South Korean band, BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan/Beyond The Scene) is quickly taking over the musical industry, and they cemented that with making history at the 2019 Grammy awards.
They become the first ever K-pop band to have any association with a Grammy nomination, meaning that while the band itself was not nominated specifically, their Love Yourself: Tear album was short-listed for the Best Recording Package designed by HuskyFox.
So technically, the award would have gone to the the latter and not BTS, but even the fact that their album came under the radar of Grammy experts, was a big deal.
Not only that, BTS made history in another way by being the first K-pop act to ever present an award at the prestigious musical award show, and that was a bigger deal to the fans since it brought them right to the forefront of leading industry people and even the general population in the United States.
The 7 member band, comprising of RM (leader), Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, presented the Best R&B Album to H.E.R. and not just that, they also got to take a portrait photoshoot at the Grammy Backstage Studio.
The BTS fandom, ARMY, were understandably extremely excited and happy for this appearance, since the members had frequently stated it was their dream to go to the Grammys.
However, a certain observation arose from a chat I was having with some other ARMY friends, one of whom pointed out that it seemed Grammys was using BTS for clickbait. While initially affronted, I did start to think, what exactly was wrong with that?
Allow me to explain it a little further.
#1. It Shows That BTS Might Be Bigger Than Grammys
No one can deny that the Grammy is one of the biggest and most prestigious music award in probably the entire world. An artist is considered to have had made it after winning a Grammy.
But one cannot also deny that in terms of viewers, the award show has been on a steady decline. In 2018, the show got a total viewership of just 19.8 million, and were the lowest rated among the demographic of 18-49 age group.
Even in the 2019 airing itself, the total viewers increased just slightly from last year, not that much overall. In fact, as per a friend who was watching the livestream, till the time BTS had to present the award, the total live viewers was at a decent 72,000. But as soon as their segment got over, it dropped to about 17,000, although it did rise back to 22,000 after some time.
Grammy didn’t just invite BTS, but also other K-pop stars like Lay from Exo and Crush were attending.
Seeing how Grammy has been floundering in the young people sector, and on top of that Ariana Grande cancelling her performance and snubbing the award, Donald Glover not attending or performing and even other big acts like Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar giving it a miss, Grammy really had to pull out all the stops in order to get some good viewership in the young age demographic.
This could perhaps show how BTS were even bigger than Grammys that they thought that one band alone could work wonders for the show in terms of viewers and traction.
#2. Unfortunate By-product Of Fame
Another way Grammy used BTS as clickbait was by constantly tweeting and talking about them and their upcoming appearance from the official Grammy account.
They even tried to hint at a possible performance by the group, by tweeting out this, however, deleted it once they got a massive amount of inquiries.
BTS did not perform at the 2019 Grammy, they simply presented the award.
The really eye-catching part was how much hype they were given for a minuscule 1 minute of overall time, while other artists like Drake were cut-off and overall there was just a sense of mismanagement.
However, at the same time, unfortunately, this is just a by-product of all the fame and glories that BTS have achieved for themselves.
The thing is Grammys were sure of BTS, that just their mere name could bring about a lot of buzz around the function. They knew how dependable they are and that led to them using (I use the word lightly) BTS.
Similar with other US media or any media really, that have started using BTS in hopes of increasing their traction and viewers. They know that right now, they are perhaps the most talked about band in the world, and mentioning them will at the very least result in some confused and questioning fans interacting with their post, resulting in thousands and thousands of likes, shares, comments, replies etc.
Even recently, PVR kinda used them for traction while releasing their latest film Love Yourself: In Seoul concert film. They tried to entice Indian ARMYs to re-tweet their tweets a certain number to reveal more information. Of course, the fans were smart and politely stated they were willing to wait until they themselves revealed it all.
#3. Not Using Them Entirely?
The kind of name BTS have built for themselves with just their talent and a loyal fanbase, makes them something of a unique thing in the eye of Grammy.
And again, this kind of clickbait, especially coming from somewhere like Grammy, is not entirely bad either, for BTS or the kind of name they want to create.
As long as they are not being used for any wrong thing, or false information is being provided in their name, like how clickbait paparazzi does, then it is fine, according to me.
Because even if Grammy is doing all this just to get more traffic, they are still giving an extremely good platform to BTS and cement their name in history.
Also, I’m not even sure if its purely clickbait, since Grammy have been noticing BTS for almost an year now, the first being when they were invited for a conversation at the Grammy Museum last year in 2018.
This was perhaps just another way by Grammy to scrutinize how the band were and also bring about some good diversity to the show, something that it has always lacked.
To be honest, I particularly, don’t really believe that Grammy were purely just using BTS for clickbait, perhaps it was an added incentive, but it also seems that they are recognising their talent and hardwork.
Also, at least it’s a start, for BTS to start making a more solid foundation in the American music industry. Clickbait will only take them so far, and all the things that have followed have been purely because even the industry and media both are starting to recognise that they have something more to offer than just a big fanbase.
Even this year, I noticed that the media at the red-carpet actually asked some good and decent question, related to BTS’ music, upcoming album, unlike previous times of done to death questions like who they wanted to collab with, who was their celebrity crush, which frankly, no body is interested in.
So we can see that there has been a gradual shift in even in the US media where they are beginning to see BTS as actual artists who can really bring something new to the table.
And I believe that even BTS knows this, knowing how they keep using their name and fame to bring attention to important issues and other unknown things. Like talking about problems the youth is face, or their Korean culture (their MAMA performance) and even in Grammy, they chose to wear South Korean designers, JayBaek Couture for the 5 members while J-Hope’s tuxedo was by Kim Seo Ryong from the Seoul Fashion Week.
Instead of going for the usual big American names like Dior, Saint Laurent, etc, BTS chose to go domestic for their custom tuxedos, something that is not often seen at such international events.
And one more thing, this kind of clickbait using also brings BTS to the general population of the country, those who are not exactly that involved in social media.
They do understand the level of say an award function like Grammy and would probably think that BTS are really something to notice.
Image Credits: Google Images
Find the blogger @chirali_08