‘Grammy’ Nominee Husky Fox “It’s thanks to the status of BTS”

Excerpts of a Yonhap News article published February 1st, 2019
Written by Lee Eun Jung

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Professional branding company Husky Fox’s joint representative Lee Doo Hwi (35) gave credit to BTS for being nominated for ‘Best Recording Package’ at the 61st Grammy Awards which are to be held in Los Angeles’ Staples Centre on the coming 10th.

Husky Fox designed the packaging of BTS’  Love Yourself HER, Tear, and 結 Answer which includes the album packet, CD, and photobook.

Husky Fox was introduced to the global market through the nomination of Love Yourself Tear, the first album in Korean pop history to rise to 1st on the Billboard charts.

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BTS’ Love Yourself album series presented through the four compositional steps of Ki (Introduction), Seung (Development), Jeon (Turn), Gyeol (Conclusion) develops the message of the fluttery feelings of love, the pain of farewell when faced with a fake love, and the resulting realisation that loving one’s self is the key to all love. This process of love was signified on the album covers through the flowering and fading of flowers.

Wonder, which was only showcased through a music video, was embodied in the image of a flower bud before bloom, Her through a flower fully bloomed, Tear through a flower’s falling petals, and Answer through the remaining petals in the shape of a heart.

Matching the continuity of the storytelling, the artwork on the album cover also gave a sense of enjoyment through the manner in which the albums were to be collected and connected like a puzzle.

“The metaphor of a flower, and of the art being connected in the way of love’s emotions, were ideas suggested Big Hit. We considered it deeply, for we needed a graphic and minimal design that would represent the implicative metaphor that bound the message together. We also needed a strategic approach to connect the 12 albums. We drafted various designs and colours in response to Big Hit’s direction.”

LY albums.jpg

This is the first time Husky Fox has designed albums. For the Love Yourself series, four of the seven employees, including Representative Lee, took part. Lee explained that “since it was our first work, we did not know the existing rules”; that while there are characterised methods for each field, they were not well acquainted with them, and they purposefully did not try to follow some formula. 

“In particular”, he continued, “album work had a different side to it. As there were a large number of fans waiting for its release, there was a burdensome sense of responsibility that we had to deliver a good design that met their expectations. However, when BTS’ album reached 1st on the Billboard Charts, we felt warm knowing we had taken part in such a project.”

“For a year, I only listened to BTS’ music”; “I constantly played their previous albums from their debut album as I worked, and so it’s to the point I can memorise them all. The music was good, and watching the members’ activity on social media, I recognised their charm and so I also became a fan”.

“We have received interest from the designing world, and so it would be too greedy to expect a win. It is enough of an honour to have met BTS and become a nominee.”


Please link to this blog page and/or the twitter post if referencing my translation!

“Thanks to ARMY, we’ve grown wings”…BTS, thoughts on being 1st on the American Billboard 200

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[Sports Seoul, Journalist Shin Hyeyeon] Group BTS has revealed theirthoughts via their company in regards to the report that they have ranked 1ston America’s Billboard 200 as the first Korean singer to do so.
On the 28th, BTS’ company Big Hit Entertainment delivered the thoughts of BTS, who ranked 1ston America’s Billboard 200.
RM: “There were many things to be said, but when I did in fact hear the news of being 1st on the Billboard 200, it didn’t feel real at all. Today I will be very joyful with BTS and tomorrow we will concentrate again on our album production and promotions.”And, “I want to thank all the ARMY all over the world. I love you and we will become a better BTS.”

Continue reading “Thanks to ARMY, we’ve grown wings”…BTS, thoughts on being 1st on the American Billboard 200

HYYH Notes Pt 2 (Love Yourself: Tear)

To read an introduction to these notes and/or Part 1 (the diary entries before YEAR 22), click here.

Some of the later diary entries introduce another character, unnamed but evidently important. Hoseok and Taehyung call them ‘that kid’; while I have translated it quite literally, it can also be considered as an affectionate way to say ‘that punk’. In these entries, the character is also given a gender-neutral term. Because the gender-neutral term is clunky, and it can be assumed that they are the girls of the Highlight Reels, I have used my discretion to translate them in the feminine third person. For Jimin, Namjoon, and Seokjin’s diary entries, the new character is obviously female and is written as such.  

