[Article] 170701 [Kwon Hyukjae photojournalist's Behind & Beyond] Not an idol but your "next door oppa", BTS

On 27th last month, we received an interesting news.

It was the report that BTS was chosen as the "Top 25 most influential people on the internet".

This was chosen by the US newsmagazine, TIMES.

US President Donald Trump and author of Harry Potter JK Rowling. 

I met with BTS last autumn.

In just a few months, BTS became one of the most influential people in the world.

After reading the news, I searched for their photos in my external hard disk.

I found the folder with the title [20161027 Bang Sihyuk/ BTS].

I visited their practice room.

One of the walls was entirely made of mirror and the remaining floor, ceiling, and walls were painted completely white.

I met the eyes of 7 young men as soon as I stepped inside.

That moment, the boys abruptly stood up to greet me.

They greeted me so politely, making me embarrassed so I replied,

"I'm honored to meet the worldwide star"

Back then, BTS had entered the Billboard 200 (Album Chart) at No. 26, the highest ranking achieved by a Korean singer.

They were ready for the jump to become the world star.

They waved their hands and replied,

"We actually think it's a miracle. We often heard people saying, "Do you really think they'll make it? They won't". So we felt intimidated. There was a time when we thought it would be worth to die after singing on the stage at Gymnastic Stadium in Jamsil just for once. But that wish became a reality so it was a miracle."

I asked them how they had managed to stand along global stars.

"We believe the way we communicated with our fans like their next door younger/older brother, friend worked in sync. We share moments of us eating, and moments from our daily lives on Youtube and SNS. We came their next door younger/older brother and a friend rather than an idol."

We selected the concept of the photos as "next door big brother".

They had their make and styling done.

The members had to run for their next schedule after the interview so they had prepared for the photoshoot beforehand.

They had their suits on so the "next door big brother" didn't really work right.

That was when CEO Bang Sihyuk entered the room.

He is the best composer and the CEO of the company who created BTS.

We were expecting him to join us.

My schedule was to interview BTS and take a group photo of Bang Sihyuk and BTS.

We decided to start with the interview with Bang Sihyuk, this meant we had to take the photo first.

CEO Bang who was in his casual clothes said,

"Aren't I being too compared?"

He was worried before the photoshoot as he had to take a photo together with BTS members who were dressed up.

"I think that makes you look better. You really look like the neighborhood big brother."

He smiled at the word, "neighborhood big brother". I could feel simplicity from his smile.

This simplicity was something I never expected.

Actually, I remember the way he used to look at the contestants when he evaluated them on the audition program.

His gaze was strong and gave me the chills even through the screen. So I asked him,

"You're famous for your cold eyes and biting remarks, right?"

"I did that because I was very angry. I felt so disappointed when I didn't find any sincerity in them when they stood in front of their dream."

I was quite surprised by his answer.

The reason why he couldn't hide his expression even when he knew the entire nation would be watching him was- the contestants' dreams.

This was when his cold eyes and biting remarks approached me in a new light.

And he added,

"I actually smile well"

His smile was certainly the neighborhood big brother's smile.

Original article here

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