BTS' impact is very real and their influence has been highlighted as part of Time magazine's "Next Generation Leaders" campaign, where the K-pop stars discussed their careers and why it's important for them to make an impact on a global level.
"As a Korean, we love our country and we're proud of our country so much," RM said in a video interview, which was released on Thursday (October 11). "And it's even just an honor to be called an ambassador of Korean K-pop." RM's reference comes after his recent "Speak Yourself" speech at the United Nations during the launch of a new UNICEF program. It's only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to BTS' rising influence, but the origin of that movement is embedded deeply in their culture.
"Many in our parents' generation were born right after the Korean War," Suga chimed in during the sit-down. "And so they grew up not being able to eat or dress well. But in our generation, we -- our parents' sons -- are spreading Korean culture as its representatives, and seeing how much of Korean culture we are able to spread these days. Those from my parents' or my grandparents' generation, even more so than those from our generation, are very proud of us. They love seeing us on the news. And so for me, it's enjoyable to see my father proud of things like that."
In addition to their interview, Jimin, Jin, Jungkook, J-Hope, RM, V and Suga also appear on the cover of Time's latest issue. Among the other musicians included on Time's 2018 installment of their "Next Generation Leaders" list include The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, and Christine and the Queens.
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Like the Beatles and @onedirection before them, @bts.bighitofficial serves up a mania-inducing mix of heartthrob good looks and earworm choruses, alongside dance moves in the vein of @nkotb and @nsync. But the band—whose name stands for Beyond the Scene—is also breaking new ground. Not only is BTS the first Korean act to sell out a U.S. stadium (to say nothing of the records they’ve set across Asia), but they’ve done so without catering to Western audiences. Only one of their members, RM, speaks fluent English, and most of their songs are in Korean. The group is also preternaturally adept at leveraging social media, both to promote their music and connect with their fans. And although BTS has idol elements—the slick aesthetics, the sharp choreography, the fun-loving singles—they also embrace their flaws. “Even if there is a language barrier, once the music starts, people react pretty much the same wherever we go,” says Suga. “It feels like the music really brings us together.” BTS is one of the three TIME International covers showcasing the Next Generation Leaders. Read more on TIME.com. Photograph by @nhuxuanhua for TIME
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