It was 2010, the beginning of a new decade in the 21st century. A dream followed a certain man's head, and he needed to find people who shared his vision. Luckily, he found 7 teenagers, all of them fighting for their way through life. A tall boy with dimples and a fantastic brain caught his attention first. The boy wrote poems that would turn out to be songs and rap lines. The boy was very fond of the American entertainment industry that he even learned the language of those people just by watching a sitcom. His plans were to study at an Ivy League school. However, he ended up with this man, who saw a key in this young boy.

Image by Agatha Jade

Following months later, the man met a hardworking teenager, who wrote songs and sold them in order to have money. Someone who had been through a hard life at a young age, being his only dream to become a music producer. He already had a gang where he used to rap in his town. Meanwhile, another dancer was auditioning, having just one thing in his mind: The opportunity to show his country his talents. Both of them ended up being together, and it's amazing how, having different lifestyles, they became like siblings sharing the same ideals.

Image by Agatha Jade
Image by Agatha Jade

Destiny has been fair enough to the man, who was still searching for the final touch of his dream. Another dancer was in high school, being the cool guy because of his good looks and flexibility. The guy, who was humble and maybe a little shy, just wanted to become a ballet dancer. At the same time, a good friend wanted to go to Seoul just to see his dear friend auditioning, and it turned out that the companion ended up being the chosen one, making him think about what his real dream was. On cold days, or sunny days, a young boy, still in his early teen years, discovered his own magical voice, and right away, he knew he wanted to become a singer, auditioning here and there, having many opportunities to join the most famous agencies in South Korea. He just stayed with the dreaming man because when he first saw the guy with the American dream, this young boy suddenly felt at home.

The best part of the cake is the cherry. As red as a shiny cherry, the heart-shaped lips of a tall teenager with feminine facial features and astonishing almond-shaped eyes caught the attention of someone who has been helping the dreamer man for years now. This teenager, older than all of the guys mentioned above, was about to be in his 20s and was also studying to get into college, acting major. It wasn't the first time someone approached him for his outer space appearance, but for some reason, it was the first time he didn't hesitate to sign a contract with the agency the man was working for since he used to think that the offers were all a scam. Just like the very young boy, this young man felt at home with this agency than with the biggest ones.

After a lot of training and preparation, the seven of them sharing their experiences, fights in the middle, and reconciliations at the end, struggling with the lack of money and by the guidance of this dreamer man, they could finally debut 8 years ago, today. And even if their name was so difficult to pronounce, yet funny it turned out to be, Bangtan Sonyeondan (방탄소년단) is now a worldwide success. The group started as a hip hop one, continuing to K-pop and becoming a sensation in their country. Going overseas in 2014, where they went to America, gave free tickets to their concert so that people could learn about what these young Korean guys were willing to offer. Recording a whole show while being there, called "BTS American Hustle Life," they learned more about their artistic field and western culture. At this point, and with 8 years as a band, their genre is not limited to K-pop anymore: they write their own songs, they also participate in the production, and if they like how it sounds, they release it. As long as what they want to say connects with their lovely and precious ARMY, which shines brighter than anyone else.

Image by Agatha Jade
Image by Agatha Jade

It wasn't until 2016, with their album "Wings," that their success conquered America once again, this time, for making it in their own terms: from appearing for the first time at American Music Awards with "DNA," back in 2017, and winning at the Billboard Music Awards for 5 years in a row, making them the favorite artists of the ceremony. Not done with that, they are the very first K-pop group to be nominated at the Grammy Awards, but they are not the first Korean act. The Grammy-nominated guys had also made it to the top of Billboard charts: Billboard Hot 100, Billboard Global, Billboard 200, Billboard Japan, and Billboard K-pop 100. All of these with 4 singles: the smash hit "Dynamite," "Savage Love (Laxed- Siren Beat" featuring Jason Derulo and Jawsh 685, "Life Goes On," from the latest studio album "BE," and their recently second all-English song, "Butter."

Image by Agatha Jade
Image by Agatha Jade
Image by Agatha Jade

When your hobby turns out to be your passion, it can become a huge success. BTS have passion for what they do, and their loyal ARMY has passion for them, so breaking records, more than a goal, is now a hobby: BTS wants it, ARMY got it. Massive stream is daily life, studying the meanings behind each melody and lyrics, trying to learn Korean in order to communicate with them through their SNS, creating blogs, fan pages, and becoming masters in graphic design and video editing, as well as "hackers," an inside fandom joke, is just a few of the immense talent that ARMY holds. Overprotective with the guys, they have been defending them and putting them at the top, cloak, and dagger whenever necessary.

Intentions to humiliate them, disparaging their job, targeting them as plagiarists, using the name of BTS for clouts and western artists pretending to have a close bond with them just to gain people in their favor, criticism over the guy's looks, weight, and even the audacity to call them out for "not being able to dance, sing, rap," so on and so forth, are one of the things the guys had to deal with in all of these years. As their leader had said: "It has never been easy." Until now, they are sure to talk about their feelings out loud so that they show the world that their life, as dreamed as it has been, it's hard, sometimes painful, and even including mental health issues. If you ever feel lonely, you should know that they had felt the same way too. They understand you, and with their songs, you can feel that, in reality, you are not alone at all. Even the South Korean entertainment industry had shown to have interest in making their artists just as successful as BTS, tried to give their artists the same advantages that BTS has when it comes to military service and tried to scream out loud that "K-pop is not only BTS," when in reality, even PSY, who was the one to open the K-pop to the world with "Gangnam Style," is proud of BTS and how far they have come, acknowledging them for their role in K-pop sensation and even in their own country. They are the K-pop group with the most Korean awards won. The Order of Cultural Merit was also given to them, being the first 7 men to receive it under the age of 30, something that, until the moment, was believed it was an impossible thing to accomplish. To make not only themselves proud but their whole country and raising up the name of South Korea to the world, it's still a huge and untouchable honor.

Image by Agatha Jade

Loyalty is what defines BTS and their fandom, a bond almost as strong as soulmates. For all of these things, they have paved their own way. BTS created their own show so that no one could ever bring them down, not even for jokes. They choose with who they want to be interviewed, they chose what to do with their own content, they are the leaders of their own words, and ARMY is right behind them, taking care of their backs, and right in front of them to help them reach the success, which seems to not have limits anymore. The feelings of wanting to give up overwhelmed them in the past but never overcame them. Still together, they are walking towards a paradise of love, dreams, goals, trophies, stars, art, and above all, ARMY.

Under the guidance of the dreaming man, who has helped them to represent their feelings in the most beautiful and aesthetic ways, BTS promises to keep making ARMY smile, and ARMY is ready to let them shine brighter. Eight years of love and pain, but mostly eight years of creating a unique environment of human beings connected by art and music. A walk to remember their glory days is still not happening, because these days are still being created.

Happy 8th anniversary, BTS and ARMY!

Image by Agatha Jade

*Article previously written by me on https://www.allkpop.com/article/2021/06/bts-a-walk-to-remember-the-seesaw-of-their-dreams