privileged generation, thanks to our seniors who have paved the way. But it is also hard not to be swayed by all the attention, as well as to keep our own color,” Rap Monster said.

The latest album, which has received over 1.05 million preorders, is the group’s first release since “You Never Walk Alone” in February, the follow up to its “Wings” album. Both albums landed on the Billboard 200.

In May, BTS made international headlines for becoming the first K-pop group to win the Top Social Artist award at the Billboard Music Awards, beating Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes to become the second South Korean artist to win a Billboard award after Psy in 2013. BTS also recently shared the stage with The Chainsmokers at the American DJ duo’s concert in Seoul, where they performed the hit track “Closer.”

BTS will perform songs from “Love Yourself Seung Her” for the first time on the “BTS Comeback Show” on Mnet at 8:30 p.m., Korean time, which will be broadcast simultaneously on Mnet Japan and streamed live on other online platforms, including JOOX, Viki and iflix.



By Hong Dam-young (lotus@heraldcorp.com)

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