Translation Note:
– ‘Hyung’ is a Korean designation used by a male to an older male whom he has a close relationship with. ‘Noona’ is by a male to an older female. ‘Dongsaeng’ is by either gender for someone younger.
– There are no English equivalents of these word, and so I have kept them as they are, but only when it is used as a direct term of reference. For example, you may see Taehyung call for “hyung” as he hurries over, but he will not think of Namjoon ‘hyung’ in his head, he will simply think of Namjoon.


Seokjin, 11 April YEAR 22

 With a screech, the car stopped. Having fallen into thought, I had not seen the traffic lights change. Students with familiar uniforms stared at me through the car window as they crossed the road. There were even people pointing at me. I gave a strained smile as I drooped my head.

I knew what I had to do. But that did not mean I was not afraid. Would I truly be able to end all this misfortune and pain? Don’t repeated failures mean there can never be any success? Shouldn’t I be giving up? Isn’t our happiness only a vain hope? So many thoughts came and left.

Without realising, I had reached the road of the petrol station and I could see Namjoon working there. I drank a deep breath in before exhaling slowly. I thought of Yoongi, Hoseok, Jimin, Taehyung, Jungkook’s faces, one at a time. And with that, I changed lanes and entered the petrol station. I could not give up. Even if there was only a 1% chance, I would not give up. Over my window, I could see Namjoon come closer.

Continue reading HYYH Notes Pt 2 (Love Yourself: Tear)

HYYH Notes Pt 1 (Love Yourself: Tear)

BTS have been winding through an epic narrative of youth since the era of Hwayang Yeonhwa (HYYH, or The Most Beautiful Moment In Life). Their use of various mediums has been highly lauded; not only can the themes be traced through their music, it has been given a plotline through their Music Videos, Highlight Reels, and HYYH notes. The latter are a series of diary entries bound in a small book slipped into the albums Love Yourself ‘Her’ and now in ‘Tear’.

These notes do not travel in a consecutive order, but jump around to different crucial moments in the plot that echo scenes we have seen and heard in other ways. There were 21 notes in total for ‘Tear’, with each of the four versions (Y, O, U, R) holding 14 each, two for each member.

The use of the members’ real names in these notes further blur the lines between what is real and what is not; their solo songs in the WINGS album did the same. While it must be emphasised that these characters are personas that the boys have adopted to portray this narrative within the ‘Bangtan Universe’ (BU), you will notice that some traits are based in the members themselves. An example of this is Taehyung’s boxy smile.

Part 1 of the HYYH notes for ‘Tear’ are found below. They are, in consecutive order, the diary entries of moments before YEAR 22.


Hoseok, 23 July YEAR 10

As I counted to four, I began to hear the hallucinatory laughter. That next moment, my childhood self held someone’s hand and swept past me. I turned around quickly, but it was my classmates that stared back. “Hoseok?” The teacher called my name. Only then did I realise where I was. It was maths class. I was in the process of counting the fruits drawn in my textbook. Five, six. I started counting again, but as the number kept increasing, my voice shook and my hands began to sweat. I kept remembering back to that time.

I could not remember well the face of my mother I had seen that day. I can only remember her passing a chocolate bar to me as we saw the attractions of the amusement park. “Hoseok, count to ten starting from now, and only then should you open your eyes.” Once I counted and opened my eyes, my mother was not there. I waited and waited but she did not return. Nine was the last number I counted to. I only had to count one more, but my voice would not come out. My ears started ringing and my eyesight became hazy. The teacher motioned for me to keep going. My friends watched me. I could not remember my mother’s face well. If I really did count one more, my mother would never come look for me.

And just like that, I collapsed on the floor.

Continue reading HYYH Notes Pt 1 (Love Yourself: Tear)

Magic Shop

Produced by Jungkook, Hiss noise, ADORA
Written by Jungkook, Hiss noise, RM, DJ Swivel, Candace Nicole Sosa, ADORA, j-hope, SUGA


You’re hesitating, I know – even if you speak honestly,
they only return as scars in the end
I won’t say the obvious, telling you to gain strength
Instead, I’ll share my own story

‘What did I say,
I did say you’d win it’
I couldn’t believe it (seriously)
Could I win?

A miracle that’s not a miracle –
is it us that made it so?
(No) I was here,
and you were the one to come to me
I do believe your galaxy
I want to hear it, your melody
The stars of your galaxy,
how might the sky stitch them in
At the end of my despair,
I did eventually find you, don’t forget
You stood at the end of the cliff,
my final reason
Live.

