BTS have become the biggest music act worldwide. Despite singing predominantly in Korean, the music transcends any language differences and connects with everyone regardless of any language or cultural differences.
Perhaps one of the things that fans admire most about BTS is that they’re unashamed and stay true to themselves no matter the pressures thrown at them. Throughout the years, many people have encouraged BTS to release a full English album, but the members continually turned down the idea.
That one time this person was asking BTS to produce an album in English just because they did it in Japanese and Namjoon's response was "thanks for your good advice, you should come to our label and work with us" 💀 pic.twitter.com/iy7uPI42Py
— 🧈👅 (@mygbebe) May 10, 2020
In a 2019 interview with Entertainment Weekly, leader RM explained that it’s important for them to stay true to who they are and not change themselves by suddenly singing entirely in English in order to achieve success and recognition from others. They value hard work, and it’s up to others if they want to recognize it.
We don’t want to change our identity or our genuineness to get the number one. Like if we sing suddenly in full English, and change all these other things, then that’s not BTS. We’ll do everything, we’ll try. But if we couldn’t get number one or number five, that’s okay.
Some things have seemed to change in recent years. Last year, BTS released their first English-language song, “Dynamite.” This year, they followed up with two more English singles, “Butter” and “Permission to Dance.” They all received mainstream airplay and ultimately made history by not just entering Billboard charts but topping them too.
It turns out that while all of the songs have done incredibly well, the members weren’t all on board with the idea of entirely English songs, which is not surprising considering their previous comments. They didn’t go into much detail about the disagreements, but Big Hit Music‘s president, Shin Young Jae, described the ultimate decision of any disagreement as being peaceable.
I think it’s a testament to the band’s strengths, the way they can come to a friendly resolution and be mindful of the company’s needs.
— Big Hit Music President Shin Young Jae
RM seemed to disagree with Shin’s statement. He didn’t see any other option in the matter.
There was no alternative.
For Jin, he described the process as “unnatural.” It’s not just coming down to identity, but that singing in English differs so much from what he has learned through the years of learning the language itself. So, ultimately, he had to attempt to mimic the sounds from the guide track’s pronunciations. So, he had to write them down using Hangul, similar to how some people attempt to learn and speak Korean through romanization.
The English I learned in class was so different from the English in the song. I had to erase everything in my head first.
While BTS’s few English songs have been well-received among listeners, it definitely seems like there won’t be a full English album or any more English songs in the future. That is if the BTS members have a say.
Even after their recent songs all topped music charts, RM has said that they really don’t care about trying to be mainstream in the United States. Read more below: