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Global music streaming platform Deezer has teamed up with LyricFind, the leader in licensed music lyrics, to analyze the most-used English words and phrases in the top 10 BTS and Blackpink songs.
The new data from Deezer, through lyrics provided by LyricFind, illustrates the K-Pop groups' tendencies towards specific English words and phrases in conveying their ideas and connect emotionally with their fans. In analyzing the tracks from the two groups, researchers behind the data observed the use of crossover words in English, such as 'love.' Big Hit Entertainment's seven-member BTS, for example, used the word 'love' 65 times across ten of their songs, compared to Blackpink's 43. Additionally, BTS appeared to be more lyrically emotional, singing 'love you so bad' eight times in their 2018 hit 'Fake Love.' However, they were also honest about the bitter parts of love, including 'pain' in their lyrics 13 times in the 2020 track 'On.'
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While BTS members appear to be unabashedly emotional in the lyrics of their songs, Blackpink's members - Rose, Jennie, Lisa, and Jisoo - are more straightforward in sharing a piece of their mind through their songs. The four ladies used 'sorry' eleven times across their hits such as 'Kill This Love' and 'Kiss and Make Up.' On the other hand, Blackpink isn't afraid to express passion, using 'kiss' 65 times in the songs analyzed, while BTS only used the term twice.
As one of the premier female acts in the global music scene today, Blackpink strongly hoists the girl power flag. In the Deezer - LyricFind data, they also discovered that while both groups enjoyed success in collaborating with Western artists, Blackpink had more collaborations with their fellow female artists. YG Entertainment's girl group peaked at #3 together with Lady Gaga on 'Sour Candy' and #6 with Dua Lipa on 'Kiss and Make Up.' BTS, on the other hand, is more balanced in terms of the collaborators' genders - working with Halsey in 'Boy With Luv' and LANY in 'Make It Right.'
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'It's amazing how K-pop bands like BTS and Blackpink have managed to reach so many music fans around the world by singing most of their songs in Korean. The English words and phrases that they do use are also quite revealing how they communicate and connect emotionally with their non-Korean speaking fans,' said Mauricio Mendoza, Head of Content and Artist Marketing for Deezer in the Americas.
The Top 10 BTS tracks on Deezer are as follows:
- Black Swan
- Boy With Luv (ft. Halsey)
- FAKE LOVE
- Blood Sweat & Tears
- Life Goes On
Meanwhile, Blackpink tracks used in the Deezer data are the following:
- How You Like That
- Kill This Love
- Sour Candy (with Lady Gaga)
- DDU-DU DDU-DU
- Kiss and Make Up (ft. Dua Lipa)
- Lovesick Girls
- Pretty Savage
- As If It's Your Last
- Playing with Fire
Deezer conducted its study using the top ten songs from January 1 to December 15, including only the groups' songs in a mix of Korean and English. All English tracks were excluded.
Introducing BTS – the K-Pop band taking over the world
K-Pop fan or not, by now you may have heard of international K-Pop sensation BTS. Still doesn’t ring a bell? Allow us to enlighten you.
Who are BTS?
Bangtan Boys (방탄소년단 Bangtan Sonyeondan),also known as BTS, have been breaking chart records and winning over fans worldwide. Their popularity is partly powered by their huge social media presence and socially aware songs. In 2016, BTS were the most-retweeted artist on Twitter and now boast over 8 million followers, 4 million YouTube subscribers and 5 million fans on Facebook.
The seven members – Rap Monster, Suga, J-Hope, Jin, Jimin, V and Jung Kook – deliver an extremely catchy and polished mix of Pop, R&B and Hip-Hop songs.
Why all the fuss?!
With a massive following established across Asia, 2017 has already been quite an eventful year for BTS with the release of their fourth studio album, You Will Never Walk Alone. The album has conquered multiple charts around the world and allowed the boys to bag their first Billboard Award for Top Social Artist in May, ending Justin Bieber’s six-year winning streak (take that Biebs!).
With their latest mini album, Love Yourself: 承 ‘Her’ and its title track “DNA”, BTS are now spending an impressive second week on the Billboard World Albums chart, Hot 100 chart, Streaming Song charts and UK radio stations are starting to take note.
Where did they come from?
The Bangtan Boys’ career has recently skyrocketed, but they’re no overnight success.
Emerging from BigHit Entertainment Company stable (imagine Simon Cowell’s Syco but turned up to 11) in June 2013, BTS released the rap track “No More Dream” from their debut EP 2 Cool 4 Skool and became the voice of the Korean youth. Their music addressed issues about teenage struggles and the pressures of looming adulthood.
But it was only in 2015, with “I Need You” that BTS started making waves in the wider K-pop scene and helped spread Hallyu (the Korean cultural wave) overseas.
With the start of what fans would identify as the “‘The Most Beautiful Moment In Life” era (in reference to the names of the band’s third and fourth mini albums), the individual members showcased their skills not just as performers but also songwriters and producers on multiple singles. BTS’ most prolific member, Rap Monster, has penned over 60 songs and collaborated with some of Korea’s most respected Hip-Hop artists.
The power of the ARMY
BTS have always credited their devoted fans, known as ARMY (Adorable Representative MCs for Youth), for their growing success. Over the years, BTS has cultivated and nurtured a special relationship with millions of ARMY members around the world, using social media to reveal their personalities and share intimate moments.
So, will BTS produce music in English to widen their audience? The answer is a firm no.
The band have committed to stay true to their heritage, believing that if they’re going to gain further international recognition, it should be as a K-pop band that speaks for their generation. Kudos to them.
While we “WOW” at Love Yourself: 承 ‘Her’ and decide what colour we should dye our hair, check out the band’s new album on Deezer.