🚪 In the days you say “I hate being me”, in the days you say “I just want to disappear”,
let’s make a door, in your heart
If you open the door and enter, this place will be waiting for you
You can believe, this is the Magic Shop to comfort you

🍵  Drinking a warm cup of tea,
staring up at the galaxy above
You’ll be okay, oh, here’s Magic Shop

💫 So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
So show me (I’ll show you)
Show you, show you

When you bloom, like roses
When you flutter, like cherry blossoms
When you fall, like morning glory –
Like that beautiful moment
I always want to become the best,
and that’s why I was impatient and always anxious
Comparing myself to others became a daily habit, and
greed, my choice of weapon, choked me and became a noose
But the thing is, looking back, honestly I
didn’t only want to become the best
Wanted to move you to emotion, I did
To take away your sadness and your pain, I did

🚪

🍵 

💫

Will you believe me if I say I too was scared of everything –
all honesty, all remaining time
All your answers are in the place you found;
in your galaxy, in your heart

You gave me the best of me
So you’ll give you the best of you
You found me, you recognised me
You gave me the best of me
So you’ll give you the best of you
You’ll find it, the galaxy within you

💫


Notes

This track is of how in the process of avoiding a difficult reality, one discovers a secret passageway to a magic shop. There, the owners console their visitors who are filled with fear, and share their own story to do so. These owners, of course, are BTS, and the visitors, their fans.

Produced and written by Jungkook with the help of others, it is a song he wrote specifically with the fans in mind; his care and love for them. He implored us through interviews that “when it’s difficult and you’re tired, please come to look for the Magic Shop”.

Press Conference for Love Yourself: Tear

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The conference was held at the Lotte Hotel on Level 2 at 11am KST, 24th May 2018. Kim Il Joong MCed the event. BTS had arrived the day before from the US, having performed their new lead single ‘Fake Love‘ at the Billboard Music Awards. During their stay, they also recorded segments on television shows, radio programs, and interviews. You can see a masterlist of their American video interviews here, and the BTS Content Index is also consistently updated with all their work. Their first Korean stage will be on the same night as the press conference, through MNet’s ‘Comeback Show’ aired at 8.30pm.

The quotations compiled below were recorded by a variety of Korean outlets. My live twitter thread gives the source at every appropriate point.


The production process of their new album Love Yourself: Tear

  • RM: Though one could analyse the contextual reasons we have been able to receive so much love in various ways, we think that it’s because we are faithful to our basis; the music and performance we want to do. And another reason is that through various media, the performances that we do are translated into many languages.
  • RM: Because so many people listen to us and pay attention to our activities as BTS, there were so many preferences [that they had]. We always wonder which preferences we have to coincide with, and at the same time, the type of identity we need to have.
  • Suga: As we worked on this album, we wondered how we would not be able to lose [the interest of] the general populace while also being satisfied ourselves with the road we’re on. We focused [our answer on] the best way to grow. We tried to show other styles, and our capability to grow in other styles. That’s why we think we’re receiving love. Continue reading Press Conference for Love Yourself: Tear

Love Maze

Produced by Pdogg
Written by Pdogg, DJ Swivel, Candace Nicole Sosa, RM, SUGA, j-hope, Bobby Chung, ADORA


Cuz I’ll be in love maze
Cuz I’ll be in love maze

Trapped in a maze of choices,
exhausted by dead-ends of confusion
Though we roamed to find the answer, we’re
lost in the maze, in the darkness

Though we continue running and running on this path,
those endless cries
can divide us
It’s true, baby

We have to trust only ourselves
We can’t let go of our two hands
We have to always be together

Other people say,
‘this will only make you an idiot’
But I don’t wanna use my head
I don’t wanna calculate
Love ain’t a business
Rather like a fitness
I’ve never been calculating in my love, so
I know it’ll be cold, like the winter
But I still want to crash into it ayy
If you push, I’ll fall – raise me up yeah
Though I pull, you don’t have to come to me
Let them be them
Let us be us
Love is a maze, damn
But you is amaze, yeah


Take my ay ay hand,
don’t let go of my hand
Lie ay ay
, in the maze
My ay ay, don’t dare lose sight of me
in love maze
Take my ay ay hand, don’t let go of my hand
My ay ay, come closer
My ay ay, can’t ever miss finding each other
in love maze

Other people? Don’t listen to them
Just let em talk, whatever they say
The more they do, the more I’m assured
Yeah yeah yeah
Yeah yeah yeah

