Global K-pop sensation BTS delivered an inspirational speech amid the COVID-19 pandemic at the 75th UN General Assembly.
On Wednesday evening, September 23, Manila time, BTS’ official YouTube channel.
BANGTANTV uploaded the video of their speech where the members took turns in giving their messages.
BTS’ speech opened with the group’s leader RM sharing how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected him personally.
“Two years ago here, I asked your name. I urged you to let me hear your voice. And I let myself be filled with imagination. As a boy from the small city of Ilsan in Korea, as a young man standing at the UNGA, as a global citizen of this world, I imagined the limitless possibilities before all of us, and my heart beating with excitement. But COVID-19 was beyond my imagination. Our world tour was totally canceled, all our plans went away, and I became alone,” he said.
Likewise, Jimin said that he felt hopeless that everything fell apart. “Yesterday, I was singing and dancing with fans around the world, and now my world had shrunk to a room. And then my friends took my hand. We comforted each other and talked about what we could do together.”
As for Suga, he said, “Life became simple, maybe for the first time. It was a precious time, unwanted but welcome.” He also said that he’s “used to an entire world shrinking in an instant,” “When I’m on tour, I stand in bright lights and loud cheers but at night back in my room, my world becomes only a few paces wide.” Nonetheless, “The room itself was small but my world and our world reached far and wide.
Although feeling frustrated and depressed, V made it his decision to carry on, saying, “But I took notes, wrote songs, and thought about who I was. I thought, ‘If I give up here, then I’m not the star of my life.’ ‘This is what an awesome person would do.’”
It was these emotions that led them to create new music together, according to J-hope. “We embraced all these emotions and the seven of us began to make music together. This is where the music came from, and this made us honest.”
“Our lives are unpredictable. We don’t know all the answers. I knew where I wanted to go, but not how I could get there. All I did to get here was trust ourselves, do my best and love what I do,” he added.
Saying that he found again the people and music he loves, as well as himself, Jin related their message of loving one’s self to their new song, the record-breaking hit “Dynamite.” “Thinking about the future and trying hard are all important. But cherishing yourself, encouraging yourself, and keeping yourself happy is the most important. In a world of uncertainty, we must cherish the importance of ‘me,’ ‘you’ and ‘us.’ That’s the message of ‘LOVE MYSELF’ we talked about for three years, it’s the message in the lyrics of our song ‘Dynamite’– ‘I’m diamond, you know I glow up,”’ he said.
Jungkook, for his part, said, “Our songs became the stories we wanted to tell each other. We live in uncertainty, but really, nothing’s changed. If there’s something I can do, if our voices can give strength to people, then that’s what we want and that’s what we’ll keep on doing.”
To conclude the 7-minute speech, RM recalled his speech at the United Nations in 2018. “I remember the words I spoke here two years ago. ‘Love yourself, speak yourself.’ Now more than ever, we must try to remember who we are, and face who we are. We must try to love ourselves, and imagine the future. BTS will be there with you. Our tomorrow may be dark, painful, difficult. We might stumble or fall down. But the stars shine brightest when the night is darkest.
“Let’s reimagine our world. We’re huddled together tired, but let’s dream again… It might feel like it’s always night and we’ll always be alone, but the night is always the darkest before the first light of dawn,” he added.
As for their final message altogether, RM, Jin, Suga, J-hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook said, “Life goes on. Let’s live on.”
Watch the full speech in this video:
BTS, the first K-pop group to have ever spoken at the United Nations, is behind the chart-topping hits “Dynamite,” “Boy With Luv,” “On,” “Idol,” and “Black Swan,” among others.