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BTS (with Tamar Herman)

BTS (with Tamar Herman)

Update: 2022-09-29
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Senior Culture Reporter for the South China Morning Post and author of the book BTS: Blood Sweat and Tears, Tamar Herman, joins DJ Louie for a deep-dive on K-Pop phenom boyband BTS. First, Louie and Tamar lay out some of the contours and history of the K-Pop scene and music industry before diving into BTS’ story, how they were initially put together in 2010 by producer Bang Si-Hyuk as a socially-conscious rap outfit on their “Skool Trilogy” in 2013 and 2014, and Bang’s vision for a boy band that broke K-pop norms by giving each member more agency in creating a distinct persona and shaping the group’s music. They then get into the group’s pivot to a more overt pop-oriented sound with mid-2010s output like the "Youth Trilogy", Wings, and the Love Yourself suite, all of which continued the group’s message-forward music while expanding their sound into EDM, R&B, Moombahton and more to massive success in Asian marketplaces and eventually, in the English-speaking world as well. Later, Louie and Tamar discuss just how BTS were able to fully cross-over into the biggest boy band in the world in the later 2010s, breaking into mainstream U.S. popular culture in a way no K-pop act had even whiffed at prior with their Map of the Soul albums, 2020’s BE, as well as on massive English-language hits like “Dynamite” and “Butter”, the unique pressure K-pop “Idols” are under in terms of how the present themselves in public, and how BTS and their success have changed the pop landscape both in their home country, stateside and across the globe. Finally, Louie and Tamar rank BTS in the official Pop Pantheon.

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BTS (with Tamar Herman)

BTS (with Tamar Herman)

DJ Louie XIV