Why BTS Wants to Keep Lyrics Predominantly in Korean After English Language Success

The band wasn't all on board with singing in English.

BTS has found massive success with their English-language singles, but it seems fans shouldn't expect too many more of them. As RM told Billboard in the band's cover story, the band's goal is to keep its lyrics predominantly in Korean -- maintaining their position as "the outlier." 

"I don't think we could ever be part of the mainstream in the U.S., and I don't want that either," he tells the magazine. "Our ultimate goal is to do a massive stadium tour there. That’s it." 

BTS, which was forced to cancel their Map of the Soul world tour due to COVID-19, has put out three English-language singles so far -- "Dynamite," "Butter" and "Permission to Dance." "Dynamite" and "Butter" both received mainstream airplay, and marked the first time songs by an all-Korean group hit the top 10 of Billboard’s Mainstream Top 40 Airplay chart.

However, as the band revealed, not everyone agreed that singing in English was a good idea. Discussions about the big move were always friendly, Big Hit Music’s Shin insists. "I think it's a testament to the band’s strengths, the way they can come to a friendly resolution and be mindful of the company’s needs," he explains.

RM admittedly was one of the members with hesitations about releasing and English single, but concedes it helped keep buzz alive during the pandemic. "There was no alternative," he says, while Jin confesses singing in English felt unnatural. 

"The English I learned in class was so different from the English in the song," Jin shares. "I had to erase everything in my head first." 

In the interview, RM also addresses claims that ARMY engages in chart "manipulation" tactics. 

"Slamming us or our fans for getting to No. 1 with physical sales and downloads, I don't know if that’s right...It just feels like we’re easy targets because we’re a boy band, a K-pop act, and we have this high fan loyalty," he says. 

Still, the band remains humble about their achievements. 

"We are not exceptional people -- our plate is small," Suga says. "We’re these rice-bowl-size guys getting so much poured into it. It’s overflowing.” V chimes in: “The pressure has been overwhelming."

"We’ve been avoiding blowing our own horn since 2017 because we’re afraid of payback someday," RM adds. "We constantly think about karma."

See more on BTS in the video below.