BTS’s second English-language single, “Butter,” was released on Friday, an energetic dance-pop track that band leader RM wished would be “the summer song for 2021.”
The latest single is expected to build on the massive popularity of BTS’ previous venture into all-English content, “Dynamite,” which became the first track by an all-South Korean group to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 last year.
The septet held a press conference in Seoul on Friday and said that they were aiming to repeat their chart-topping feat with the smooth new release.
“We hope that you can really have fun listening to this song,” said band member Suga. “[As for] No. 1 on Billboard, I think we can do it.”
BTS will unveil their debut television performance of “Butter” at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday via a remote appearance. The group is nominated for four awards at the event: top duo/group, top song sales artist, top social artist and top-selling song for “Dynamite.”
The K-pop sensation also premiered the music video for “Butter” on Friday afternoon Seoul time and will be watching to see if it breaks the record set by “Dynamite,” which surpassed 100 million YouTube views in its first 24 hours
While the video features the band’s signature costume changes and intricate group choreography, it also offered an opportunity for members to highlight their individual styles during a sequence of solo moves set in an elevator, said member V.
“We ad-libbed freestyle dances that we came up with on set,” he said, “We each chose what could express ourselves best.”
On Friday, the band reflected on the past year, saying the interruption to their busy touring schedule due to the pandemic gave them a chance for introspection.
“The year 2020 was a rollercoaster,” said J-Hope. “When I was having a difficult time my breakthrough was music. I got consolation through music, I learned that music has enormous power.”
RM added that the band still is setting its hopes on winning a Grammy — BTS earned their first nomination in 2020 for “Dynamite” — but is also thinking about the bigger picture. The group has resonated with its fans for bringing an emotional and social dimension to its lyrics and subject matter, and even light-hearted singles such as “Dynamite” and “Butter” are presented as a way to help audiences through difficult times.
“Of course achievements like a Grammy are very important, but as BTS, what are the values that we should pursue?” he said. “And then in this industry, in this genre, how can we leave a legacy that would be meaningful for us?”
“We have this new normal that we’re all facing,” RM added. “What are the values that we should talk about, that we need to share at this time with our contemporaries? ‘Butter,’ I think, is an extension of that. It’s an answer that we have come up with.”
Following their appearance at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, BTS will kick off the Good Morning America summer concert series with a virtual performance on May 28.
The group, which consists of members Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook, will be celebrating its eighth anniversary next month and will hold an online version of its annual BTS Festa fan event to commemorate the occasion.
BTS released its fifth studio album, Be, in November.