Bang Shi Hyuk Talks About BTS, TXT, And Turning Anger About Music Industry Into A Motivation For Change
Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Shi Hyuk gave a speech at his alma mater Seoul National University.
On February 26, Bang Shi Hyuk attended the 73rd Seoul National University graduation and spoke about the source of his success. The CEO, who majored in aesthetics at the prestigious university, was personally invited by the university president to be the commencement speaker for the event.
During the speech, Bang Shi Hyuk said, “I thought a lot before standing here today. I’ve already become part of the older generation and the things that I say may sound like boring words by an oldie. And in a negative way, it could be seen as me boasting that BTS succeeded. But isn’t it true that Big Hit Entertainment and BTS are hot these days? So I want to boast a little and talk about my life journey at a time that meets the point of your lives.”
He later said, “BTS won the Top Social Artist award for two consecutive years at Billboard Music Awards and sold out a concert at New York’s Citi Field which has 40,000 seats. Just two weeks ago, they set another record of ‘firsts’ after being invited to the Grammy Awards as presenters and they are being called the Beatles of the YouTube generation. Also, many people have taken interest in rookie group Tomorrow by Together (TXT) despite the fact that it’s prior to their official debut. Our agency is growing as the icon of innovation in the industry and as a unicorn company.” A “unicorn company” is a privately held startup company valued at over 1 billion dollars.
Bang Shi Hyuk then pointed to the emotion of anger as a source of his energy. He described the difficulties many of his colleagues still face in the music industry such as unfair trade practices, unjust distribution of content, and being undervalued in society, and also voiced his frustration at the way idol fans are groundlessly criticized and belittled for enjoying K-pop content.
He explained, “I am not a revolutionary. However, I cannot overlook the irrationality and senselessness of the music industry. Ignoring and settling are not my ways of life. And it’s not because I have a great dream or a big picture of the future. It’s because it’s in front of me and I feel that it’s unfair. And now, I feel that anger has become my calling. Getting angry so that workers in the music industry can receive a fair evaluation and proper treatment, getting angry about the unfair criticism and belittlement of artists and fans, and fighting so that what I think of as common sense can be realized, are my ways of showing courtesy to music which I loved and was with all of my life, my respect and gratitude to fans and artists, and the final and only way to become happy.”
He explained, “Everyone, I’m someone who gets angry a lot. Looking back at my life up until the point where today’s Big Hit could exist, the clear image that I thought of was ‘angry Bang Shi Hyuk.’ I was angered by the easy-going attitude of working just enough, and I lived every day as if it was the last without compromise due to my calling to make the best content. I’ve been that way since birth, but also because I could not betray the promise I made with fans who felt healed and moved by music.”
He added, “Countless irrationality and senselessness will exist in your future journey no matter what path you choose as you enter society. What will you do when these irrationalities and senselessness have an ill effect on your efforts as you pursue happiness? I ask that you get angry and face them just like the ’embodiment of anger’ Bang Shi Hyuk. Only then will the problem be solved. Only then will society change. I hope you remember that everything is up to you. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to become a fighter of small, everyday things.”
The CEO concluded, “I want to congratulate all of you once again in successfully completing college which is a very important process in one’s life. And I hope that all of you will live well and happily through the next steps of life that will begin now so that you can become someone who can say, ‘I’ve lived a pretty good life’ 10 or 20 years from now. I personally hope that my tombstone will read, ‘Embodiment of Anger Bang Shi Hyuk lived happily then passed.’ I will live fiercely and angrily while feeling small moments of happiness each and every day until the day that common sense and music content receive a fair evaluation.”