South Korean boy band BTS explores disco-pop elements on its new song “Dynamite,” which is its first song recorded entirely in English.
Since the group’s debut into the K-pop market in 2013, BTS’s music slowly grew in popularity, becoming an underdog story in the K-pop industry. Formed under its company Big Hit Entertainment, BTS experienced humble beginnings before its global superstardom.
After the global virality of “Fire” and “Blood Sweat & Tears,” the group achieved its first worldwide hit “DNA” in 2017, which was more than 4 years after its debut. Afterward, BTS’s fame and demand increased immensely.
Each successive single and album BTS released gained more sales. The group’s most recent album “Map of the Soul: 7” sold over 4 million copies in South Korea alone in nine days.
K-pop acts often have a tougher time breaking into the western music market than Latin and European acts. Because of the language barrier, K-pop songs don’t get as much radio play in America compared to songs in English. As a result, BTS’s songs mostly debut high before swiftly falling off the charts.
However, because “Dynamite” is a song entirely in English, BTS will perhaps achieve lasting success on the pop charts if the song is good enough. Luckily, the song is a breath of fresh air.
“Dynamite” is the upbeat disco-pop song that the world needs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lyrically, the song is about re-energizing a community with joy and confidence, which is something the world is in desperate need of after experiencing months of lockdown and economic turmoil.
Member Jungkook sings the opening lines with “‘Cause I, I, I’m in the stars tonight/So watch me bring the fire and set the night alight.” He then finishes off the verse describing his morning routine before he takes on the day.
Jungkook, Jimin and Jin harmonies in the chorus and the key change are exciting and can bring a smile to any listener. The song’s disco-inspired production has an infectious groove that is undeniably catchy.
While the song is not filled with lyrical complexities, the most entertaining factor of the song is the music video. Each of the 7 members is dressed in 1970s fashion to maintain the disco theme of the song. No moment is without bright colors and Michael Jackson-inspired dance moves.
For just a single moment, one South Korean boy band was able to unite the world with an upbeat positive song and achieve global charting success during dark times.
While “Dynamite” won’t be remembered as the BTS’s magnum opus -- it is far from the group’s best work lyrically -- the song will be remembered as a defining moment in BTS’s crossover success.