US K-Pop Columnist Reveals The Reason Behind BTS’s International Success

Did BTS make K-Pop successful, or was it the other way around?

On the 8th, during an interview with Hankook Ilbo, K-Pop columnist Tamar Herman revealed the reasons behind BTS‘s success internationally and in the US.

# Filling the gap in the western music industry

Herman pointed to the fact BTS filled a certain gap in the tied-up western music industry as one of the main reasons for BTS’s success. She also spoke about their communication with fans as another factor that pushed them to the place they are at now.

Western pop music industry is tied-up. Especially in the US, there aren’t a lot of young pop stars that share their message with the fans through well produced and catchy music.

– Tamar Herman

Herman explained that language barrier isn’t much of a big deal since young listeners are capable of finding ways to understand.

Young listeners might not understand the [Korean] lyrics straight away, but they can search using dictionaries, so the non-English lyrics are really not a barrier.

– Tamar Herman

# BTS’s success or K-Pop’s success?

When asked about whether BTS’s success was related to K-Pop’s previous success, Herman answered that the two were linked together: BTS would not have been able to make their way into the US music market without K-Pop, and K-Pop wouldn’t have been as successful without BTS.

But Herman also pointed out that BTS’s success was most likely an exceptional occurrence within K-Pop.

I don’t think other K-Pop artists will be able to reproduce the same standard of success [as BTS]. There’s potential, but we don’t know how far that will go yet.

– Tamar Herman

# Barriers that K-Pop must overcome

Finally, Herman talked about the barriers K-Pop will need to overcome to further succeed in the international music market.

I think the cultural differences between Korean and European culture, as well as the limit in creativity, are the hardest to obstacles to clear. US listeners put importance on originality.

– Tamar Herman

She stated that it may be difficult to overcome the need for management companies to constantly produce music despite not being fully prepared.

Source: Hankook Ilbo