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So you just discovered BTS


Every fan of every band has, at some point, been there. You spotted them performing at the Grammys, working out with James Corden, taking over Grand Central, or hanging out with Joe Biden. You heard Butter on the radio, and you were like, “Hey, that’s catchy.” You’re intrigued — you like their music, and they seem like cool guys. You’re ready to be a fan. So what’s the next step? How do you get into the band?

I have good news for you: Army (the name of BTS’s fans) is a welcoming group. The prospect of joining an established fandom can be intimidating at times — but in general, we here in Army-land are very, very accustomed to being inundated by new, curious fans after every big award show, hit single, or other event that puts BTS all over the headlines. Come, settle in. We are happy to have you.

To put another worry out of the way: No, you are not too late. You may have heard that BTS has broken up — the term “hiatus” has been thrown around by some and contradicted by others (including Hybe, the parent company of BTS’s label) as a mistranslation. The current circumstance is that the band is still performing together, but the members are also focused more on their solo work than they have been in the past. (In other words, we are not currently in a One Direction situation.) The members are still active as artists, songs and videos are still being made, and there remains a vast library of content and lore, dating back to the band’s 2013 debut, for you to explore.

One housekeeping note: I’m assuming in this article that you’ve already heard BTS’s music. If not, there are all kinds of resources online breaking down the band’s discography that I encourage you to check out — this article is for folks who have already gotten a taste of the music but are interested in connecting with the band in other ways as well.

BTS members

As you listen to BTS’s songs and engage with their vast canon of shows, videos, and other content, you will naturally develop a sense of who each member is. But I believe it does help to know, at a minimum, everyone’s name and nicknames before you dive in.

Okay, here’s a photo of BTS.

White House Press Briefing with BTS

Photo by Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

From the left, we have:

  • V/Kim Taehyung/김태형 – Singer with an angelic baritone voice and a record-breaking Instagram following. Currently in a reality show on Disney Plus with a tight-knit group of friends that includes Parasite star Choi Woo-shik.
  • Jungkook/Jeon Jungkook/전정국 – Singer and youngest member. You’ll hear him called “JK” and “Kookie” — he also makes short films under the name “Golden Closet.” Has a habit of doing multi-hour livestreams where he keeps insisting he’s about to go to bed and then not doing so, and we love him for it. Was recently described as “Wait, I swear I’ve seen that guy at a club before” by a non-Army friend who was re-watching the Grammys with me.
  • Jimin/Park Jimin/박지민 – Singer, nicknamed “Mochi.” Performed Lie, an absolute banger that lives rent-free in my head. The only BTS member that my parents have heard of.
  • RM/Kim Namjoon/김남준 – Rapper and leader of the group, also notable as an art collector. Famously became fluent in English by watching Friends over and over. Recently described as “the one I’d totally get a beer with” by my 35-year-old male friend.
  • Jin/Kim Seokjin/김석진 – Singer, oldest member, and frequent purveyor of dad jokes. Often called “Worldwide Handsome,” and has a tendency to go viral when he makes public appearances. A friend of mine insists she took a class with him at university, but I’m still waiting for proof.
  • J-Hope/Jung Hoseok/정호석 – Rapper and main dancer, known for glaring at other members when they make mistakes onstage and for his bright, infectious laugh. Recently headlined Lollapalooza. You’ll hear people call him “Hobi.”
  • Suga/Min Yoongi/민윤기 – Rapper and accomplished producer. You’ll mostly hear him called Suga, but he’s done (excellent) solo work under the name “Agust D.” Recently collaborated with Psy on the unbelievably catchy song That That.

(To any Army reading this: I am oversimplifying tremendously. These are very complex humans with many facets and massive careers — this is not meant to be anything more than a very, very brief introduction to the members we know and love.)

Okay, now that you’ve got the names, here’s where you can find everyone on social media.

BTS social media

You’ll find a number of verified BTS accounts if you search for the band on Twitter. There are two that I recommend new fans follow. BTS_bighit is the band’s official account, run by their label (I assume). Here, you’ll see all the various announcements for the band’s projects. BTS_twt is where the members tweet — you’ll see selfies, jokes, birthday messages, and similar fare. All seven tweet from this one account, but they usually put their names on their tweets. If they don’t, it’s still usually not too hard to figure out who the tweet is from.

