It’s been said that there’s always a silver lining no matter how bleak things may seem and as far as the definition of the word extends, the year 2020 has been without arguments on the worst side of bleak. Encompassed in three-odd-minutes of vibrance and joy that silver lining came into view - eight months into the year - in the form of BTS’ single ‘Dynamite’.
Delving into the creative inspiration behind the track the group - who are known for their dynamic songwriting - explain that this particular track sits snug in the middle of their spectrum of inspiration.
BTS tell Clash: “The track had both elements of introspection and outside influences, because we wanted to cheer ourselves up through ‘Dynamite’, and it was also a reaction to the current situation that affects our world, our society, and our community.”
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Described by the septet as the breakthrough they needed during tough times, the track was – and continues to be - a beacon of much-needed positivity for themselves and others. But when things are tough isn’t human nature to be a cynical?
Asked about the challenge of harnessing genuine joy for their art when everything around them fails to feed that joy, the band are charmingly realistic. They say: “It hasn’t been an easy year for us so far, and we’re sure everybody else would feel the same way. To be frank, yes, it’s challenging to stay positive all the time given what’s happening in the world and effecting our plans that we’ve been waiting to share with you all. But at the same time, things don’t always unfold as planned. Sometimes we just need to focus on what we can do.”
And so BTS did what they do best, they became the source of happiness for their legion of fans with the explosive power of ‘Dynamite’. Recalling the moment the inspiration for the track struck, they recount: “We came across this song while working on the new album for the second half of the year. Upon listening to the demo, we absolutely fell in love with it and thought to ourselves, what if we release this way?”
Exhibiting an inherent, almost instinctual understanding of their beloved ARMY, they add: “We knew right away that our fans from all around the world would love the song’s vibrant energy emitted by the rhythm and lyrics.” It goes without saying, they were absolutely right, because the single broke records, captured hearts and went the same way everything goes when BTS and ARMY come together ending in complete, deserving dominance.
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The trust that the band places in its fanbase is unfailingly returned in ten-fold. Upon release, ‘Dynamite’ annihilated the YouTube premiere record racking up over 10 million views in 20 minutes, but even prior to release ARMY knew with certainty their silver lining was on its way; the band’s first all-English release was flying off digital shelves and the limited-edition vinyl and cassettes sold out within an hour of availability.
At times like these, when the band’s ever-growing list of achievements, honours and cult following make itself known all at once, the seven-piece seems almost other worldly. But it’s not the oft-mentioned public status as the “(one of) biggest bands in the world” that defines BTS; rather, there are underpinned by their ability to stay grounded, to acknowledge and overcome challenges. BTS aren’t the biggest band in the world because of their achievements, but in spite of their hardships.
Going into the challenges of working on this particular track, they say: “The disco-pop sound and the fact that it’s our first-ever fully English track are the challenges, and they were definitely challenging. But we tend to be uplifted when facing a challenge and in the end it was fun and rewarding.”
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But what can be quantified as rewarding? Whenever a much-loved artist or act drops new music, there will always be several hopes, dreams and expectations are attached to the release. BTS is no different - with everything they offer to the world, a blanket of anticipation falls on their fanbase as they come together everything with the hopes of giving the band everything they deserve.
Setting all the talk of achievements and buzz of predictions aside, what exactly do BTS themselves hope to achieve with this track? Posed with this question, the band’s answer is equal parts endearingly simple and exceedingly awe-inspiring. “We actually have something very specific in mind. We hope this song can brighten up everybody who listens to it. We hope to light up the world especially in these times of hardship through music and performances; this is what we do best.”
This aura of confidence, the mastery of knowing exactly what they are capable of elevates BTS once again to the previously-mentioned other worldly standing. “It always brings smiles to our faces to see ARMY (online these days). They’re the reason that truly makes us who we are, and keep pushing forward regardless of obstacles or unexpected events,” and you’re instantly reminded that every bit of that confidence was hard-fought and well-earned.
BTS’ duality on stage and offstage, of being powerful performers but down-to-earth 20-somethings, is known fact. But this duality seems to extends far beyond that ; they are well-established yet always growing, they are secure in their skills yet big enough to pass credit on when it’s called for, they seem like shining stars far out of reach and yet they are right by us, experience our hardships along with us.
Upbeat and filled to the brim with good vibes, ‘Dynamite’ is the silver lining we needed and much more. It explodes sparkling and bright, enveloping everyone in its warmth as it sets your feet dancing and hearts fluttering; for a brief moment BTS returns every last bit of joy you thought was lost back to you, seven-fold.
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'Dynamite' is out now.
Words: Malvika Padin
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