Fans Have Mixed Feelings About BTS’s Next Single Being in English

Ever since BTS started gaining international attention in 2017, there have been many discussions about the group possibly making music in English. Although BTS has sang a few songs fully in English, most of their singles have been in Korean.

However, BTS recently announced that they will release a single in August, and this one will be in English. While some fans support this move, others are not feeling too positive about it.

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BTS | JTBC PLUS/Imazins via Getty Images

BTS’s announced they will release an English single in August

On the night of July 26 in South Korea, BTS took to the live streaming app V Live to share some exciting news with fans. As reported by Billboard, the group announced they will release a new single on August 21.

“We are preparing an album for the second half of this year, but decided to first release a single because we wanted to reach our fans as soon as possible,” BTS said. “Due to COVID-19, people around the world have been going through tough times and we wanted to share some positive energy with our fans.”

They also revealed that the single will be in English and even shared their reasons for choosing to go this route. BTS said, “The song is upbeat and sung in English, just like ‘MIC Drop’ and ‘Waste It on Me. We thought that the song sounded perfect as it is in English. We recorded the guide version and felt that the result was something totally new and fresh.”

Some fans prefer for BTS to not release English singles

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Although BTS seems excited for fans to hear the new song, not everyone is thrilled about it being in English.

BTS has said a few times before that they would be authentic and sing in Korean instead of making an English song for the sake of getting more international fame. In an interview with Time Magazine in 2019, RM said, “We don’t want to change our identity or our genuineness to get the number one… If we sing suddenly in full English and change all these other things, then that’s not BTS.”

Even though BTS explained their reasoning behind the new single being in English, some fans cannot help but wonder if there is an underlying desire to expand into the American music market after all, especially since their last single, “On,” charted at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100–the highest position for the group so far.

“A small part of me was disappointed when I heard that BTS were releasing a song in English,” one fan said on Reddit. “I wasn’t disappointed in BTS or Big Hit, I was disappointed in the American music industry for making BTS jump through hoops to get radio play and Grammy noms.”

One person also felt like the decision to sing in English is a move to “cater” to Western and American fans more so than those in other parts of the world.

“English is the largest spoken languages in the world but it just felt a little off to me,” the fan wrote. “It felt a little like now that there were more Western fans, they are the important ones that matter now… I find the constant push to get recognised by the U.S industry to be a little tiring sometimes—the desire from some of us to increase radio play in the U.S, the push for B100, to be recognised by American awards shows and the Western general public.”

Other fans are okay with BTS singing in English

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However, not everyone has a problem with BTS releasing a single in English, and some fans do not see this move negatively at all. In fact, it could be seen as BTS wanting to do something different with their music.

“It’s been 7 years. I don’t blame them for wanting to switch things up and see how this will be received,” one person noted. “They themselves said it’s an experiment for them and exciting.”

Meanwhile, another fan pointed out, “At least three members have put out English music off their own backs. Even those who haven’t have mentioned that they’re studying the language itself. They WANT to learn. They WANT to be able to do more diverse things. This desperation to stop them makes me uncomfortable.”

At the end of the day, it’s clear many fans simply want BTS to be true to themselves and not give up the authenticity that fans originally fell in love with. However, it seems the debate about what the new single means for BTS will not end anytime soon.