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Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS

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The book goes into how the band found what Kang calls “alchemy” because it is a special set of circumstances, people, and hard work that made BTS what it is. Big Hit Entertainment’s director and BTS’s producer Bang Si-hyuk bet everything on a group of trainees to debut as BTS, and everyone else was let go from their contracts. The group discusses what it was like to create music under such immense pressure despite Bang’s faith in the group. Not that we were doing it for the money necessarily, but I wonder if we should’ve at least been paid enough to buy a meal, and a lot of times we weren’t paid even that.” Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS is a must-have for any fan of the group. It provides a comprehensive account of BTS’s incredible journey over the past decade. The personal interviews conducted without the usual trappings of celebrity life offer a refreshing and intimate glimpse into the lives of these global superstars. The book is beautifully designed, with high-quality photos that capture the essence of each member as individuals and artists.

The K-pop juggernaut known as BTS has dominated the American music scene in an unprecedented way. The group’s seven members — RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook — have performed at the Grammys and the American Music Awards, and most of their music videos have over 1 billion views on YouTube. For Jin and RM, these discussions were important while V/Kim Taehyung found ways to continue the gruelling training through some stolen moments of happiness, for instance, sharing a favourite food with RM despite being on a strict diet or bonding with Jin over their favourite anime. Outside the training, what made BTS stand out was its digital marketing strategy. Apart from those who loved and supported us, everyone else felt like an enemy. We were really worried about how much criticism we’d get if we put even a foot out of line.”We worked together so much and talked with each other so much that little by little, we really did feel we were becoming a team.”

From their war with anti-fans emerged the ARMYs, the faithful BTS fandom. The more they were denied their place in the K-Pop industry which is said to work in a formulaic sense, the more determined they became to prove others wrong. What set them apart from other groups was the fact that they weren’t censored by their company and instead of talking about the glamour of the K-Pop industry, they focussed on their own experiences in their songs. They also posted videos of struggles and moments of happiness like Jin’s Mukbang (food eating) show, Eat Jin. The band’s attitude towards hardships can be summarised in two lines Kim Taehyung said in the book, “So, I fell down, no big deal”. The sentiment also appears in their third-English single, Permission to Dance, created in 2021, at the height of the pandemic. “’Cause when we fall, we know how to land”. As the world is gripped by the Barbenheimmer fever, guess what BTS ARMYs, the fandom of the K-Pop boy band, BTS (Beyond the Scene/Bangtan Sonyeondan) are doing. They are curled up with an excellent book that is a historical account, a pop culture treatise, a translation, and, most importantly, an anecdotal history of BTS titled Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS. Until June 2023, if you came across a BTS song, liked it and wondered, hmm, I wonder what their names are, you were sure to fall down an internet rabbit hole of what can only be described as venturing into wonderland.

On sale July 9, 2023

The World of BTS’ and ‘We Are’, which are chapter six and seven respectively, show BTS in their superstar era with snippets of video from hits including ‘Boy With Luv’ and ‘Dynamite’.

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