Can’t you hear me, you need to trust me
Baby just don’t give a damn
Promise, promise me

The path one runs within the maze where everything is blocked:
it’s through this abyss that we stroll
That sliver of light,
to that paradise do we wander
Make note that though lies can try to part us,
though trials try to deceive us, but
in times like that, concentrate on me
In the darkness, we’re enough
In these empty lies,
if we’re together, even this unending maze is a paradise

Take my ay ay hand, don’t let go of my hand
Lie ay ay
, in the maze
My ay ay, don’t dare lose sight of me
in love maze

What can you do, we’re here in an official capacity
What can you do, we meet within those rules
The wandering within this maze,
the wild-card’s crossroads too,
they’re all the acts for our providence
I think it every day, that though forever is hard,
I want to give it a go, yeah, let’s try be forever
The mountain just for two, a climb just for two,
the world’s axis just for two, the heart just for two
Travel towards the exit,
with our clutched two hands becoming the map

Take my ay ay hand, don’t let go of my hand
Lie ay ay
, in the maze
My ay ay, don’t dare lose sight of me
in love maze
Take my ay ay hand, don’t let go of my hand
My ay ay, come closer
My ay ay, can’t ever miss finding each other
in love maze


Note

This song is, in one sense, a simple one in which a person fervently promises their lover that it’s them vs. the world, that they can keep the other safe and happy. Within an album that recognises the futility and lies of a surface-level nature of love, it does raise some further questions. However, the phrase ‘official capacity’ hints to it also being a song specifically given by BTS to their ARMY. They’re public figures, and we are their fans. Because of this, either side is mocked. BTS are asked, ‘You think they’ll stay with you forever?’, for the fans can become irreversibly angry when a scandal occurs and can easily lose interest when a newer, shinier thing appears. And in turn, we’re asked ‘You think they really love you? (They’re only doing it for the money)’. These are the sorts of words that BTS are proclaiming they don’t believe, and ask us to not believe either.

낙원 (Paradise)

Produced by lophiile
Written by lophiile, MNEK, RM, Song Jae-kyung, SUGA, j-hope


Marathon, Marathon
Life is long, travel slowly
42.195
At the end is the paradise of your dreams

🚨 But the real world is
different from what was promised
We have to race, have to accelerate, when
the flare gun is launched
You don’t even have a destination,
nor is there any scenery
When you’re out of breath,
you need to, you need to

🛑  It’s okay to pause
There’s no need to run without purpose
It’s okay to not have a dream
If there are brief moments in which you can feel happiness,
it’s okay to pause
Now I don’t race without knowing the destination
It’s okay to not have a dream, for
every breath you exhale is already paradise

We dream through other people (as if in debt)
We learn that we have to become great (as if a light)
Your dream is in fact a burden
If dreams can only be of the future,
what’s the dream I dreamt last night in bed?
Even if your dream goes by another name, it’s okay:
the laptop you’ll buy next month
or just sleeping and eating,
not doing anything but having heaps of money
As if dreams are impressive things anyway
Just become anyone
We deserve a life
Whether it’s big or small, you’re still just you

🚨

🛑 

I don’t have a dream
Sometimes I’m scared to dream
Just living like this,
surviving like this, that’s my small dream
Dreaming dreams, grasping dreams,
breathing breaths, it’s often too much
The world says ‘so-and-so lives like this, so-and-so lives like that’
as they pour their curses on me

Yeah
The world has no right to curse us
for it never taught us how to dream
Because they’re made-up dreams, we sleep talk in tears
I wake you from those nightmares for you
Let’s try smiling every day now, in that paradise

It’s okay to pause
There’s no need to run without purpose
It’s okay to not have a dream, for
every breath you exhale is already paradise

Stop runnin’ for nothin’ my friend
Now end that foolish spring
Stop runnin’ for nothin’ my friend
Every breath you exhale is already paradise

134340

Produced by Pdogg
Written by Pdogg, ADORA, Bobby Chung, RM, Martin Luke Brown, Orla Gartland, SUGA, j-hope

134340 is the official designation for the ex-planet Pluto.



If I could have, I’d wanted to ask
why you’d done that back then, why you’d thrown me out
Even without a name, I continue to orbit you
Our parting became meaningless, that unchanging colour

The Korean word I’ve translated here as ‘meaningless’ is 무색해 (무색하다), which literally means ‘colourless’ but can also mean ‘selfish’ or ‘meaningless’.

