If you had any doubts that 2018 was the year pop idols BTS were determined to achieve world domination, maybe a full-on United Nations appearance will change that. Sure, the group have broken out of the K-Pop confines of Korea to make some pretty admirable leeway toward establishing themselves as pop contenders in the west, but they might be well on their way to being one of this decade’s few truly global popstars after making history as the first k-pop band to appear at the U.N.
The group’s appearance this past Monday was for a summit celebrating the launch of Generation Unlimited, an initiative that seeks to ensure all youth be employed or engaged in training or employment by 2030. BTS attended the event in order to deliver a speech in line with the event’s theme of empowering youth.
In the speech, delivered by group leader RM, the popstar opened up about how music helped him rediscover his confidence and sense of self: “I began to shut out my own voice and listen to the voice of others. No one called out my name and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. Like this, I—we—all lost our names. We became like ghosts. But I had one sanctuary, and that was music.”
RM ended his speech by encouraging fans to find and define themselves through expression, urging them that “I want to hear your voice. I want to hear your conviction. No matter where you’re from, skin color, gender identity, just speak yourself. Find your name, find your voice.”
And if any doubt still remains over the massive global reach of BTS, following their speech, #BTSxUnitedNations was trending for hours on Twitter from all corners of the world.