K-pop BTS deserves respect from Asian singers especially Chinese

By Ai Pang Source:Global Times Published: 2019/3/30 12:31:38

BTS, the most popular K-pop boy group in the West, explained why they will stick to singing in Korean, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly magazine. 

BTS leader RM, who mentioned Despacito, a Spanish hit stayed at No.1 on the Billboard charts for 16 weeks, said, "I don't want to compare, but I think it's even harder as an Asian group. A Hot 100 and a Grammy nomination, these are our goals. But they're just goals — we don't want to change our identity or our genuineness to get number one."

With songs mostly in Korean with a few English words here and there, BTS has changed the image to Westerners by topping the Billboard 200 Chart with Love Yourself: Tear.  

He added, "Like if we suddenly sing in full English, then that's not BTS. We'll do everything, we'll try. But if we can't reach number one or number five, that's okay."

After reading this, as an Asian and a Chinese, I began to understand why the band is popular. I really think I need to show my respect to BTS and other music groups singing in non-English lyrics. 

Their insistence in their own culture is really what modern Chinese artists need to learn and something they must put into action. When the West talks about China, they only think about Kung fu, Bruce Lee, Jack Chan and food.  They only think of traditional music, no paintings instead of Along the River During the Qingming Festival, no books instead of Four Great Classical Novels. 

I really hope someone in the Chinese music world can do what Bruce Lee did to build a new cultural image of China and Asia, which BTS has done. Language was not a barrier for Bruce Lee, who "conquered" Western followers with dazzling Kung fu acts. Music, the universal language won't also be a barrier between the East and West.  


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