Who would've thought that a South-Korean boy group is being compared to the Beatles? BTS became the first K-pop group to speak at the United Nations on Sept. 24, 2018, in an effort to empower young people. The speech was presented by the leader of BTS, Kim Nam Joon, also known as RM.
During the speech, RM talked about his experience and his journey coming to music. “I tried to jam myself into the other molds that other people made,” he said. “Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and listen to the voice of others. No one called out my name and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. Like this, I—we—all lost our names. We became like ghosts. But I had one sanctuary, and that was music.”
Later, RM began to discuss the hardships Bangtan received as an underdog in the K-pop industry. “Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were a lot of hurdles,” he said. “Some people might not believe but most people thought we were hopeless, and sometimes I just wanted to quit.”
Even after becoming global superstars, BTS tries to spread awareness to their fans on issues that should be discussed. In the conclusion of the speech, BTS told everyone to love yourself and speak up. He wanted to tell everyone to have a voice and share it. “I want to hear your voice,” he said. “I want to hear your conviction. No matter where you’re from, skin color, gender identity, just speak yourself. Find your name and find your voice.”
BTS inspired many individuals from this speech, and because of it people made a hashtag of the speech they presented go viral on Twitter. BTS has empowered many individuals, and fans of theirs (their Army) showed their gratitude by raising $1 million for the BTS and UNICEF joint campaign called “Speak Yourself.” Overall, BTS’s influential speech has opened our eyes to new perspectives.
by Emillie Chi