Right at this moment, the one K-pop act, whether it be a boy band, girl group, or soloist, standing out more so than other K-pop acts is BTS. Also known as the Bangtan Boys and Bulletproof Boy Scouts, the popular boy band created by Big Hit Entertainment made a phenomenal second K-pop comeback for this year with their second full-length studio album, Wings.
Wings along with its featured titled track “Blood, Sweat & Tears” is grabbing the attention of K-pop listeners. Not only that, it is breaking records as the music video for “Blood, Sweat & Tears” is now the second-fastest K-pop music video to reach 10 million views. The song also achieved an “All-Kill” within one hour of its release too.
Because of their success, many K-pop fans are pondering if BTS will possibly make their debut in the United States. The president of Big Hit Entertainment, Bang Si Hyuk, talked about such a possibility.
The thought of BTS making their debut in the United States music industry came about simply because their hit song “Blood, Sweat & Tears” is dominating the U.S. music charts, as reported by Soompi. This includes debuting on the Billboard 200 Chart, which usually charts the most popular albums in the United States, at No. 26. According to the numbers, Wings debuted with 16,000 copies sold in the week ending on October 13. What is more amazing is that 11,000 of those copies were traditional album sales, which means actual hard copies of CDs.
It should be noted that BTS debuting at number 26 on the Billboard 200 Chart currently makes them the K-pop act to debut the highest on said chart. The record was originally held by 2NE1, with their album Crush debuting at No. 61. As for sales, BTS overtook EXO who sold 6,000 in their first week in terms of album sales.
Such fantastic numbers would be cause enough for any K-pop act to expand in the U.S. music market. However, Bang Si Hyuk provided his thoughts on the matter through an interview with Korean news outlet OSEN, as reported by AllKpop. Apparently, Si Hyuk believes BTS is “not ready” to enter such a market.
“A K-pop artist succeeding in Korea and getting noticed by the mainstream U.S. market because of the global scale of K-pop is completely different in every way from entering the U.S. market and competing with the mainstream artists there.
“BTS has strengths as K-pop artists, and they’ve made it to where they are now by playing to those strengths. Because of this, we will be focusing in BTS’s growth as K-pop artists in the future as well. During that process [of growth], if [BTS] surpasses that critical point and is able to not just be noticed by the U.S., but jump into that market, we would be so thankful, but I think actively preparing for the U.S. market would be biting off more than we can chew.”
To be frank, it is smart for Bang Si Hyuk to keep BTS in a market they are strong in. Almost every K-pop act that transitioned into the U.S. market has failed. Even Girls’ Generation, the most popular K-pop girl group in the industry today, technically failed when it comes to a U.S. debut with The Boys. The only reason why CL of 2NE1 is not flopping is she is working from the ground up, something BTS will probably need to do if they want to get recognized in the U.S. as well.
Ultimately, if BTS does become a huge contender against U.S. artists, Big Hit Entertainment might consider them having a U.S. debut. For now, they are planning to keep them in the K-pop industry, helping them grow on the way.
K-pop fans, especially A.R.M.Y., who want to own their copy of the K-pop group’s second studio album, they can purchase it at YesAsia. The standard version is just the album, while the special edition version (known as the W+I+N+G Version) consists of four discs. There is also an option to buy either version with a poster in a tube.
[Featured Image by Big Hit Entertainment]