6 K-pop trends that were started by BTS

BTS backstage at the 2018 Melon Music Awards (Twitter/ bts_bighit)
BTS backstage at the 2018 Melon Music Awards (Twitter/ bts_bighit)

BTS is a well-known trendsetter in the K-pop industry. The group devises novel ways to connect with fans and show off their personalities, which in turn becomes the norm in the K-pop industry.

Global press conferences were not the trend before BTS made it popular in the K-pop industry. Some K-pop groups did hold press conferences, but they were never on the grand scale that they are now if it wasn’t for BTS and their rising global popularity.

BTS is so good at what they do that other K-pop agencies have task-forces assigned to follow what the group does so that their in-house K-pop groups can replicate the model and hope to achieve some of the success that BTS has tasted.

The septet also had monuments around the world like the Empire State Building, the Namsan Tower, the London Eye, and many turned purple to honor the group. While these projects were not paid for and were just a way for these places to honor BTS' legacy, YG Entertainment has taken inspiration from this and paid six locations to turn pink for BLACKPINK’s comeback in August.

Clearly, BTS are an inspiration and everyone wants to borrow a page from their book of trends. Let’s look at a few gifts the group has bestowed upon the K-pop industry.

Trilogies, Friday music releases and 4 other K-pop trends that were created by BTS

1) Social media accounts

BTS has always been an SNS-friendly group. Coming from a small agency, they did not have the monetary backing to run exaggerated promotions.

As a result, the group chose the most genuine method of connecting with fans: the internet. YouTube was just getting started, and Twitter was exploding. BTS used both platforms to showcase their true and unfiltered selves, interacting with fans on Twitter and uploading life updates on YouTube.

Their sincerity and talent drew in a huge fan base who helped them win the BBMA Top Social Award in 2017. They were the first K-pop act to win this award. Seeing their success, most K-pop groups such as EXO started their Twitter accounts in 2017.

2) Trilogies/ Series

Stand-alone albums have been the norm in K-pop, but BTS has always followed a path of their own. The band pioneered the trilogy and series album, which is a three-part series. Songs from one album flowed into the next, and each installment of the trilogy focused on a different interconnected theme.

Their Love Yourself series is the best example of this. Many K-pop groups henceforth would be releasing various series albums of their own such as MONSTA X’s The Clan series or ATEEZ’s Fever series.

3) Intricate storylines

BTS was the first group to use intricate storylines in their albums and music videos, which became a running theme that linked them all together. They created their own fictional world known as the Bangtan Universe, or BU, in which each member had their own fictional storyline that evolved with each new release.

Following the success of BU, many other groups such as LOONA and TXT have also followed the trend, introducing their own universes as well. However, some groups that have attempted this concept have not been as successful.

4) Halloween dance practice videos

Halloween parties have always been a thing in K-pop, with SM Entertainment’s Halloween party being the most famous in the K-pop sphere. BTS, on the other hand, introduced a new way to reward fans by releasing Halloween dance practise videos in which they'd have a blast dressing up as different characters and performing the choreography on their latest hit.

While many groups have capitalized on this trend and have released their own Halloween dance practice videos, BTS, to the dismay of their fans, have stopped uploading such videos.

5) Music releases on Fridays

The trend in K-pop is to release music at 6pm KST for the best chart performance on South Korean music platforms. However, with an increase in BTS’ popularity in the US, the group dared to match their release timings with that of US artists. Hence, they now release all their music on Fridays at 1pm KST.

Because of BTS' success in the West, every other K-pop group was drawn to the trend and wanted to follow in BTS' footsteps in the hopes of achieving a sliver of their fame. Many K-pop acts such as BLACKPINK now release their music at 1pm KST on Fridays instead of 6PM.

6) Western talk shows and interviews

BTS has been on almost every important talk show or award show in the US. They were the first to have graced them all, making non K-pop fans interested in the music. In 2018, BTS was the first K-pop act to ever have an interview with the Grammy Museum.

Going on talk shows in the US has now become a trend as a result of the exposure BTS has provided to K-pop, and some acts, such as GFRIEND, have even been invited by the Grammy Museum. It can be said without a doubt that BTS put K-pop on the map.

The group has also inspired trends outside of K-pop. Many western artists have shown interest towards having their own photo cards and light sticks after witnessing the ARMY Bombs at the group’s tour.

BTS always brings something new to the table and that’s why they’re one of the top musical acts in the world.

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Edited by Vinay Agrawal