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BTS at the Wall Street Journal 2020 Innovators Issue cover photoshoot (Image via @WSJ/Twitter)

How did BIGHIT MUSIC discover each BTS member? All you need to know about the K-pop giant's creation

Before BTS was a global pop icon, the group comprised just seven young, passionate boys with big dreams. However, the story of how BIGHIT MUSIC, previously known as BigHit Entertainment, found each of the members is nothing short of a fairy tale.

Both the members and their company lucked out when they met each other. BIGHIT MUSIC recognized the talent of the seven handpicked members, who were then put together owing to their potential as a group.


The rest is history.

Here, we take a look at how BIGHIT MUSIC came across all seven members of the K-pop powergroup.


Here's how BIGHIT MUSIC hand-picked each BTS member in chronological order


1) RM

RM, also known as Kim Nam-joon, was the first trainee to be selected as a permanent member of BTS. He was a known under-ground rapper under the name Runch Randa since his teenage years and was running laps around big-name rappers in the South Korean music industry.

RM was invited to audition for a hip-hop agency where he met the musician Sleepy, who was a judge at the audition. Impressed by RM's rapping skills, Sleepy recommended him to the founder of BIGHIT MUSIC, Bang Shi-hyuk. RM was asked to audition for BIGHIT MUSIC and was chosen as the first member of the group in 2010. He later went on to become the leader of the group.



SUGA, also known as Min Yoon-gi, was a well-known underground rapper in Daegu who went by the name Gloss. Ever since his time at high school, he had also made quite a reputation for himself as a producer, and had produced tracks for many artists such as D-TOWN and Reflow, all of which were successes.


SUGA auditioned for a rap competition called Hit It, which is now hosted yearly by BIGHIT MUSIC. He ended up winning second place and impressed everyone and became a trainee in 2010. SUGA has previously joked about how he just wanted to be a producer but Bang Shi-hyuk tricked him into joining the group, assuring him that as a member of BTS, he would not need to dance.

3) j-hope


Jung Hoseok, better known as BTS’ J-Hope, was just a popular dancer from Gwangju before becoming the pop star he is today. He was a member of a well-loved dance crew called Neuron that had fans all over South Korea. Back in the day, he was known as Smile Hoya. He and his team, Neuron took part in a dance competition held by JYP Entertainment and won.

After winning the competition, j-hope decided to audition for BIGHIT MUSIC, where he was selected and went on to become a trainee. BIGHIT MUSIC saw his potential as a rapper due to his sense of rhythm and he was recruited as the third member and rapper of the group in 2010.

4) Jin


Kim Seok-jin, better known mononymously as Jin, was the fourth member to be cast for BTS. Jin is known for his supremely good looks and for this reason was first street cast by SM Entertainment when he was in middle school. However, Jin thought this was a scam and never followed up with the company.

Jin was a student at Konkuk University where he was studying to be an actor. He had just got off the bus near his university one day when he was street cast once again, this time by representatives of BIGHIT MUSIC.

In 2011, they convinced him to audition for the company. Despite having no prior experience with singing or dancing, he passed with flying colors, showing his raw and untapped potential and talent.

5) Jungkook


Jung Kook, whose full name is Jeon Jung-kook, is the youngest member of the group. He auditioned for the third season of the singing competition Superstar K in his hometown Busan. Although he didn’t pass the auditions, his voice enchanted multiple entertainment companies who wanted him to train under them.

He was courted by seven different entertainment companies including JYP Entertainment, FNC Entertainment, and Starship Entertainment. However, in 2011 he chose to join a smaller company called BIGHIT MUSIC because he was enamored by their rapper RM and wanted to train with him.

This was the best decision of his life as he got to debut with BTS and became the "golden maknae" he is today.

6) V


Kim Tae-hyung, better known as V, was the son of farmers from Daegu. When he was younger, he learned the saxophone and wanted to be a saxophonist. However, he did not have enough money to pursue this dreams.

He accompanied his friend to an audition for BIGHIT MUSIC being held in Daegu, where the staff were floored by his sharp looks. They encouraged him to audition as well, and V, after getting permission from his father, auditioned on the spot.

He was the only person to qualify from Daegu auditions that day and went on to become a trainee in 2011. He went on to debut as a vocalist in BTS.

7) Jimin


Park Ji-min, better known as Jimin, was the final member to join BTS and had the shortest training period. Jimin studied contemporary dance under the Department of Dance at the Busan School of Arts.

He would’ve gone on to become a dancer had it not been for his dance teacher who was floored by his skills and encouraged him to audition for BIGHIT MUSIC. He impressed the judges and easily passed his audition. He flew to Seoul to join the company as a trainee in 2012, debuting in 2013 as a vocalist in the group.

BTS would not have been what it is today had even one member not made the cut.

It’s serendipitous how each member came from different parts of South Korea to form the legendary group. Their unique personalities, talents and strong bonds with each other is what makes the group so special. It is this camraderie that cannot be replicated, and that is why there will never be another BTS.

Edited by
Upasya Bhowal
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