Matty Healy might think The 1975 are the biggest band no one’s heard of, but he’s wrong. It’s BTS.
Which is obviously a bit ridiculous. BTS are clearly pretty much 'the biggest thing on the planet right now', and yet - because of the unique way our Western culture is trapped in its own little bubble - if you're not already signed up to their Army, you might find yourself only with a tertiary knowledge of 'what you're on about'. So, if your mum asked “who are these nice boys on Britain’s Got Talent?” on Thursday night, and you found yourself less than able to provide the full lowdown, let us get you up to speed with the K-Pop sensations.
L-R: V, Suga, RM, Jin, Jungkook, Jimin, J-Hope
RM is BTS’ leader, who began his career as an underground rapper (RM stands for ‘rap monster’, ooh er). So yes, that means he takes on the role of one of the group’s rappers. But that’s not all! He also produces some of their songs, along with his own mixtapes, and acts as a translator for the other boys in interviews, as he’s fluent in English. We stan an intelligent legend!
Dad of the group Jin refers to himself as ‘worldwide handsome’ and our survey says it’s uhh… correct! One of the four vocalists of BTS, he doesn’t get much solo time, but we appreciate him just as much. Fun fact: he loves to cook and opened his own restaurant last year.
You’re his hope, he’s your hope, it’s J-Hope! Another one of BTS’ rappers, he’s a total ray of sunshine. His upbeat verses can be found in basically every BTS banger, and he’s gone and done his own mixtape as well. Love that for him.
Would you look at that, another rapper! Suga was originally hired by their label as a record producer, but was obviously too talented to be kept in the studio. Turns out training for the stage was a great decision, because his verses are straight fire.
Ah, Jimin. Mhmmmmm. :) Okay gazing dreamily into the distance aside, he’s another one of BTS’ vocalists, delivering sweet one-liners and major chorus moments. He’s also a wonderful dancer and all round very lovely boy. Bonus: was ranked 17th best boyband member of all time by The Guardian.
Ready for some silky smooth, deep and soulful vocals? Good because that’s exactly what V delivers. Known for his wide range and standout solos, you won’t miss this cutie. He’s also an actor, starring in historical drama ‘Hwarang’, because the talent in BTS knows NO BOUNDS.
BTS’ Baby Spice, Jungkook joined the group at 15 and hasn’t stopped impressing since. He’s good at EVERYTHING. He sings, dances, writes, produces, and he’s a complete sweetheart. Five stars. 10/10. Best New BTS.
Boy With Luv (feat. Halsey)
You know this one. Yes you do! It’s massive! It’s got Halsey on it! It’s got ooh ah’s and oh my my my’s and yes it has been on the Dork stereo for weeks and oh god we’re all in the BTS army now.
Idol (feat. Nicki Minaj)
A banger. Truly a banger. Not much more to be said. How genuinely thrilling is every beat change, every whistle, every erm, shouty bit. Nicki Minaj shouting ‘what’s good Korea’? Brilliant. Also has maybe the most fun music video of all time.
Oooooh it’s a diss track. A ‘sod off’ to any haters or doubters. Let’s just say it gets the job done. Watch the SNL performance of this one and find yourself saying “crikey” a lot.
An earworm with lots of whistley bits and shouty bits, but also a peak V/Jimin/Jungkook chorus.
Blood Sweat and Tears
Let’s get sexyyyyyy. This is an oldish one, but still bangs because it’s SULTRY and SEXY and SOFT and if you’re really not in love with them all after hearing that airy pre-chorus, then sorry, we cannot help.
2 Cool 4 Skool (2013)
BTS debuted in 2013 with ‘2 Cool 4 Skool’, and a completely different aesthetic. Not a pastel in sight. Instead this debut was a commentary on the strict Korean school system. Activist kings!
The Most Beautiful Moment In Life (2015-2016)
A series in three parts, this one focused on struggles with expectations and growing up, along with holding onto lost loves.
Another record centred around the theme of growing up, ‘Wings’ also foreshadowed their next series, by introducing uplifting lyrics about staying strong and learning to love yourself…
Love Yourself (2017-2018)
This series (‘Her’, ‘Tear’ and ‘Answer’) signalled BTS’ big crossover to the Western mainstream. These albums are all about lurrrvvveee. Loving yourself and also falling in love. Lovely.
Map of the Soul: Persona (2019)
Their latest release is an introspective record, a nice continuation of the love yourself theme, and also loops back to their origins, discussing self discovery too.
So there we have it. A whistle stop tour of BTS. You can collect your BTS ARMY stan cards on the way out.