BTS Talks About Making Music During COVID-19 And More In Grammy Museum Interview
BTS participated in an interview and performance for the Grammy Museum’s new streaming service Collection: Live.
In the interview with Scott Goldman, BTS talked about making music in COVID-19, which included their upcoming album, their recent English-language single “Dynamite,” and Suga’s mixtape “D-2” as Agust D. The members also talked about “Dynamite’s” chart success, choreography, and their group dynamic over the past seven years.
About life in quarantine, RM said, “In February and March, we also felt angry and sad and desperate. As time went by, we decided to focus on what we could do. We’ve been focusing on our new album and this single. We’ve been developing personal hobbies like playing guitar, painting, drawing, etcetera.”
In response to a question about his mixtape, Suga said, “I had a lot of time on my hands, so I could work on a tight schedule for the mixtape. I was able to compile ten full tracks and release it.”
Jimin, V, and J-Hope emphasized that “Dynamite,” which is BTS’s first English-language single, was meant to lift people’s moods during this difficult period. Jimin said, “When we came across the song while working on the album, it had meaningful lyrics and the overall feeling of the song was best suited as it was [in English]. We decided to take on the challenge of bringing that to life.”
J-Hope added, “Everyone is having a hard time right now. As singing and dancing was the best thing we could do during this time, ‘Dynamite’ was the best way of conveying our joy in performing.” V said, “‘Dynamite’ was a reaction to the current pandemic situation. We wanted to give people energy through singing and dancing, which is what we do best.”
Suga said, “‘Dynamite’ is in a retro, disco style, so we tried a lot of different things in mixing. We didn’t grow up listening to disco music, so we thought a lot about how to bring that era to life. As a rule, we work with a lot of different engineers in the mixing process, and it’s a constant process of revision, so we end up trying a lot of different musical styles.” J-Hope also shared that the key point for the choreography is that it is easy for people to dance along.
About their group dynamic, Jin said, “We’re close with each other and we talk often. We know that we understand each other and we recognize that we are part of ‘BTS,’ so we can be objective and share opinions to get good results.” RM added, “Each of us is really different and it took us time for us to understand each other. The seven of us are on the same boat but looking at different directions. The seven of us each have our own unique color. We’re like bibimbap [Korean mixed rice with assorted vegetables and meat], which has a lot of different ingredients but come together to make great food, like a hamburger.”
Jungkook said, “15 was such a young age to start a career. I naturally developed a love for music while working with the members. As a person, I think I was positively influenced by working with such great people. That’s why I’m grateful to the other members.” Asked what they had fought about in the past, the members chimed in with examples like chores, food, and sharing clothes.
About discussing societal issues in their music, Suga said, “I didn’t start off with the intention of being vulnerable through music. But I wondered why no one else seemed to be talking about these things. I didn’t want the music I made to be violent or not contain a message. If a song that a person makes doesn’t contain their story, then what would that person write about? Why aren’t people talking about this? And who would talk about it [if I didn’t]?”
Asked about BTS and ARMY’s donation to Black Lives Matter earlier this year, RM said, “I think our Twitter message speaks for itself. I’m thankful that the fans are with us together.”
At the end of the interview, the BTS members gave a sit-down performance of “Dynamite.”
After its release on August 21, “Dynamite” became the first single by an all-Korean group to top the Billboard Hot 100. It went on to do so again for a second week and has held the No. 2 spot for two consecutive weeks since. BTS was recently nominated for two Billboard Music Awards and is next scheduled to take over “The Tonight Show” for a series of performances and segments.