Global supergroup BTS held a press conference in support of the news their single, “Dynamite,” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. BTS kicked off their press conference on September 1, 2020 by admitting they never expected so much immediate success with the release of “Dynamite,” and they were a bit overwhelmed when they learned the single was breaking records.
“I never imagined we would get number one on Billboard’s Hot 100. It feels like a dream,” said J-Hope. “We started because we love music and dance. I am happy and the group’s sincerity has been able to reach so many people. The fans drove us and allowed us to become the BTS we are today.”
Jimin added, “We have calmed down a little bit. We were going crazy with excitement yesterday. The members and I were together for the entire process, and I am thankful to the fans, Bang Si-hyuk, and the Big Hit family.”
“I went to sleep after I heard the news because I didn’t want to over-excite myself,” explained RM. “I thought a lot about BTS’ past, eating together, practicing together in the studio together. My contribution to our achievement is small and it’s really the ARMY, the members, the writers, the other members of the staff, the member of the press. I think it was all of these contributions who made these achievements.”
BTS “Dynamite” Q&A:
Moderator: Listening to all of your reactions, it still doesn’t hit home for me. Jungkook?
Jungkook: “When I saw the charts I wasn’t sure what I was looking at was real. I was out of it for a little bit. I want to thank ARMY for helping us reach the achievement and this milestone. And our other members…I am thankful that I was able to meet them and our Big Hit staff.
I think – how should I put this – being able to be a part of this great milestone it was actually my birthday yesterday, so it was a really great birthday present. I felt that I was glad I was born, and I want to say once again thank you to my mom and dad and thank you to ARMY. Thank you so much.”
Jin: “When RM sent a picture of the chart to our group chat, he said it was a doctored photo. It was about 15 minutes before the release. It wasn’t real. But he showed me the same photo later and thought, ‘This is it. This is real. This was a real screenshot.’
I went on to Weverse – it is an app that we use to communicate with our fans. I kept writing a message, I kept erasing it. I was thinking about how I can express these feelings to our fans, and I realized the only thing I can really say is BTS with ARMY this is something that we achieved together. I think this is a song that we made because we wanted to enjoy it together with our fans and the fact that we were able to achieve this really made us happy and this is all thanks to our fans. Thank you so much.”
Suga: “I’m still having a hard time grasping that this is real. We talked a lot about our goals and we often said number one on the Hot 100 it was something we’d like to have. It became a goal. It’s not like we worked hard to reach just this goal, but it feels like a dream that we have reached this goal and the fact that we accomplished it, there was this surge of excitement.
And when I learned of the news, I actually pinched myself. The Billboard charts was something that was really familiar to me. I listen to the songs on the charts even from when I was very little. So, I have to thank all of our ARMY that made all of this possible.”
V: “I didn’t think BTS would be in such a spotlight by the global audience. We all came to Seoul with nothing. We had an exceedingly small practice studio in a basement. It was just the seven of us practicing together, working together. These memories are still very fresh in my mind. I don’t know why this stayed with me so much, but when I came to Seoul it was me and my dad and we took a cab and we were actually cheated by the cab driver. So these are the memories that stayed with me.
And comparing these memories and what we have achieved now… These are all cherished memories and all of the difficult things we had to go through practicing as trainees, all of these now are pleasant memories and sweet memories and that really amplifies the joy that I have now.
I feel like I received some kind of reward and it makes me really happy. So, I think today I’m going to set down any worries, any concerns. I just want to be happy and I hope everyone can smile and laugh.”
Moderator: I would like you to take us down memory lane. It was in December 2015 that you first made it onto the Billboard 200 chart. It has to be seared into your mind. What did it feel like?
J-Hope: “Seeing our name on the Billboard chart was very shocking.”
Jungkook: “I think I was the same as J-Hope. It was impossible, literally impossible for us to achieve that kind of feat. We couldn’t believe that this was real or was it a dream? That’s what we felt back then and now that we had that result, we wanted to reach for even more height. And that’s where we got even more driven and we were able to reach higher.”
Moderator: When we talk of goals, we need to talk to you, Suga.
Suga: “Actually all of our goals that I have mentioned are becoming reality. And it makes me really happy and feel a great deal of accomplishment, but I also think I need to be careful what I say when it comes to goals. We have this great song ‘Dynamite’ and we did not release it to make it onto the Hot 100, but we simply put it out to give more energy to people around the world. I am so happy so many people listened to this song and became energized and that fact makes me more happier than topping the Billboard chart.
I feel I do need to mention our new goals. I feel a bit pressured right now. I have to say we went to the Grammys and we did a collaboration performance (Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo, Nas, and Mason) and now I would like to do a single performance with just BTS. It would be great to receive an award BUT that’s not going to become a reality just because we want it. We need a lot of help from a lot of people so for now just getting to perform on the Grammy Award stage is our goal.”
Question from the Press: Jimin mentioned on social media that the tears kept flowing after you learned this news. We would like to hear a little bit about where those tears came from and why?
Jimin: “It was after 4am when I heard this news and I was basically crying until 7am and then I just fell asleep because I was exhausted from crying. At first, I was really shocked. And I was with Jungkook and we were thrilled and really excited. Then we were just staring at the chart and then just sort of caressing it in our hands on our phones and then I just started crying.
