Breaking records around the world as the first K-pop act to have a top 10 Billboard 200 album, BTS’ popularity is propelled as much by their narrative as by their music. Overarching stories portrayed through stylized video clips, imagery, and performances have served as addendums to the band’s music, furthering the meaning behind the lyrics and melodies.
While working with with numerous creatives over the years, most notably the production team Lumpens, BTS has been able to create an extended stylized fictive world for their music. Though there’s a lot of mystery surrounding the tale that BTS is telling, Big Hit Entertainment’s staff and creative team’s members took the time to answer a few questions about the boy band’s visual aspects:
How much creative input do the band members have regarding the visual elements and storytelling?
BTS members are given the chance to give input to the visual elements and storytelling once the basic concept is set up. The storytelling as a whole is designed to represent each member in terms of reality, as well as in a fictional narrative. It’s better to involve everyone as much as we can, and that’s how we continue to have a very strong narrative throughout the series of albums.
Elongated, cinematic videos have become a trademark of Lumpens, and through the ongoing collaboration, BTS. With Love Yourself’s videos, it seems like we’ve hit a new era. Can you talk about that a bit?
The theme behind the EP is definitely ‘Love,’ but we wanted to focus more on the passionate side of youth who are in love and feel like they are destined to be together, like [with] “DNA.” Everything you see in the video is a literally visual representation of the lyrics of the song, with heavy computer graphics and special effects.
Love Yourself has just begun, and already we’ve seen a lot: short dramas, dual-meaning posters, the “Serendipity” trailer, and fans have been hunting for hints, particularly for the smereldo flowers. Thematically, how have things changed now than from earlier eras?
BTS always strives to embrace new changes in all their content; form, theme, genre, length…whatever it might be. So we haven’t necessarily changed since the earlier era, we’ve just evolved into new concepts. We will continue to challenge ourselves with new ideas that have not been tried before, and we will always value innovative narratives & creative.
What is the story you’re attempting to tell with Love Yourself?
Love is the most important thing in the world. It changes people and it means a lot to people. At the same time, you go through quite a lot to be loved and to love. At the end of the day, you realize that you need to love yourself first to love someone in true form.
Is there any specific inspirations behind Love Yourself?
Inspirations are everywhere. It’s in books, movies, music, fans, non-fictions… it’s a combination of everything we consume in the culture.
How does fashion & styling fit into building BTS’ “world”?
Most of the creative staff have been working with BTS since [their] debut and they understand what each member prefers to put on to look best. The fashion and styling crew work on the concept as soon as the narrative is set, so the overall fashion has the best fit into building the BTS world on its own.