Saturday, 19 November 2016

[Article] 161119 [Interview①] Bang Sihyuk, "When I see fans crying while watching music videos.. that's when I really realize the power of BTS"


Korea is not the only stage for BTS. They've put their name for the third time on the US Billboard Chart which measures the worldwide popularity of pop music and they also penetrated into the conservative UK's main album chart. They ranked No.1 on iTunes Album Chart in 23 countries including China, USA, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Norway and Taiwan. It's not easy to understand the unstoppable parade of this 4-year-old group when you look at the stale "KPOP Craze".

BTS has built a solid global fandom and Bighit Entertainment CEO Bang Sihyuk is behind them. He is a hitmaker who produced perfect ballad songs which touched the listener's heart like 2AM's "Can't let you go even if I die" and Baek Jiyoung's "Like being hit by a bullet", BTS didn't start off easily from the beginning. Since BTS is a group with two keywords "Hip Hop" and "idol", it wasn't easy for them to be recognized from both fields. People were biased against them and called them "Idol group that do hip hop music" and this itself created a high entry barrier.

Bang Sihyuk seemed more curious and said, "Honestly there aren't any secret behind their popularity.". Even he said their popularity was beyond his expectation. He was surprised by the responses he got from countries with no Kpop market but their achievements in the US Billboard and UK Chart were encouraging results. It's because it's not easy for an Asian artist to gain sympathy with their music from Western fans who follow different cultures.

"As a producer, I tried to create a good environment for the members to show their musical skills with creators from many different fields. Most importantly, the members did their best. They continuously thought about music, their greed to show the best performance on stage and the members interacting and communicating with their fans, I think those could be the secrets. I guess everyone was rewarded with the great result they achieved on Billboard. I want to thank their fans all around the world."

Entering the top rankings of US Billboard and UK Chart are also meaningful achievements since these charts are the standard of pop music. They remained on Billboard main chart "Billboard 200" for 2 weeks, and set great records by ranking No.1 for 2 straight weeks on "Social 50" and "World Album Chart". Among their achievements, debuting on UK Chart means a lot to them. BTS's second full album entered the UK Album Chart at No. 62 and they also entered the Indie Album Chart at No.16. UK Chart is one of the major Pop music charts next to US Billboard and in 2012 PSY's "Gangnam Style" came 1st on Single Chart but BTS is the first Korean artist to enter the Album Chart.

Entering the UK Pop market that traditionally has its strong musical pride makes their achievement special. Even LMFAO who created worldwide shuffle dance craze couldn't top the UK Chart. This shows that UK Chart has a very high entry barrier regardless of the Pop market trend. All this time, the UK Chart showed its British Rock sensation but an Asian group entered the chart and this proves the strength of their solid fandom.

"Entering the UK Chart was the most unexpected achievement. I predicted favorable results from US Billboard since 2 of their previous albums (HYYH pt. 2, HYYH Young Forever) had entered the chart before but UK Chart was beyond my expectation. They ranked No.62 on a conservative UK chart which doesn't really give space to Asian artists. This showed the great support given by their international fans for BTS and I was able to feel their popularity."


Even Bang Sihyuk went searching for the reason behind their unexpectedly enthusiastic responses. He mentioned that he enjoys "surfing the internet" often monitors reaction videos uploaded by Youtubers and he immediately checks the reactions of international fans. The answer he was able to find was this, BTS's trendy music, the members' interacting with their fans since debut, and the fans sympathized with their music, music video and other contents. To the producer, he was amazed and touched to see Asian artist winning sympathy from Western fans who are on the other side of the world.

"I often watch reaction videos on Youtube to indirectly experience how international fans accept the image of BTS. Among these videos, I was very surprised after watching the fan crying while s/he watched BTS's "I NEED U" music video. We tried to express the agony of youths of the present generation and I realized this wasn't just a story Koreans could relate too, it was a worldwide thing. Some might say it was an extreme narrative but their international fans reacted to it similarly."

Original article here
Response +298

1. Entering the UK char was really really amazing. I think they'll succeed more. +714 -95

2. I'm happy to see BTS so popular~ I hope you guys do much better!! +548 -77

3. welcome.. first time with BTS? ^^ +541 -89

4. Bang PD-nim ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ +415 -68
ㄴ PD-nim are you reading this? I love you

5. My babies, I'm so proud ㅠㅠ +409 -81

6. In short, they're the team who created something from nothing only with their talent and effort. It's a fact that they're a team who is perfect in music and performance. +94 -11

7. Their music video is really well made to every viewer's eyes. They're strong media-wise and their new song was based on pop so its popularity is obvious but I'm amazed because they have great visuals, songs, choreography, and marketing. They're a group that will become an artist and not just KPOP. Bang PD-nim, please continue to take good care of them +90 -13

8. You're wrong if you think they're here today because of their luck. They said this already but their achievements were made with their blood, sweat, and tears. +87 -12

9. BTS members worked really hard to achieve their achievements but I also think it was possible because of the strong support from Bang PD-nim and Bighit. It wouldn't be possible without PD-nim. Thank you. +68 -8

10. How did you find such lovely 7 people... Bang hyung, please continue to raise our children well ㅠㅠ love you +65 -7