BTS Got Really Honest About Their Experience Singing In English
They have no plans to drop an English album.
Over the past year, BTS has dropped three English singles. It all started in August 2020 with the release of “Dynamite,” which marked the group’s first song to top the Billboard Hot 100 and led their first Grammy nomination. Then, in May 2021, arrived “Butter,” which became the longest-running No. 1 hit of the year, topping the chart for nine weeks as of Aug. 26. BTS only reached greater success with “Permission To Dance,” their fifth No. 1 single in 10 months, which made them the fastest artist to get five No. 1s since Michael Jackson did between 1989 and 1989. Due to all the success they’ve achieved with their recent singles, some may ask, “Will BTS drop an English album?”
In an Aug. 26 interview with Billboard, BTS revealed it wasn’t their idea to drop songs in English. Their label, HYBE, actually brought the idea to them, and not all of them were on the same page about it at first. “There was no alternative,” RM said.
In a previous interview with Variety, RM opened up about BTS’ changing attitudes toward recording English songs amid the coronavirus pandemic. “I admit that I had an interview some time ago where I said that I think it won’t be BTS anymore if we sing in English. I admit it,” RM told Variety in October 2020. “At that time, that was my real, honest thing. I think I have to now admit that many things have changed: the virus and pandemic, [the fact that] we can’t be on stage and have concerts anymore. Many things have changed, and my thoughts and my mind and myself have also changed, and now we’re giving a little crazy shot called ‘Dynamite.’ That’s all I can say.”
In the end, the members decided amongst themselves that making some English music was the right move. “I think it’s a testament to the band’s strengths, the way they can come to a friendly resolution and be mindful of the company’s needs,” Shin Young-Jae, the president of BTS’ label, Big Hit Music, told Billboard.
But the move wasn’t easy. Jin explained it was difficult learning the language, so to help with his pronunciation, he wrote down the lyrics using Korean characters. “The English I learned in class was so different from the English in the song. I had to erase everything in my head first,” Jin said.
While BTS may release more English-language songs in the future, they have no plans to release a full English project. Their focus is recording music in Korean and they don’t care if their Korean songs do as well or if they remain outliers in the U.S. music industry because what matters to them is staying true to themselves. “I don’t think we could ever be part of the mainstream in the U.S., and I don’t want that either,” RM told Billboard, adding BTS’ lyrics will be predominantly in Korean moving forward. “Our ultimate goal is to do a massive stadium tour there. That’s it.”
“We’re always ready,” Jungkook said of the possibility of touring again. Unfortunately, on Friday, Aug. 20, BTS officially canceled their Map of the Soul tour after postponing it in March 2020, but fans have a theory they’re already planning another one.
Rumor has it BTS also has another album in the works to be released in 2021. However, fans shouldn’t expect any of BTS’ future albums to be entirely in English, since they prefer making music in their native tongue.