Photo from UNICEF.
“Find your name, and find your voice by speaking yourself.” - Kim Nam Joon
Without a doubt, K-pop has made its way to mainstream media, our playlists, and even to our hearts. Different groups and artists have become the “face” of K-pop. With a myriad of names that put the genre on the map, one of the names that stand out is BTS.
Signed under Big Hit Music, the Korean boy group with aliases like “Bangtan Sonyeondan” and “Bulletproof Boy Scouts” consists of Kim Nam Joon (RM), Park Ji Min (Jimin), Kim Seok Jin (Jin), Min Yoon Gi (Suga), Jung Ho Seok (J-Hope), Kim Tae Hyung (V), and Jeon Jung Kook (Jungkook).
Throughout the years, BTS has been nominated in many award shows and has accumulated several accolades both inside and outside of South Korea. The group also worked with several popular western artists like Steve Aoki, Sia, and Halsey and has landed some endorsements with famed brands like Louis Vuitton, Funko Inc., and most recently, McDonald’s.
Needless to say, the amount of recognition and fame that the group enjoys comes with great responsibilities. With the vast reach of their voice, the Bangtan Boys did not pass on opportunities to use their platform to speak on numerous social issues, as well as to provide hope in these trying times.
Their “Love Yourself” albums paved the way for “LOVE MYSELF”— a campaign in partnership and in support of UNICEF’s #ENDviolence which is a global campaign project that aims to protect children and teens against violence. In 2018, the group was invited to deliver a speech in the United Nations General Assembly where the group’s leader, Kim Nam Joon, spoke and urged people, especially the youth, to stand up for themselves and to use their voices to make themselves known.
This speech was not a one-time thing. In September 2020, BTS returned to the United Nations to deliver yet another hopeful speech for the 75th UN General Assembly. This time, the group's main goal was to uplift the spirits of the people who, like themselves, have been through much because of the pandemic.
In June 2020, both the group and its fanbase, the ARMYs, donated large sums of money to the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the continued oppression of the black community. The boys have also used their platform to stand against the recent hate crimes toward Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders; In March 2021, they posted a statement via Twitter condemning the act and sympathizing with the families of the victims of the crimes.
Just recently, the group became Smart Communications, Inc.’s newest ambassadors to headline the latter’s ‘Live Smarter, Live with Purpose’ 2021 campaign. Just in April of this year, the 2-minute commercial was released online with the goal of encouraging and inspiring Filipino youth to live their lives with passion and purpose.
For BTS to use its platform to speak up on different issues is nothing but admirable. It is something that the group has long been doing. With the difficulties of current life, it is fitting to end with what BTS said at the 75th UN General Assembly: “Life goes on. Let’s live on.”