BTS makes history on SNL stage

By Nadine Kam I

BTS made history April 13 as the first Korean group to perform on “Saturday Night Live” in its 44 years. It was a big night for both parties, and my feeling is that SNL needed them more.

After telling all my friends to watch the show for BTS, I actually fell asleep for about 15 minutes while waiting for them to appear. Part of it was the result of being in a food coma from having dinner at GEN Korean BBQ’s official grand opening Pearlridge Center. The other part was that the rest of the show hosted by Emma Stone was soooooo boring. It just reaffirmed why I stopped watching the show a year ago after discovering K-pop.

Here’s a quote from that echoes my sentiment:

“While an SNL performance is usually a big deal for musical artists, this episode marked the rare occasion that getting a particular musical guest seemed to actually be a big deal for SNL. It’s not every week that SNL ends up being the top trending topic in America, and the group’s presence seems to have brought a whole new audience to the show that may not usually stay up to watch live.”

?: How I ate that sent me to sleep

I was able to catch the performance of “Mic Drop” but it’s an old one for them. I guess they chose to perform that song because it’s one they haven’t performed on any of their American award show appearances, and their last album, “Love Yourself: Answer’s” most powerful group song was “Idol,” which they’d performed a lot in this country. Much of the album was filled with solo songs from each member that help to give the group a rest from strenuous choreography during their live shows. While one is on stage, the others can take a breather.

I was able to catch their performance of “Boy With Luv” online after the show, and over two days probably watched it about 30 times. I loved seeing how happy and relaxed they were on stage. I loved seeing Taehyung’s (blue hair) smiles and expressions, and of course Jimin (orange hair) was as sexy as expected. They were all in such a good mood.

In a previous post I mentioned that I was really looking forward to hearing Halsey on the new BTS song. I have to admit I was a little disappointed by how small her vocal part was in the music video, but she does get a verse in the recording. I believe they downplayed her vocal because they don’t want audiences to get accustomed to hearing her voice and miss it when she’s not there during their concerts.

With 74.6 million views in one day, the MV for “Boy With Luv” broke the record for the biggest 24-hour debut, that was set by compatriots Black Pink just one week ago for “Kill This Love.” That video had 56.7 million views in 24 hours.

Although fans loved the colorful MV, they seemed to enjoy the SNL performance even more for the same reasons I did. It was trending at No. 2 on YouTube for two days, topped only by the new “Star Wars Episode 9” trailer.

? ? “Boy With Luv” video and explainer by DKDKTV

BTS x Halsey a dream come true

We are hours away from the release of BTS’s new release, “Map of the Soul: Persona,” and I’m extra excited that it will contain collaborations with Halsey and Ed Sheeran.

While Sheeran is better known, I’m really looking forward to hearing the Halsey collaboration because I love her breathy, resonant vocals. In fact, last November I mentioned on Facebook that I would really love to see her collaborate with BTS, and just a day before the announcement of the collaboration, I was in my car driving when a Halsey song came on. In that moment I tried to imagine what her voice would sound like with Taehyung’s equally deep, sexy vocals, and I thought of making a video mashup of the two together. I’m so glad that it will really happen!

? ? Listen to Taehyung and Halsey separately, imagine their voices together

I always thought BTS needed better collaborators than Nicky Minaj, whose lyrics in “Idol” were asinine. And Jungkook also sang “We Don’t Talk Anymore” with Charlie Puth, who the Army found problematic because of his racist, right-wing views.

Army was also up in arms over an interview he gave in which he said of BTS, “They’re massive, I want that social following…Me and Shawn Mendes are like how do we get that kind of fanbase? I’d love to collaborate with them,” implying he wanted to use their popularity to boost his own career. That kind of opportunist position irks BTS fans, who have the boys’ best interests in mind, and don’t want to see them used.

I understand that BTS also wants to raise its profile in the west by working with western artists, but at what cost? I feel like they don’t understand their own worth. Based on the size of BTS’s fanbase around the globe, and their social presence, all Western artists need them more than vice versa. At this point, I believe their only competitor in that realm may be Ariana Grande. Past social star Justin Bieber lost his hold on the spot to BTS two years ago.

Working with Halsey and Ed Sheeran are steps in the right direction. Remember to catch BTS on “Saturday Night Live” April 13!

? ? The teaser “Boy in Luv” video