And then we started to talk with the other members. I said to Namjoon, ‘It was because of you that we have accomplished all of this.’ What we talked about the most is that this is possible for us, we can do this.
Looking back, they were the things we wanted to do, the things we continued to do. This felt like an acknowledgement, a reward for all of the things we have been doing. Being able to come together in such difficult times for everyone, what I thought was I really wanted to perform. I really want to get on stage and perform for ARMY.”
Question from the Press: “Dynamite” is being seen as capturing the American general public. What do you think is the reason you’ve attracted the general public with this particular song?
RM: “That is not an easy question to answer because it’s not just number one on the Hot 100; it requires help from the general public. I don’t know the exact lines between fans and general public and their acceptance. I think this is something that we continue to pursue. It could have been our performance, what we do behind the scenes, what we said. I think ‘Dynamite’ was more familiar because of the language and other elements. The language is familiar to the American public, something easy to sing along with, to hum with.”
Question from the Press: Seven years ago in your debut showcase you said, “It’s not easy for rookies to succeed but we will try to stay on course and become a group that will be loved by the public and become artists with a song on the Billboard 100.” Is there something you would like to say to BTS of seven years ago?
J-Hope: “Seven years ago seems like a lifetime ago. There were a lot of new groups and to stand out the only thing we could do was really work hard like our lives depended on it. We did our best and we went as hard as we could. We worked really hard in getting our name out. That was our goal to stay alive until the end.
We have reached milestones far beyond what I had expected. It’s an honor and we are always thankful. It feels the world has acknowledged our sincerity and our authenticity and that makes me really happy and proud. If I could talk to J-Hope from seven years ago I want to tell him, ‘You’ve worked really hard and that your efforts did not betray you.’
All of the members are really precious to me. I think I have said it many times – but this is something that deserves to be said – I think the members are really precious to me. These are people who have become the major reason in my life, my existence. I want to say thank you to the members for being with me for seven years and to ask them to be with me for the rest of my life. I’d like to say I love you to all the members.”
Question from the Press: When we talk about BTS, we have to talk about ARMY. In your lyrics for “Boy with Luv” you express your love for ARMY. Who is ARMY for you?
Jin: “I think topping the chart is all thanks to ARMY. ARMY is someone who we want to share good news with first. We want to hide our sadness and just show positive times and share good thoughts and things. ‘Dynamite’ was a song that we worked on with the desire to enjoy with our fans and we have enjoyed. It is because that ARMY exists that we exist, and we are always thankful. We always want to show the best side of us. ARMY, we love you.”
Question from the Press: In the current situation where people are spending more time at home – things have changed, lifestyles have changed – where do you get your healing and happiness?
Suga: “I have developed a lot of new hobbies. I have been drawing a lot. I have been playing the guitar. It’s not just me, all the other members have thought a lot about what they can do. We started to work on our new album that will come in the second half of this year. Some of us started to working out a bit more. Namjoon has been working out his arms.”
Question from the Press: What will 2020 be remembered by BTS as being?
RM: “The start of 2020 was fairly good. We had our comeback (Map of the Soul: 7 was released in February). We were preparing for our world stadium tour. Early spring, we had COVID-19 outbreak. Weren’t sure what to do. I don’t think it is how 2020 will be remembered but how we want it to be remembered. In the future I’d like to say that was a tough year, we had our comeback, COVID-19 hit, and we tried our best. I would like to remember 2020 as the year we tried our best.”
Question from the Press: What is the direction of BTS?
Jimin: “I will answer this first. I don’t think I can give you a clear-cut answer; this is my opinion. Of course we will try our best for whatever is in our reach. There are things we must do and that we can do. In the feature we will continue to do performances that we can, and we will prepare for them.
The situation isn’t good with COVID-19 and the situation is dire. In order for COVID-19 to end so many people are doing their best. They are trying their best to crack down on this disease. We still need a lot more time and energy for this to come to an end and we need everyone to come together to make a combined effort to do so. As far as our career, I would like to show people in different countries there is a group called BTS.”
RM: “I am incredibly grateful for all of this attention and I am very grateful to have all these opportunities. Jimin said everything that needs to be said. I would like to just add this one thing. The Grammy Awards is something all the performers dream of, and of course we would like to perform there too (just BTS). We would, of course, like to be nominated. It would be great to receive an award. That is the direction we should be headed for. We grew up watching the awards show.
One more thing. We are preparing on our next album and we will be putting on another concert and it will be online.”
Question from the Press: You recently performed “Dynamite” on the VMAs, becoming the first Korean act to perform at all four major US award shows (AMAs, Billboard Awards, Grammys and VMAs). What was it like reaching this last milestone?
V: “I want to say a while ago when J-Hope was speaking I was really touched. We would watch these award shows and wonder would we ever be able to stand on these stages. Performing on these stages seems like a dream come true. It will be a memory seared for a very thing time.”
BTS finished up their press conference by thanking the press and reminding everyone to stay safe, healthy, and to wear a mask.