There isn’t a day that goes past where BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan) aren’t hitting the headlines or causing hearts to flutter, but their latest announcement seems to have the K-pop scene scratching their heads in confusion due to a slight name change.
Name changes aren’t anything new in the K-pop world. When idols leave their entertainment companies and sign up with another they often change their names; Highlight being one of the recent groups to do this. Also, when members leave, sometimes a group will will change their name as a symbol of a new start. But in the case of BTS the name change has been slightly out of the blue for some. For others it was already in the making.
It all starts from BTS’s debut with No More Dream from the 2 Cool 4 School album. As a new group it was a powerful album and starting point which flowed well with the concept of being a rebel as a youthful person – follow your own dreams and not the dreams of those around you. A key point to this is the mention of ‘Youth’. The second album Dark & Wild was released with the single Danger and later the release War Of Hormone, which shows the members hitting puberty in terms of their album and music. At this point youth is still a huge part, but they are now experiencing changes in their music and the key word then becomes ‘Growth’.
With a definitive change to their music and style, though it’s still recognisably their own style, there is an element of growth within the lyrics, music and even their choreography; not to mention a growth within the members. The third album was the first of two parts titled The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: Part 1, which was majorly centered around the key word of ‘Youth’ once again, but in a slightly different way. This time the members are reminiscing moments in their youth, both in personal life with the release of I Need You and their youth as part of BTS with the release of Dope.
With the fourth album (and the second part to the third album) titled The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: Part 2, it was advertised that the album still revolved around the key concept word of ‘Youth’, but it also joins together with the second album concept of ‘Growth’. The single release Run could be interpreted that the boys are running away from adulthood, or that they are running away from their youth. But then comes the realisation that they have settled at being youthful whilst growing with the special compilation album release Young Forever.
At this point it’s pretty easy to see where I’m going with this, but I digress. BTS’s latest album release Wings had its own backing story that used imagery and quotes from the book Demian by Hermann Hesse. Not going to delve deep into this, but will instead look at it in the bigger picture. Their release Blood, Sweat & Tears once again saw a huge leap for the members and their musical skills with each of them having their own songs. In an interview with Daily Sports Korea, leader Rapmon explained:
“The harder a temptation is to resist, the more you think about it and vacillate. That uncertainty is part of the process of growing. [Blood Sweat & Tears] is a song that shows how one thinks, chooses, and grows.”
This was furthered with member Suga stating:
“Wings [album] relays an optimistic determination to use our wings to go far, even if we are met with temptations in life.”
The whole album features the members letting go, saying goodbye to elements of their youth, and the fears they feel in growing up. The same themes are also featured throughout their live tours and concerts, and with the release of their album You Never Walk Alone there is a nod to the members telling each other that they have each others back. The single release Spring Day is a hint to a new beginning, a new start for the group, and for their fans. They have grown to a point where they realise they can start a new journey.
This all finally leads us to the announcement today that BTS aka Bangtan Boys will be changing their name to Beyond The Scene (though they will still be known as BTS). As you can see the name change was not that much of a surprise in the end. It signifies the loss and remembrance of their youth, as well as their growth personally and within the industry. The new name and new logo represents a deeper connection with their fans as their brand identity is described as “BTS protecting youths from prejudice. They are moving forward, chasing their dreams instead of settling for reality.” This is seen in their latest introduction video with BTS meeting ARMY (their fanbase) at a set of doors.
There is also another meaning behind the name change which is slightly more understandable, revolving around the fact that BTS’s English name is Bulletproof Boy Scouts. As you can see it’s pretty laughable and amateurish; a bunch of words put together to sound cool. So with BTS making their mark within the western world, it’s understandable that they show a more meaningful and mature look, one that can relate to their fans in the east and the west. Hence Beyond The Scene also shows a step beyond one type of music or culture. Either way, that’s the big theory (or the more mature reasoning) as to why BTS and their company IBigHit have decided to make a change. It’s not all bad and could be a lot worse!
What are your thoughts on the change of branding? Do you like the concept? Do you agree with the theory of youth and growth? Be sure to write us a comment with your own ideas and thoughts, and check out the introduction video below.