BTS's Rapid Rise To The Top Makes Justin Bieber And One Direction Seem Small

From performing at UNSW's Roundhouse to selling out Wembley Stadium in just 4 years, their rise has been insane.

Back when One Direction were still a thing and Justin Bieber was still a teen idol, it seemed like they had the world in their grasp as they made their way to the top of the pop music scene. Millions of fans adored them (sometimes a bit too much), every event, producer, and artist wanted to work with them, and their songs were on rotation literally everywhere. You simply couldn’t escape them.

But Bieber and One D’s rise all seem comparatively tame – if not downright small – compared to what is going on right now with BTS, aka the biggest K-pop group and arguably the biggest boy band in the world right now.

Just to illustrate just how big they are, the lads released the music video to their new single “Boy With Luv ft. Halsey” at around the same time the first trailer for Star Wars Episode IX dropped. Star Wars got around 20 or so million across Twitter and YouTube at the time of writing, which is enormous.

But BTS? Their video got over 55 million on YouTube alone at the time of writing. It’s just insane on so many levels.

It’s quite hard to believe that BTS were performing in small venues like UNSW’s Roundhouse as recently as 2015 and now they’re selling out stadiums like Wembley Stadium. That kind of meteoric rise is almost unheard of and the only thing that’s comparable to it was when the Beatles caused untold millions of people to faint at their mere presence and countless pairs of underwear thrown in their direction.

So what is it about this plucky little seven-member group who survived the rigors of a grueling and often scandalous K-pop industry (which is a story for another day) and managed to rise to the top in more bombastic fashion than what Bieber and One Direction did? How did a group like BTS go from playing unibars to selling millions of copies of their albums and topping the Billboard charts like it was nothing?

Well there are a bunch of reasons but let’s start with the most obvious one: there are seven members and they’re all good-looking. Like, Zoolander “Blue Steel” levels of good-looking.

There’s more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good-looking. Okay, maybe not.

But perhaps the biggest thing contributing to BTS’ rise is an eclectic cocktail of a massive and loyal fanbase, being damned good at social media, and you know, just pumping out good music.

The lads have been pretty prolific on social media since their early days and this has resulted in some serious impact that any artist would kill to have just a small fraction of. BTS hold a bunch of social media related Guinness World records and nearly everything they post online gets shared, liked, and memed many times over.

When you start trending on Twitter any time you accidentally did something goofy or cute, that’s when you know you’ve mastered social media.

At least 300k retweets and likes alone right here.

And of course, there’s BTS’ enormous fanbase, known as ARMY.

There probably hasn’t been a more passionate and loyal fanbase since, well, the Beatles really and somehow everything is even crazier than when Beatlemania was at its peak some six decades ago.

Millions of fans around the world all interact with and support each other as much as they support BTS. We’re talking about things like coordinating time zones so people can enjoy a BTS performance at the same time, translating news, videos, and interviews so everyone can enjoy it, and making enough homemade merch to make giant companies seethe in jealousy.

But as it is with any huge fandom, there are always some bad eggs and hoo boy does it go crazy when it comes to BTS. This isn’t new in music of course as the double-edge sword with having such a big online presence is that the bad stuff also gets as easily noticed as the good stuff.

Just expect there to be some backlash if you ever say anything that’s not pro-BTS, like how I thought “Fire” was overrated and far from their best work.

This fan loyalty also ties in with BTS’s music, which is introspective and focuses around themes like self-love, vulnerability, and youth. There’s no concrete reason why it is but the group’s music just resonates with fans on another level altogether.

That being said, there’s probably more to connect with on a personal level from BTS’s “Idol”, which is about individuality and confidence, than Bieber’s “Baby” or One Direction’s “Best Song Ever.”

So relatable.

With BTS making waves across the globe, we’re certainly witnessing something right now that hasn’t happened since the 1960s.

As with anything that’s good in the history of humanity, the spotlight will inevitably move on from BTS at some point, much like it did from Bieber and One Direction, though it seems like the group are poised to stick around and break every music-related record for a while yet.

But for now, let’s just be amazed that something akin to Beatlemania 2.0 is happening because who knows when something like this is going to strike again.

Cheese Tastes Better Or Worse Depending On The Music Genre It Listens To

What is a cheese's favourite genre of music? R&Brie. We'll show ourselves out now.<br />

Cheese is one of life’s gifts that somehow manages to be delicious while also making absolutely no sense in almost any context. It’s made from stuff you get from the bottom of a cow, it tastes better the older and mouldier it is, and there are festivals around the world dedicated to this curdled dairy product.

But it appears that there’s more to cheese than being just delicious.

Swiss cheesemaker Beat Wampfler recently decided to conduct a experiment to test if soundwaves impacts the development of cheese. In other words, he played a bunch of Led Zeppelin, hip-hop, and other genres of music to a heap of cheese wheels like how a mother plays Mozart to her baby.

Yes, he also played Mozart to his cheese.