If you can’t read Korean, there are a number of Twitter accounts that translate everything BTS posts into English. I recommend that new fans follow and keep up with a few of those — here are some good ones.

On Instagram, the members have their own accounts with distinct vibes. RM posts a lot of art stuff, J-Hope has a mix of personal content and promotions of his work, V is more on the avant-garde side with the occasional thirst trap, Jin has been into tennis content lately, Suga posts a lot of selfies, Jimin seems to be living his best life in various locations, and Jungkook mostly lurks but occasionally pops up for extensive Q&As. (Again, I am oversimplifying.) There’s also an official group Instagram, which I mainly find useful for keeping track of when new Run! BTS episodes release (more on that below).

But the best place to start if you want to really get to know the members is Weverse. Weverse is a social network developed by Hybe that is specifically for musicians and fans. It’s constructed a bit like Facebook — artists can post text, photos, videos, and other media in combination, and there’s also an ephemeral stories-like feature.

In my experience, the members are a bit more personal and less curated on WeVerse than they are on Instagram (and they have more space to express themselves than Twitter gives them). It’s also the only place you’re at all likely to be able to interact with them — they regularly respond to fan comments on this platform.

US-ENTERTAINMENT-MUSIC-GRAMMY-AWARD-SHOW

BTS performs at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.
Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

BTS TV shows

BTS has a whole bunch of video content, which is another good way to get to know the members. The sheer amount of it can be intimidating for a new fan, so I’m going to attempt to recommend some good places to start (but these are just my opinions — other fans may very reasonably disagree, we are all doing our best here, etc.).

I personally recommend that new fans start with Run BTS. This show is available on VLive, but you can also find most of the episodes on YouTube. It is one of the sillier shows BTS has done, but that’s why I find it such a good introduction to how genuinely entertaining and personable these seven people are.

The premise of the show is that the members compete in a variety of games, some of which you’ve heard of before (games of Mafia, escape rooms, tennis tournaments) and some of which are just silliness (there was an episode in which the producers hid playing cards all over a Duty Free, BTS ran around the Duty Free finding the cards, and the member who ended up with the most cards won a gift certificate to the Duty Free. I am not making that up — it’s one of my favorite episodes).

Not only is the show a lot of fun (BTS takes even the most ridiculous challenges very seriously), but as you watch each member compete, strategize, deceive, gloat, rage, endure, and throw down in their own way, you will get a great introduction to who they all are, their strengths, their relationships with each other, and the way they think.

Another good first option, if this doesn’t sound like your thing, is BTS In The Soop. This is a more relaxed reality show that follows the group on two remote vacations. You watch them hike, read, swim, work out, paint, fish, cook, jog, fly kites, race remote-controlled boats, set off fireworks, practice guitar, carve wood, play Avalon, and whatever else people do on vacation. This is a good way to see BTS just kind of living as people with the glitz and glamor removed — while the members are obviously aware that they’re making a show, it really does feel like you’re just watching them hang out (and members have stated that they felt that way while shooting it, too).

There are any number of other shows and movies you can check out, especially if you’re interested in BTS’s history and career. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Bon Voyage – a reality show that follows BTS on various international trips during their time off
  • Burn the Stage – a docuseries about BTS’s 2017 Wings Tour
  • Bring the Soul – a docuseries about BTS’s 2018-2019 Love Yourself World Tour
  • Break the Silence – a sequel to Bring the Soul, continuing to follow the Love Yourself World Tour
  • Rookie King – a variety show that premiered in 2013, BTS’s debut year, where the members parody different television formats
  • BTS Gayo – a variety show similar to Run! BTS in which the group does various activities related to K-pop

And then, there are all kinds of content on BTS’s official YouTube channel, BangtanTV, including Vlogs, choreography practices, recordings of live performances, interviews, covers, and behind-the-scenes footage from big shoots and events. If you just want to see the members chilling and chatting, you can watch hours and hours of old livestreams in the VLive app. I think you’ll get a bit more out of these when you’re more familiar with the members and their work — but feel free to watch them whenever you’d like. You’re the boss!

There are endless ways to connect with this group, and the programs outlined in this article are only the tip of the iceberg — but I hope they’re a helpful starting point for anyone who wants to learn more. Good luck. I hope these artists bring you the same joy they’ve brought so many other people around the world over the past nine years.





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