The interview found member Jin paying tribute to the fan gang that has elevated the seven-member K-pop superstars to the top of the pop heat, including helping to boost them to their first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 singles tally with “Dynamite.”
“Our goal is to try to show ourselves, expose ourselves to ARMY as much as possible,” Jin said. “There are a lot of platforms now.” That includes The Tonight Show, where the group is in the midst of a weeklong residency, which has so far included three performances and a hearty shoutout from superfan actor/wrestler John Cena.
And though they don’t consider themselves to be political by nature, BTS have made waves this year with their donation — along with label Big Hit — $1 million to Black Lives Matter, an effort quickly matched by the ARMY in just over 24 hours. They donated a similar amount to Crew Nation, the Live Nation effort to support out-of-work live entertainment workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and have expanded their work with UNICEF to combat violence against children.
“I don’t consider ourselves as political,” member Suga said of their reluctance to be seen as an activist crew. “We aren’t trying to send out some grandiose message. We would see ARMY as a conduit for our voice or our opinion. ARMY speaks their own initiatives, and we always respect their opinions, as we respect any other person’s.”
RM, though, had a slightly different take, saying that actions speak louder than words. “We are not political figures, but as they say, everything is political eventually. Even a pebble can be political,” he said, also noting that the record-setting 80+ million views for the “Dynamite” video on its first day is “very weighty — and almost frightening,” alluding to the difficult dual burden of being role models and artists at the same time.
Though they’ve crashed the charts, another measure of BTS’ domination of the American market could come on Jan. 31 at the Grammy Awards, with the group potentially scoring their long-sought stamp of approval from the American music industry. “I grew up watching American award shows, so obviously we all know and I know the importance of the Grammys,” Suga said. “It’s a dream anyone working in music has.”
Snagging an industry-voted award is a huge goal, according to RM, who said striving for the golden gramophone, “motivates us to work harder. As Suga said, if you are in music, the Grammy Awards are something that you cannot help but to look toward and set as an eventual goal.”