And here’s the craziest thing: the experiment yielded an actual result.

This guy may be onto something.

After months of subjecting nine 10kg wheels of Emmental cheese to a variety of music genres and sound waves of varying frequencies for 24 hours a day via mini transmitters, Wampfler finally presented the results (via Reuters) and declared that the cheese differed in flavour, smell, and taste depending on the type of music it was exposed to.

For those curious, the music used in the experiment included:

  • A Tribe Called Quest’s hip-hop track “We Got It From Here”
  • Mozart’s “Magic Flute” opera
  • Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”
  • Yello’s “Monolith”
  • Vril’s “UV”
  • And sound waves at 25, 200, and 1000 kHz

After two blind taste tests were conducted on the experimented cheese, it was concluded that the wheel exposed to hip-hop had the biggest change in its taste profile.

Praising the bacteria in the cheese for doing a “good job”, Wampfler said that the hip-hop exposed cheese was “remarkably fruity, both in smell and taste, and significantly different from the other samples.”

Huh. Who would’ve thought that a wheel of cheese would have such good taste in music?

Michael Harenberg of Bern University of Arts, which provided scientific support to the experiment, was one of the many who were pleasantly surprised at how sound waves could impact a cheese’s development by that much and revealed that he’s been inundated with interviews regarding the hip-hop loving cheese.

Unsurprisingly, Wampfler isn’t stopping there and he plans on continuing the experiment by exposing more cheese to hip-hop and seeing what happens.

This is 100% the type of scientific experiment we need right now and it has my full support, mainly because I’m curious at what a cheese exposed to the Hamilton soundtrack would taste like.

This Melbourne Woman Is One Of The World's Biggest Pop Stars But You Probably Have No Idea Who She Is

And she's about to come home to hit you with that ddu-du ddu-du du.

She’s the golden voice of a girl group that’s arguably the most popular in the world right now, appeared in music videos that have garnered several hundred million views on YouTube, made the cover of Elle and Billboard, and is the face of many high-profile brands like Reebok and Louis Vuitton.

It’s definitely not a stretch to label her one of the world’s biggest pop stars right now. And yet, there’s a decent chance you won’t have any idea who she is.

Meet Melbourne’s Roseanne Park – or as she is better known, Rosé from BLACKPINK.

After debuting as the main vocalist of BLACKPINK back in 2016, Rosé and her group quickly rose to the top in South Korea, selling out shows and countless records, garnering a massive worldwide fanbase and establishing themselves as one of K-pop’s leading acts.

But 2019 sees the group attempting to do something that only one K-pop group (that would be BTS) has managed to far in the last few years: make it in the West.

And all signs so far are overwhelmingly positive.

Despite having not performed a show or even an interview in America, the group’s recent publicity circuit ahead of their first ever US concert tour was well-received and garnered a big response from fans and newcomers alike.

This kind of rapid success is perhaps not surprising. Offstage, BLACKPINK are quirky, fun and fashionable, while onstage they’re fierce, charismatic, and intense. Their songs are also some of the most eclectic pop music to come out of South Korea today, so much so that the group are being asked to collaborate with some big-name Western artists like Dua Lipa.

It also definitely helps that three of the four group members speak fluent English, which helped enormously with the transition from South Korea to America.

It’s a moment that Rosé has seemingly been building towards for several years now. Whereas the singer is more reserved and soft-spoken on Korean TV shows, she’s been confidently taking the lead for all of BLACKPINK’s American TV interviews and appearances.

All this is kind of amazing when you consider that Rosé initially got into this whole K-pop business when her father lightheartedly told her to audition for YG Entertainment, one of South Korea’s largest entertainment companies, back in 2012 – since she was into music and stuff.

What started as a joke soon became reality as Rosé was accepted into YG and soon underwent the gruelling journey to become a K-pop star. They say you should make your hobby or passion into a job. Well, Rosé basically did exactly that, though it did mean having to leave her family behind in Australia and moving to South Korea.

But while she may get mobbed if she walked down the streets of Seoul, she remains a virtual unknown if she wandered around her home city of Melbourne. To South Koreans, she is Rosé the talented idol with one of K-pop’s most unique voices.

But to most Aussies, she’s just an average 22-year-old music-loving woman who lived in Melbourne and went to high school at Canterbury Girl’s Secondary College. For all the exposure K-pop has gotten in recent years, it remains something of a niche in Australia, albeit one that’s growing quickly.

It seems fitting then that after nearly seven years since being accepted into YG, Rosé’s journey is seemingly about to come full circle as BLACKPINK are scheduled to perform their first-ever shows in Australia.

But whereas K-pop groups performing for the first time in Australia generally opt for smaller venues, BLACKPINK are going big: they’re pencilled in for Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena and Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena, both of which are capable of squeezing in around 15,000 rabid fans.

For BLACKPINK, their tour Down Under is another step towards the top of pop music. For Australian fans, it’s another piece of K-pop history in the making. And for Rosé, it’s something of a long-awaited homecoming.

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