I’ve started stanning Bangtan a year ago, in March 2017, shortly after Suga’s birthday, I think.
I started listening to their songs, not knowing anything about them. I can match the names with the faces by April. I can match the voices with the names by May. I still fall in love every day.
My kpop enabler recommended me songs from other groups, but Bangtan is the one group that stuck with me. They made me decide that hey, maybe this stanning thing isn’t that bad.
Their music videos are good.
For someone who has a communication degree and really likes films, I can’t really watch something without nitpicking the technical stuff in everything I see on tv or the Internet. Spring Day was the first MV I watched, and shit, I was in love. Everything about it was beautiful, down to the sound, esp that part before the song began, with Tae on the train track. Literary and film references, good coloring, framing, just everything about the MV.
It’s been a habit of mine to read music reviews of artists I’m slowly getting into, and Kpop groups are no exception.
It’s just that there aren’t so much /reputable/ music websites out there that review Kpop (PLS GET WITH THE TIMES, MUSIC MAGAZINES AND SITES WHAT THE HELL) except for Dazed (just sporadic articles though) and Billboard (thank god for their Kpop section, really).
I’ve read all the music reviews I can find of the groups I’m thinking of really listening to, and so I see an old review of BTS’ songs. I see that they write, compose and produce their own songs.
I know that it’s a rarity in the Kpop industry. It’s one of the reasons why I initially didn’t want to get into Kpop. I really respect musicians that write their own stuff. And I see that Bangtan is writing about social issues, mental health, and heavy stuff. Some of the things they sing about are even taboo in Korea, which is really brave of them. I really liked that.
And also, anyone who can use the 52-hertz whale is a metaphor for youth’s feeling of loneliness and alienation is a goddamn genius.
What you see is what you get. They’re kind, goofy, funny, not afraid to look silly in front of cameras. The fact that they look gorgeous is just the icing on that really, really good cake. When I found out all the hardships they went through, as my stanning progressed, I felt–feel–fiercely protective of them. Like a momma tiger with her cubs. (Which is okay, kinda weird, because they’re grown-ups who can take care of themselves. Esp if six of them are already older than me. Lol) But yeah, I feel that.
They change, but not change.
I know it’s confusing but stay with me on this. Change is inevitable, of course; everyone changes as they grow old, grow up. They’ve been through all kinds of shit in their career, even pre-debut. But that didn’t deter them. They made it out as better and stronger people. Not just as a group, but as people. But the core–the seven boys who want to share stories, who are passionate, who love music, dancing, their families, each other–it didn’t go away. And I think that it’ll never go away. I wish.
They make mistakes but learn from them. Especially Namjoon, with his older lyrics (kinda still wanna scold him for it tho lol love you haha). But the most important thing is he apologized, learned from his mistakes, and does his best every day to not commit those mistakes again. Which is more than I can say for other celebrities. But yeah.
They make me want to become a better person.
To be more passionate about the things I like. To work harder to achieve the things I want to achieve. To be strong in the face of adversaries. To smile every day, if I can. To prosper. To not let my abilities go to waste. To love myself. (The loving myself part is hard as hell, and I don’t think I’ll manage to do it anytime soon, but I swear, I’m working on it.)
I never really thought that I’m gonna be in love with a Korean group, or with the genre in general. Most of it really felt artificial to me before? And that it didn’t really feel genuine? But many things changed my mind. Bangtan definitely helped a lot.
I overcame my preconceived notions about Kpop, and I’m discovering good music every day so I’m really glad.
So here I am, listening to Spring Day on loop, writing this. So I can really thank you, the boys of Bangtan. It’s been a hard year for me, really. A lot of changes and challenges came, and sometimes I’m not sure if I can keep up and succeed. But having you guys around made it easier. You can make me laugh. Your music is what I listen to when I feel happy, sad or angry. Your music makes the days more bearable, really.
Most importantly, you made me dream again. You made me realize that I shouldn’t give up on my dreams that easily. That I should strive harder. I will always thank you for that. For making me realize that I’m the only one that can make my dreams happen. I’ll always, always be thankful for that. You made me love music (and life) more.
Thank you. 🙂 ❤