Are you ready to “shine through the city with a little funk and soul”? Because the seven member boy band from South Korea BTS have released their new disco pop single “Dynamite”. It was released on August 20, 2020, and, as their first full English single, it was very highly anticipated. On its premiere, the music video set a new record for the most viewed music video in the first 24 hours, making it number one with 101.1 million views, and the most commented video in YouTube history. This isn’t the first time they’ve broken this record. In fact, according to YouTube records, they hold five out of the ten spots on YouTube’s list of the 24 hour music debuts.
On a interview with Entertainment Weekly last year, the band’s leader, RM, shared that a #1 on the Hot 100 and a Grammy nomination were goals they had, and added that “they’re just goals — we don’t want to change our identity or our genuineness to get the number one. Like if we sing suddenly in full English, and change all these other things, then that’s not BTS. We’ll do everything, we’ll try. But if we couldn’t get number one or number five, that’s okay.” Although the song is entirely in English, they don’t really see it as a change in what they believe; this release wasn’t in their plans but upon listening to the demo they thought it was the perfect gift for their fans, ARMY. Especially in these difficult times, they hope that when people listen to it they feel happy and comforted.
With this single they became the first all South Korean group to debut at No.1 on the Hot 100 chart (September 5, 2020), and on September 28 they returned to No.1 on the Hot 100 for a third week. It’s no surprise this song became such a big hit. Not only does it sound like a song for the summer that could’ve been, but it has a very airy, happy beat that you can’t help but tap your feet and bop your head along to. The simple lyrics are somewhat a drastic change from their other releases such as “Black Swan” - a single where its lyrics hold a deeper meaning - but that could be because BTS didn’t have a hand in writing the lyrics, as it was written by David Stewart and Jessica Agombar who also wrote “What A Man Gotta Do” by the Jonas Brothers. But in the end those fun simple lyrics make it easy to sing along to. You will no doubt find yourself humming along to it’s catchy post chorus - “Dyn-na-na-na, na-na-na-na-na, na-na-na, life is dynamite” - hours later.
The music video itself is very colorful from their clothes to the building surrounding them, going well with it’s bouncy and bright beat. It includes the members wearing retro inspired outfits as well as hairstyles, quite different from their most recent releases like “ON” and “Black Swan” which have darker undertones. Each member has a solo scene that depicts them enjoying the little things: record shops, donut stores, playing basketball, goofing off with friends, and even rocking out in your room by yourself while enjoying a cup of milk. In between these scenes we have each member striking funny poses but also showing off their smooth dance moves. It ends with them dancing on a backdrop that resembles—as the youngest of the band, Jungkook described it— Teletubbyland.
With the buzz of this single, many are also anticipating their next release, which is their new album “BE”, to be released on November 20. This album has direct involvement from BTS not only in the music but also in concept and composition design, with the theme of “even in the face of this new normality, our life goes on”—which was a similar topic they mentioned in their latest UN speech—a message of healing to fans.