BTS describes new single 'Butter' as simple, sexy and summery
“We're still longing for a Grammy so we're making another attempt with ‘Butter’ and we hope to see good results,” said Suga during a press conference for the release of BTS’s latest digital single “Butter” on Friday afternoon.
BTS’s “Butter” is the boy band’s second all-English track, coming after megahit “Dynamite,” which earned the band its first Grammy nomination last year. It also follows “Life Goes On” (2020) and Japanese single “Film Out” (2021) — the former which was made to console listeners around the world amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the latter, a love song. The two tracks soothed listeners’ minds thanks to their calming melodies, but for “Butter,” BTS has returned to its funky spirit.
“'Butter' is a lively, energetic dance pop track not just in the melody but also the performance,” said Jungkook. “'Butter' is simple. The days are getting hotter and it’s probably going to get even hotter. We hope that people will enjoy this summer with BTS’s ‘Butter.’ That’s all we hope for.”
“It’s a little embarrassing to describe it like this, but it’s just a cute love song that says that I’m going to melt your heart softly like butter,” said Jimin, smiling. To add to the cute-sexy vibe, members often blow kisses in the music video or run their fingers through their hair, according to J-Hope.
“There are also parts in the music video where some of the members put on special performances, so watch out for those scenes.”
Last year, BTS was nominated for the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance award for “Dynamite.” The award was established in 2012 and recognizes new vocal or instrumental duos, groups or collaborative pop recordings. The award goes to singles or individual tracks included on albums. Although gugak (traditional Korean music) musicians have been nominated and honored by the Grammys in the past, it was the first time for any musician from the genre of K-pop to be recognized. The award went to Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga’s “Rain On Me” (2020).
Anticipation for the band’s win was high, as the septet became K-pop’s first-ever No. 1 ranking on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart in September with “Dynamite.” The band was also invited to perform as a nominee at the awards ceremony — another first for any K-pop act. Members of the band expressed their gratitude for their fans who they credited for the nomination, and expressed their desire to try one more time.
“As many people may guess, we do have the Grammys in mind and we’re going to give whatever we can for that,” said RM. “We try to think about what our role is in this era of the new normal. What is our role and what is our purpose? Why do we make music? The Grammys are important but we try to think about what we as BTS can deliver and what value to pursue in this genre and industry.”
BTS will celebrate the eighth anniversary of its debut in June. Just as the band has done every year, it will celebrate the meaningful month with fans through its “Festa” event series, which consists of diverse forms of content for fans.
“Our eighth anniversary is such a happy and meaningful thing, but we also wish the situation could be a little better,” said V. “There are so many things that we haven’t been able to show the fans yet, but the coronavirus still keeps us away from meeting with ARMY [fan club] in person. But we will still try our best.”
Just like BTS, its agency HYBE also keeps growing its influence in the global music market. It merged with Ithaca Holdings, the company behind major pop stars such as Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, in April. HYBE was named on TIME Magazine's list of 100 Most Influential Companies, along with some of the most powerful names in the world such as Apple, Delta, Sony Music Group and Twitter the same month. BTS has always expressed pride in spreading K-pop and the Korean culture overseas, but members aid they don’t want to limit themselves to one particular category of music or style.
“I think with all forms of art, you don’t know what it is when you’re in the middle of the process, but a discussion on what it is forms after it’s been created,” said RM. “For us, our music and also the Grammys and every other challenge that we’re pursuing is an ongoing issue. I believe that K-pop isn’t just one genre of music but a whole industry. I think we will be assessed later in time and all we can do is just do the best we can as BTS.”
RM continued, “We’ve thought about what makes BTS popular. A lot can be contributed to the contemporary issues that we deal with but I think it’s because with every piece of music that we make, we always discuss what each of the members think — how they’re doing and what their thoughts are. We also think about what people want, what stories they want to hear or what they want to express. Each and every one of our songs is an endeavor to address all of that. So we would be very grateful if people understand our music as our best effort to address problems of the moment.”
BTS will perform “Butter” for the first time at the upcoming Billboard Music Awards set to take place on May 24, U.S. time. The band has been nominated for awards in four categories: Top Duo/Group, Top Song Sales Artist, Top Social Artist, and Top Selling Song. BTS is the only Korean artist to be nominated five consecutive times in the Top Social Artist category.
“When I first started music in [the city of] Daegu, I performed in front of two people,” said Suga. “I know how it hurts to have no one listen to your music or know what you’re doing. Since then, we have been given so much love. So our music is for the fans, and it’s only right that we make music that fans like.”
BY YOON SO-YEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]