BTS: We respect our fans’ social justice activism but we’re not political figures
K-Pop sensations BTS opened up on their huge global success and their fanbase’s activism as they appeared on the cover of Variety magazine.
Band members RM, Suga, Jin, Jimin, J-Hope, V and Jungkook each posed for solo portraits for the industry bible as well as appearing as a group in the cover shot, looking sharp in suits and ties.
In an interview with the magazine, the Korean stars discussed how their fans, known as the BTS Army, have become increasingly involved in activism online.
Early this year, the Army reportedly raised around $1 million in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, matching a donation made by the band and their management company Big Hit Entertainment.
The Army and other K-pop fans also mobilised on social media over the summer to register interest in US President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma – only to not attend, leaving the event sparsely attended.
Suga, 27, admitted that he doesn’t consider the group as “political,” but explained: “We aren’t trying to send out some grandiose message.
“We would see ARMY as a conduit for our voice or our opinion. ARMY speaks their own initiatives, and we always respect their opinions, as we respect any other person’s.”
His fellow bandmate RM, 26, added: “We are not political figures, but as they say, everything is political eventually. Even a pebble can be political.”
They also revealed that winning a Grammy is their ultimate goal, with Suga explaining: “I grew up watching American award shows, so obviously we all know and I know the importance of the Grammys.
“It’s a dream anyone working in music has.”
RM added: “If you are in music, the Grammy Awards are something that you cannot help but to look toward and set as an eventual goal.”
The band made history in February as the first Korean band to perform at the Grammy Awards when they duetted with rapper Lil Nas X.
Earlier this year, BTS scored their second UK number one album with Map of the Soul 7.
The new issue of Variety is out now.