Beautiful. Timely. Special: My Journey with BTS

BEAUTIFUL!
It all started with ‘Butterfly’. I first heard the song on a Korean music show, sung by Hyolyn, a former member of the South Korean group, Sistar. I was hooked by its melancholic melody and although the only words that I understood from the lyrics were ‘like a butterfly’, I was captivated by it. There is something so painfully soothing about it. ‘Whose song is this? Why is it so beautiful?’ I asked my daughter, whose knowledge of Kpop music was certainly more diverse than mine. She replied, ‘BTS!’ and that’s all it took. My journey of discovery began. 

The curiosity to find out who the original artistes are led me from one video to another. Soon, I was spending hours getting to know their names, ages, personalities and other endearing qualities. I found myself laughing at their antics and crying while understanding their lyrics. My heart swelled looking at how much they adore and respect each other. I found myself rooting for them in award shows like they are my family. I looked for books I could read about them. I found inspiration from their speeches, interviews and background stories and I have used them during some of my lessons in class. 

Yes, these seven gentlemen are gorgeous, but to me, what make them stand apart from the rest are the honesty in their musical journey and the healing messages in their songs. As I go deeper into discovering who BTS is, I took the time to listen to their entire discography and learnt the meaning behind each and every song. I read the book ‘BTS: The Review – A Comprehensive Look at the Music of BTS’ by music critic Kim Youngdae to have a more in depth understanding of the music. With every research I made and every song I listened to, I realised my respect and love for these talented young men grew exponentially. How do these men stay rooted and humble? How do they find the courage to address controversial issues and yet be relatable and connected to their listeners? How do they pull people of different ages, genders, ethnicities and cultures together through their songs? 

TIMELY!
Every day I feel blessed to have found BTS at the time when I needed them the most. I was struggling to find a sense of purpose and peace then. I needed an escape from a challenging period of my life. BTS provided that solace. Getting to know them gave me a sense of happiness and at the same time, made me rethink the choices I have to make in my life. Being lost in their music somehow gave me clarity. BTS also gave my daughters and I opportunities to bond and ‘fangirl’. We were over the moon when we managed to grab tickets to their concert in Singapore in January 2019. We can’t speak Korean much but we sang our hearts out (nevermind if the lyrics were wrong) and waved our ARMY bombs with pride. A surreal and magnificent moment indeed! With the current pandemic and the uncertainty of when live concerts can resume, that concert became more and more precious to me. 

SPECIAL! 
Over time, every ARMY will realise that the bond we have with BTS and fellow ARMY around the world is very special and unique. We may not know everyone personally, but the camaraderie we have is tight. We move in great precision when it comes to supporting BTS, be it streaming their music, participating in charitable causes or even protecting them against discrimination. I have made friends with ARMY from different parts of the world and that is made possible because of our love for BTS. 

There are many musical acts that I listen to and love but only BTS felt this special. Their achievements speak volumes of their talent and their passion in what they do. They have earned their rightful place in the history of music and they have definitely made a significant presence in my life. 

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