I don’t have a name, though
I too was your star
You’re the light, it must feel good
All I do is receive you
Since our flourishing failed,
what’s the point of a name

‘왕성’: vibrant, prosperous, flourishing | 명: name | 왕성명: Pluto
The three syllables of Pluto’s name have been broken apart to prove the point
Guess I’ll receive it until I die,
your stifling gaze
Though I continue to orbit you and nothing’s changed,
if there’s no name in love,
everything’s changed
Would it really be that you’ve found Eris
tell me, how am I in any way worse than that moon
us is simply the plural of u
Perhaps it’s that I wasn’t there from the very beginning
One day, you too will understand these words
My seasons were always of you
My cold heart -248 degrees
The day you erased me, my heart stopped
Damn

🛰 I’m just orbiting you
(I missed you, I lost you)
I’m just spinning with no traction
(You erased me, you forgot me)

⭐ I who was once in the universe of the sun
(The song paused, the song stopped)
In the heart of a star, there’s only a smoky layer of mist
(You erased me, you forgot me)

There’s not much that’s really different from yesterday ay
In a typical day, it’s just you that’s gone ay
Until yesterday, we were definitely together ay
To the point it’s scary, it’s a typical day, only you’re gone
I’ll be honest, in the year you were gone
I was fine, even the oft-talked about yearning
was not present, I forget now
Crap like your aroma, I don’t even remember


But wait, this is a perfume I’ve smelt before ay
And in the moment a memory dimly flowers ay
There – there! I crane my head to see beside
you, smiling brightly as you near me, there’s …
(“Hello?”) “Hello”
“Are you doing well?” “Yeah, I’m doing fine”
Different from my heart that feels about to explode with
the temperature of this moment, -248

🛰

I who was once in the universe of the sun
(The song paused, the song stopped)
In the heart of a star, there’s only a smoky layer of mist
(You erased me, you forgot me)

I’m just orbiting you
(Past the mist, you with the ever-bright smile, I watch
a reality in which my irregular orbit does not have you or any meaning
I’m just spinning with no traction
(The numbers hard for you to remember, the darkness’ pluto
But I guess I’ll still orbit you, damn)

🛰

The Truth Untold

Or, ‘A Truth I Could Not Deliver’

Produced by Steve Aoki
Written by Steve Aoki, Roland Spreckley, Jake Torrey, Noah Conrad, Annika Wells, RM, Slow Rabbit


Loneliness
blooms all through this garden,
bristling with thorns
To this sandcastle, I’ve chained myself

What is your name
Do you even have a place to go
Oh could you tell me?
I saw you, who hid away in this garden

 And I know
that all your warmth is real
The hand that snaps the blue flower,
I want to hold but

that’s my fate
Don’t smile on me
Light on me
because I can’t approach you
there’s no name for me to call

You know that I can’t
Show you me
Give you me
I can’t show you such a weak self, so
I wear my mask again and go to see you
But I still want you

That which blossomed in the garden of loneliness,
the flower that resembles you,
I wanted to give to you
having taking off this dumb mask

But I know
that I can’t be like that forever,
that I must hide,
because I’m so ugly

You see, I’m afraid,
weak,
I’m so afraid
In the end, you too will leave me, and so
I wear my mask again and go see you

The only thing I can do is
in the garden,
in this world,
after I have grown this flower that so resembles your pretty self,
to live he one that you know
But I still want you
I still want you

Perhaps, if at that time,
just a little,
just that much,
I had gathered courage and stood in front of you,
would everything have been different now

I’m crying by this
disappeared,
broken
sandcastle, the only thing left,
as I gaze on the shattered mask
And I still want you
But I still want you
But I still want you
But I still want you


Notes

If “Fake Love” highlights the frustration after realising that one’s love was fake, this song faces the same issue but in a more introspective and fragile manner. And of course, we know that “Fake Love” can either be understood as the brokenness of a relationship between two individuals, or between me and myself. This invites similar ways of reading.

Notice the gentle movement throughout this piece. The narrator treads through the garden, picks out the flower that most seems to resemble the one he searches for and wants. He wears his mask, ready to give it to her. Only, we see a snapshot of him after his return: the sandcastle has disintegrated, his mask has shattered, and he is alone.

This song is also important to the Bangtan Universe, regarding the Smeraldo flower.