What’s Common Among Epik High, BTS, And NewJeans? Tablo Shares His Take

All the artists have broken molds in their own ways.

In a recent interview, Epik High member Tablo got candid about why he thinks artists like BTS and NewJeans are able to appeal to audiences at a larger magnitude than usual.

| @blobyblo/Instagram

The rapper shared that he was introduced to NewJeans by his 12-year-old daughter, and he found their song “Ditto” very intriguing. The music video resonated with his pre-teen daughter, who could relate to the alienation portrayed in it. According to Tablo, this is where the appeal comes from. The fact that despite knowing that their target audience is considerably young, people working behind NewJeans’ concepts don’t look down upon their intellectual capability.

I feel like [the NewJeans team] respect[s] that my 12-year-old daughter can think about issues like alienation and anxiety and technology and the deeper lore behind things. They don’t think that just excellent dancing and singing and pristine looking videos are going to be enough.


This is the same temperament, Tablo shares, that helped BTS strike a chord with their fans. The group’s songs, music videos, and narratives are all presented in a way that acknowledges the complexity of the audience. It doesn’t overlook their complexities as individual human beings who are capable of perceiving complicated concepts and stories.

| BIGHIT Music 

BTS is a great example. They were able to deliver visuals and music, and lyrics in a way that allowed their fans to feel like they understood that they were complex beings. That factor is underestimated by a lot of others in the industry.


Tablo feels that though the K-Pop industry insiders understand the strategy, they don’t really “get it.” A lot of the decision-makers in the industry still underestimate the younger demographic and what they really relate to.

A lot of the money behind K-pop and a lot of the people making decisions seem to underestimate young people, which is ironic because that’s where their power and wealth comes from. I sense a little bit of that disrespect because the some of the content that they’re putting out… I’m not saying it’s bad! It’s good. Everything in K-pop is done well. But I can see that whoever was making decisions is underestimating the 12-year-old, like my daughter, or the 15-year-old teenager, thinking that this is the extent of what they want.


He related to the approach taken by BTS and NewJeans through his own experience as an artist. Epik High also has a similar worldview, where they stay true to their music without trying to mutilate it based on assumptions that the audience might be too naive to understand.

| Rolling Stone India

I have always perceived my audience — no matter what age they are, no matter who they are — as complicated and complex as I am. And that my content needs to be as honest as I can be. I always have people around me asking, “Will they get it, though?” And I think that’s the worst question to ask. Of course they’ll get it — they are alive, aren’t they? Anybody that’s living a life is super complicated and complex and is capable of so many different emotions. They’re just not given an opportunity to feel them.


Meanwhile, Epik High’s new album Strawberry just released on February 1, KST.