What to know about BTS’ comeback

Jess Oakley, Reporter

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BTS, 방탄소년단, romanized as Bangtan Sonyeondan, loosely translates to bulletproof boy scouts, is a seven member South Korean boy group. The group debuted on June 12, 2013, with their first single album, ‘2 Kool 4 Skool.” The band consists of three rappers and four vocalists. They all know how to dance, act and model as well. This is what makes them an idol group. The members consist of the leader, Kim Namjoon, who goes by the stage name of RM. The eldest member is a vocalist, named Kim Seokjin, followed by the rapper Min Yoongi, who goes by Suga with BTS and as Agust D in solo projects. Dancer and rapper Jung Hoseok, also known by the stage name J-Hope is next in the lineup. Vocalist and dancer Park Jimin, vocalist Kim Taehyung, known by the stage name V, and youngest member, Jeon Jungkook round out the latter half of the members.
BTS has gained fame and attention from outside of South Korea, being a part of the Hallyu “Korean Wave,” which refers to the global popularity of Korean exports in entertainment such as music, television, movies and other aspects of pop culture. BTS has gone on three world tours since 2015 and has grown in popularity with each comeback.
BTS took an extended hiatus from producing music and touring in 2019, a five-week vacation that ended on Sept. 16, 2019. This was the first time since their debut in 2013 that the group had a vacation for an extended period of time. The boys said that it was a really good opportunity to take a vacation from work and focus on other factors in their life.
On Jan. 7, 2020, just one week into the new decade, the group announced their comeback with a post on their twitter which they later deleted. The way that comebacks usually function and are carried out in K-pop is through teasers for each member, a trailer for the music video, concept photos of each member and the group as a whole, a music video release and promotional activities such as going to music shows and performing their title track and b-sides on televised stages.
BTS and their parent company, BigHit Entertainment, have a bit more planned for this comeback. On Jan. 8, they released a graphic that explained the comeback would be played out in four phases. Each phase involves things such as a trailer, concept photos or a release of a single or the whole album. Something unique about this comeback is what the band is calling “CONNECT, BTS.” There are five physical cities that are connected to this title, as well as the first one being online.
Through Connect, BTS, the band is working with art curators to share with their fans and showcase 22 different artists at exhibitions in London, New York, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Seoul, South Korea. On the initiative’s website, it says “‘CONNECT, BTS’ is a global project to connect five cities and 22 artists, each of whom contributes their unique philosophy and imagination to it. This project aims to redefine the relationships between art and music, the material and immaterial, artists and their audiences, artists and artists, and theory and practice. ‘CONNECT, BTS’ may be described in terms of a collective curatorial practice by curators around the world who resonated with BTS’s philosophy.”
This is a brand-new approach to K-pop comebacks and is totally new to many people. BTS will release the tracklist for their new album, “Map Of The Soul: 7” on Feb. 17, followed by the album release on Feb. 21. The album has been available for pre-order since Jan. 8, and comes in four different versions.

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