Saturday Night Live is a step that is notoriously difficult to master. It's small – if you think that Studio 8H looks small on TV, it's even smaller in real life – and the mix is still slightly off. And more importantly, it's living, which means everything can happen. Yet, play on SNL This is an important test for an artist, and for those who know how to transcend the flaws of the stage and create a memorable performance, it's a defining moment in their career.
For the Korean artists BTS, the stakes were even more important on Saturday night (April 13th). First group of K-pop to perform as a musical guest on SNLit was a chance that the industry in general would take seriously. But if they were nervous, BTS did not show it.
In fact, there was a general feeling of ease when BTS performed his latest single "Boy With Luv". The septet – composed of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook members – seduced the audience with boundless energy, on-stage charisma, fun choreography and subtle precision. They had nothing to do with the scene anymore, nor trying to turn it into a three-minute performance to create something striking. Just purple lights – the characteristic color of the band and their fans, known as ARMY – and a group of musicians, putting aside the Western perception of the "K-pop machine made". (They even invited songwriter Melanie Fontana, who co-wrote "Boy With Luv," to sing vocals for them on stage.)
Aside from the story, perhaps their most miraculous feat was the quality of their work in this small, sacred studio. With seven members, the BTS has somehow made the SNL the scene feels bigger than life.
If "Boy With Luv" was a wellness feast – an introduction to the world's largest boys' group – their second performance, "Mic Drop", was a blazing coronation. Like the group first platinum certified hit In the United States, the hip-hop song "Mic Drop" (released in 2017, then remixed with Steve Aoki in 2018) was a wise choice for the band. But beyond that it is one of their best known songs in the United States, it is also a choice choice of duality of the group. Dance.
For Western audiences aspiring to the choreography of boys' groups (and if so, maybe you should get into Korean pop music), BTS organized an epic and electrifying dance break at Studio 8H :
Of course, SNL is only the last step of the historical journey of the group. They were the first Korean act to have an album No. 1 on the Display panel 200 – a feat so impressive, they have it again – and they are also the first Korean group to stage a stadium concert in the US – they once again beat their own record by announcing a world tour of the stadium and selling dates England, France and the United States
But there is something remarkable about the kind of visibility SNL offers an artist. And for Korean Americans who watch at home – who have never grown up with a full-time Asian actor in distribution Saturday Night Live – Seeing seven Korean men singing happily in Korean and representing their culture was a milestone that you can not begin to quantify with records and charts.
There is a lot to say about the direction BTS is taking from now, how they are channeling this notoriety and visibility into concrete results. Their goals are ambitious, but not improbable: a single n ° 1 on the Display panel Hot 100 ("Boy With Luv" will probably bring them closer than ever); a chance to play on the Grammy stage; and a coveted Grammy nomination for their music.
But what about Korean music in general? Now that the BTS have removed the barriers that previously prevented Korean artists from gaining market share in the United States – and have changed Western perceptions about K-pop – it's impossible to say who or what will happen. while BTS will continue its quest for world domination. But one thing is certain: the musical landscape is better for that.
BTS are the first, but their SNL assured performance that they will not be the last.