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BTS releases first English-only single, 'Dynamite'

BTS releases first English-only single, 'Dynamite'
K-pop superstars BTS released their single "Dynamite" on Friday, marking the first time the group has performed a song entirely in English. Photo courtesy of Big Hit Entertainment 

SEOUL, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- K-pop superstars BTS released a new single, "Dynamite," on Friday, a bouncy disco-pop track that marks the first time the band has performed a song entirely in English.

The track, which will be part of a new album slated for release later this year, is meant to "bring a new surge of much-needed energy to reinvigorate the global community in the midst of COVID-19," according to a release from the band's management company, Big Hit Entertainment.

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"'Dynamite' sends a message of happiness and confidence," band member Suga said at an online press conference in Seoul on Friday. "Even though you're going through tough times, let's do what we can and find freedom and happiness through dance and music. The song is dedicated to all the people who feel like they have fallen down while running a marathon."

BTS hadn't initially planned to release "Dynamite" as a single, but RM, the band's leader, said the infectious spirit and positive energy of the song inspired the septet to share the track.

"It just made us feel good when we heard it," he said. "While we were working on the song, we really wanted to share this feeling with the fans as soon as possible. We wanted to share this energy."

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The band also released the music video for the track on Friday, featuring a bright color palette, retro styling and the band's signature intricate choreography.

While BTS has included English lyrics in previous songs, "Dynamite" marks a departure by being recorded entirely in the language. RM is the only member of BTS who speaks English fluently.

"We thought that the English lyrics fit the melody a little bit better," said band member V. "And it felt new, different from what we have tried before."

The new single comes out six months after the band's fourth studio album, Map of the Soul: 7, which debuted in February at number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States and topped the charts in countries around the world, including Japan, Germany, Britain and France.

In South Korea, it became the best-selling album in the country's history, moving ahead of the boy band's previous release, 2019's Map of the Soul: Persona.

A world tour that was scheduled to start in April was postponed due to the pandemic, but BTS has stayed in contact with fans through behind-the-scenes videos uploaded to its streaming platforms and with an online concert performance in June, "Bang Bang Con," which drew the largest paid audience ever for a virtual musical event.

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BTS members said Friday the hardships of COVID-19 left them feeling "frustrated" and "powerless," but added that the break in their schedule and routine also presented new opportunities.

"COVID-19 put a halt to many of our activities, but it also gave us a chance to not just work on music but to think really deeply about music," RM said. "And that was the impetus for 'Dynamite' coming out into the world, for trying something new that we couldn't do before."

RM called the track and the video a "recharge project" for the band, which also includes members V, Jin, J-Hope, Suga, Jimin and Jungkook.

"We hope that this will also be able to recharge the batteries and restore energy to anyone who listens to the song," he said.

Up next for BTS is a live performance of "Dynamite" at the MTV Video Awards on Aug. 30. A documentary film based on their 2019 world tour, Break the Silence: The Movie, will follow on Sept. 10.

The K-pop stars are also slated to return to the live stage in October in their first offline concert since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Map of the Soul: ON-E" will be held in Seoul on Oct. 11 and 12, with limited seating to adhere to social distancing measures. It will stream online simultaneously, allowing the band's global fan base, known as Army, to watch from around the world.

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