BTS's songs can cure depression, insecurities and broken hearts, say Singaporean fans

BTS's songs can cure depression, insecurities and broken hearts, say Singaporean fans
PHOTO: Courtesy of Isabelle Chan

Ask not what you can do for your idol, but what your idol can do for you.

This seems to be the message that resonates strongly with ARMY, the official name for K-pop boyband BTS's (Bangtan Boys) fan club.

Last month, the global music sensation had Singaporean fans queueing for five days even before tickets for its upcoming Jan 19 Love Yourself concert went on sale - a testament to RM, Jin, Suga, Jimin, V, Jungkook and J-Hope's immense popularity.

At the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, BTS became the first K-pop group to win an award when they scored Top Social Artist of 2017. TIME magazine named the band one of the 25 most influential people on the Internet in the same year.

This year, the group became UNICEF ambassadors, ranked first on the Forbes Korea Power Celebrity list, and the list of their achievements continues.

Just what makes these young men's brand of music so special?

Their fans in Singapore share with us why the band is number one in their eyes and it's got to do to BTS's fearlessness in discussing sensitive topics that are close to teenagers' hearts.

Student Esther Yau, 14, said: "The two songs (The Truth Untold and Answer: Love Myself) teaches us to love ourselves despite our physical appearance. The songs talk about accepting ourselves, without hesitation, for who we are.

"I used to feel very inferior about my looks because many of my family members and friends had pointed out that I have a rather bloated face and high forehead.

"But after listening to both the songs, it made me realise that I need not care about how I looked to others, as long as I loved myself in my own eyes.

"BTS has truly taught me to love myself no matter what flaws I have on the outside."

Apart from insecurities and inferiority complexes, she said that BTS has also written songs on somewhat taboo topics like self-harm, bullying, and academic stress.

Self-harm is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue, done without suicidal intentions.

Said Esther: "In some of their songs, BTS has mentioned self-harm, which is considered a taboo in Korean entertainment. The members pushed the boundaries of the entertainment world and made it known that self-harmĀ is a real issue in Korea and all around the world.

"I have friends who have engaged in self-harm because of home and academic stress and they have tried to hide their scars before coming to school. But their long-sleeved jackets would only raise the teachers' suspicions.

"Listening to BTS's songs helps to relieve stress for teenagers facing such problems (which they cannot tell their parents about)."

For Naoko Yabuki Tan, 15, it was songs like Seesaw and Lost that she identified emotionally with.

Seesaw describes how being in love is akin to sitting on a seesaw, with natural highs and lows. Thus, feeling either extreme became less difficult as Naoko sought encouragement from the song that it was the norm to experience such emotions.

Said the student: "I also never get sick of the song Lost, because many teenagers like me are at a phase in our lives where we feel stuck and we don't know what to do next. The song is really encouraging because it tells you that you will find a way at the end of the road."

Meanwhile, 15-year-old student Isabelle Chan's favourite BTS songs are Idol and Anpanman.

"The lyrics in Idol helped me learn that I don't have to try to be someone else or to be fake. After listening to this song, I actually managed to make more friends by just being me.

"There's also this line in Anpanman which goes 'I don't have a supercar like Batman, my ideal is a really cool hero'. This tells me that no matter your age or gender, you do not need superpowers to help someone in need," she said.


  • Samaritans of Singapore (SOS): 1800-2214444
  • Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-2837019
  • Sage Counselling Centre: 1800-5555555
  • Care Corner Mandarin Counselling: 1800-3535800
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