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May 24, 2019

BTS, drawing the Map of the Soul and the future of the music industry

Written by @JorgeDiaz from Electro Arpegio / 6 mins read

It's very nice to hear groups like BTS, for me, they represent what many of us dreamed decades ago, those of us who once tried to make our way in the music industry of our country always had the dream to succeed not just locally but also beyond our borders, both in the countries that shared our language and, why not, in countries where they spoke a language different from ours. I think that for a long time that was only possible for English-speaking artists. The formulas used by those who created and produced music in that language, in addition to the commercialization of popular music trends such as Pop, Rock, Disco, and Soul (to mention the most popular), universalized the dissemination of their music. When generating such a massive success of the music that came mainly from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, the industry grew so much that it was very difficult to give access to other things that were not the ones that guaranteed success. It is normal among orthodox businessmen not to experiment and only concentrate on what has already proven to be effective when it comes to producing money. In some cases, countries learned the formula and replicated it by adapting it to their culture and, of course, to their language. In different countries, there were also very successful artists at the local level but, for the reasons that I have mentioned and some other inconveniences, real jewels of music were limited to be known only in their countries or in the countries that shared the language, in the best of cases. The big showcase of the popular music industry was reserved for English-speaking singers. Of course, many of those who had global successes in the English language, also underwent a lot of work and pressure, including some were not happy with the direction that large companies imposed on their careers, for the same reason, I'm not implying that they had it easy just because of singing in English, but at least I think they were closer than others on the platform that could throw them into stardom. Of course, throughout the history of popular music, there have been exceptions and several artists from different latitudes, cultures, and languages have managed to place great successes worldwide, but that only confirms the rule. Fortunately, we are living in other times in which the work of artists as diverse as our planet can be shown and disseminated widely and demonstrate to those who run the industry that it is worth investing in them without fear because they know how to do things equal to or better than those who have traditionally been doing it for decades. This is the case of BTS, a Korean boy band that has come not only to break down language barriers, but also the paradigms of the music industry.

Nothing is the same

Map of the Soul: Persona, it is a disc that has not been created by chance, the boys of the band and those around them have planned letters and rhythms with contents that pretend to make a map of the feelings, fears, needs, and problems in general of young people around the world. They have also learned the formula well and in certain cases, their songs show that they have even perfected it. It is characteristic of the people from the Far East to distinguish themselves by their dedication, effort, and discipline in everything they do, so it is not surprising that the material gathered for this album is of excellence; sound, interpretation, image and the production of several videos, confirm what I say. From my point of view, I think the most important thing about the BTS phenomenon is that the market that was usually very difficult for other languages has fallen at the feet of these guys. That is the great news since this gigantic wave of music, culture, and marketing began to move from the East, it became a tsunami that conquered even the countries where it was more difficult to enter with proposals that did not respond to their idiosyncrasy and language. The United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, among other English-speaking countries, have placed Map of the Soul: Persona in the first places of popularity for several weeks. Unheard for these markets and its citizens over 40 years. This is an opening movement that is taking place thanks to the young people of those countries and the new communication tools that have violently broken into our way of seeing the world. From now on, nothing will be the same.

This door will not be closed again

The video of the song "Make it Right" is a clear example of the place that BTS has in the public worldwide and, above all, that the fears of reaching places as different as the one that saw them born have been overcome. Confident in themselves and in their value within the music industry, the guys reflect that they truly believe in everything they are doing and, that is why they do it right. Of course they are not the only ones coming from the Far East, other bands and soloists have been penetrating for some time, however, I believe that BTS is the main element that has opened the doors to the Anglo-Saxon market for others who, like them, want to eat the world with their ingenuity and creativity. It is only a matter of time (not much) so that not only the musical currents of the East begin to penetrate strongly the market of these countries, but also that of other cultures and languages. It is not that it has not happened yet, but from the point of view of the great business that the sale of discs and massive concerts represents, there is still some time left. That may be the best news for music lovers in the future, because of the contribution that all these styles and ways of conceiving music and life, will greatly enrich all those who compose songs and seek new forms of artistic expression. For now, the door that BTS has opened will never close.