A new BTS era has kicked off, bringing with it great music, new performances, broken records, Jungkook’s eyebrow piercing, V’s curls, and J-Hope’s yellow-hued hair. Yep, sounds like a BTS comeback.
K-pop’s biggest act returned today with their new single ‘Butter’, a groovy, 80s-inspired synth-pop number sporting knife-sharp choreography, vibrant American diner-esque sets, and the classic BTS charm. The single follows their explosive 2020 hit ‘Dynamite’, which earned the septet a Grammy nomination, and the album BE, which resulted in their fifth No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
As is the norm with BTS, ‘Butter’ brings new heights of success for the act. Within a record 13 minutes of its release, the music video had become the fastest video in YouTube history to reach 10 million views. With this, the septet broke their own record, set by ‘Dynamite’ last year.
“If you hear the title ‘Butter’, you will know immediately that we tried to prepare a song that would be easy listening,” Jimin explained the song’s philosophy in a press conference shortly after the release of the track. “So instead of having a heavy or profound message, it is — this is a little bit embarrassing — but it is ‘smooth like butter’, like a cute confession song that melts and captivates you.”
The group also reflected on the massively successful 2020 they had, despite the pandemic throwing a wrench into their (and the world’s) plans. In a surprising move, J-Hope revealed that their biggest hits of the year, ‘Dynamite’ and BE, were not actually planned, but they got through thanks to music and each other.
“2020 was a rollercoaster,” said J-Hope, “When I was having a difficult time, my consolation was music… going through 2020, I realized that music has an enormous power.”
Naturally, in light of the successful run of ‘Dynamite’, expectations for ‘Butter’ are high, especially where the hope of another Grammy nomination this year looms.
“Of course, we are thinking of a Grammy, and we will do whatever we can to set that as a goal and go towards it,” RM specified. BTS’ leader also touched on the changing definitions of K-pop as it races past borders and becomes increasingly global, especially given BTS’ contributions.
“K-pop is now not so much a genre of music,” said he, “It should be categorized as an industry. I think it has expanded in meaning; we’re not sure whether our music can be explained in or outside of the context of K-pop, but as BTS goes forward in the future, I think the critics will be able to see who we are and evaluate us based on that.”
Of course, the biggest point of interest — apart from the single itself — was the group’s upcoming appearance on the Friends reunion. While the group declined to give details on their part in the much-awaited television event, they did address the nod they received from music juggernauts Queen in a now-deleted tweet.
“Queen, they are our seniors of course. When we were at Wembley stadium, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (the movie) was really popular in Korea, and we did the [shoutout.] I heard that the tweet went viral overnight, but ‘Butter’ was not a sampling or homage, I can say that with certainty.” said RM.
Is there a possible collab in the future? The group is open to it, as put into words by Jin: “We have no plans about that. Of course, if there’s an opportunity, they can call us. We’re always waiting. Please, Queen – call us.”