MUSIC always calms me down— whether I’m stressing about exams or waiting to reach my bus stop. I usually listen to music where I can groove to the beat—ofcourse, the type that doesn’t distract me from my main tasks.
One of the few artists that stood out to me was the Korean boy group BTS. They have a wide range of genres in their music, from old school hip hop to R&B to EDM. A casual listener can find at least one song to suit their taste.
My interest in them grew when I read the translation of their lyrics. They encourage listeners to follow their dreams but also acknowledge that it is okay to not have one. They have also criticized students who leech off their parents’ money.
What made me connect to BTS more was when they released the “Love Yourself” series. The series explored different situations in line with love—between loving people as well as the self. More importantly, they encouraged listeners to interpret and manifest their own way of self love rather than saying how it should be done. I may not understand the language they sing and speak, but translations exist online. Having that message in mind, I can focus on the delivery of the song.
Here are a few snippets of their lyrics that struck me with their own takeaways:
1. “It’s alright to stop, there’s no need to run without even knowing the reason.” – Paradise
2. “You give me the best of me, so you’ll give you the best of you. You’ll find it, the galaxy inside you.” – Magic Shop
3. “Loving myself might be harder than loving someone else [...] the standards I made are more strict for myself [...], now let’s forgive ourselves. Our lives are long. Trust yourself when in a maze. When winter passes, spring always comes.” — Answer: Love Myself
4. “Maybe there’s no answer, maybe this isn’t the answer either. It’s just that loving myself doesn’t require anyone else’s permission” – Answer: Love Myself
Listening to their songs became part of my “self-care routine” as they encouraged me to do better. They help release some tension in me that makes it easier to approach family or friends to talk about my worries. On better days, I use their songs as an inspiration for stories in my creative writing class.
Seeing as BTS has millions of fans all over the world, I know that their impact has left a positive impression on others too. I have seen ARMYs (the fandom name) interact with each other to talk about how being a fan motivates them to do well in school and they try to take better care of themselves. It’s nice to see how much of the group’s influence created a positive impact in global society. Namjoon, the leader of the group, once said at a concert, “If BTS could reduce your pain from 100 to 99, 98 or 97, that makes our existence worthy.”