Real talk, y’all: when it comes to music, I’m sort of in a bubble, genre-wise. Like most People Of A Certain Age, I still listen to a lot of the same songs and artists as I have for the past 10-15 years. And my main sources for new music are either the local alt-rock radio station, CW shows, or teen movies. (You can get a sense of what stuff I like from my picks for FYA JAM.)

Which is all to say that I don’t pay much attention to pop music anymore. (Pop gossip, YES OF COURSE.) But once in a while, a pop act becomes such a BFD that I give into the hype and check them out. And when one such band is selling out arenas around the worldgracing the cover of Timegiving speeches at the U.N., creating general frenzy wherever they go — all without performing any English songs. Yeah, that qualifies as a big fucking deal. 

Internet friends, I am here to say that I have let BTS into my life. And omgggggg I freaking love them now.

I’m also kicking myself for not getting on board sooner (esp. right after their North American tour!), but I’ve been trying my damnedest to make up for lost time. And I’m here to save you from a BTS-less existence, too! (Meanwhile, those of y’all longtime ARMYs are probably like, “YES FINALLY we’ve been saying!!!”)

To get a quick idea of what BTS is all about, just watch this video. (I chose this more for the performance than the music. While I like the song, it’s not the best example of their vocals (too much autotune), even though it’s catchy af.)

If that did absolutely nothing for you — not the music; not the dancing; not the beautiful, talented, fashionable boys — then stop right here. You tried! They’re not for you, and that’s totally fine. There’s a literal world full of other music for you to try. Live your truth! 

As for the rest of you: WELCOME.

Bart and Homer Simpson with blank stares, sitting on a couch and in darkness, with Homer patting the empty seat next to him in anticipation

To continue your BTS education, here’s their entire music catalogue (which is basically what I’ve been listening to exclusively over the past two weeks) and all their music videos. Their discography has a lot of EPs, compilation albums, and Japanese versions, so the same songs might pop up in multiple places.

For a visual crash course to tide you over until the work day’s over you have more time for a deep dive, here’s a video in which one friend I BTS-evangelized to described them as being so stupidly pretty. (Also, the song is great. And the dancing. And the everything. So angsty and dramatic!)

Have you fallen in love with them yet? Then it’s about time you learn their names so you can pick your favourite!

After much dutiful research (like, seriously — my YouTube search history is now all BTS-related), I’ve found this to be the best music video for learning who they are, since they wear the same outfits throughout and there are no quick camera changes because it’s a one-shot. (Not to mention that it’s probably both my fave song and fave music video of theirs!)

Here’s another handy video to help you learn, since they have distinct looks and delightful costumes for most of it. (It’s also an example of their songs that are more on the hip-hop side.)

To really appreciate their dancing, though, I love their dance practice and choreography-only videos. It’s fascinating to watch how they’re constantly changing formation and how intricate their performances are. (And they do this for entire concerts, holy shizz!) Here, they get tested on their choreography by having to dance when random snippets of their songs are played, and it’s just super impressive.

Sometimes, they also dance in full costumes. Because obvs. (Watch the other videos herehere, and here.)

Off stage, they’re pretty dang charming, too — language barrier be damned.

It’s also super endearing that they’ve achieved their success without compromising their roots — that the biggest boy band in the world is from South Korea, and they’re not changing their sound or their look to cater to an international audience. And that’s pretty freaking awesome.

How about it, y’all? Have you joined the BTS ARMY yet? And who are your faves?!?!? (Mine are Jungkook and V — or, in K-Pop lingo, my bias and bias-wrecker, respectively. (I’m learning so much!)) [Edit 2021/11/05: Those have now become V and Jin, but I honestly love them all!] Let’s dish in the comments below!


Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.