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Few names in the world of music today evoke global hysteria as the K-Pop super band BTS. With a following of 30.1 million on Twitter and 42.6 million on Instagram, the group, who made their debut in 2013, have smashed their own record with their latest track “Butter”, which garnered 10 million views on YouTube in just 13 minutes upon release. BTS, or Bangtan Sonyeondan, are a septet comprising Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook. The band is also known as the Bangtan Boys and, like any celebrities worth the delirium they unleash, have a name for their fans, too. They call their ever-burgeoning fan base ARMY (the all-caps stylization is perhaps meant to underline the frenzy).
Opening up with IANS in a candid tete-a-tete, the South Korean band decodes their skyrocketing worldwide success. “I’m guessing our sincerity reached our audience. We’ve tried our best to deliver sincere music and performances,” says V, whose real name is Kim Tae-hyung. Known for his deep voice, Tae, 25, who kind of carries the symbol of ‘tiger’, is the fashion icon for the group — as the ARMY says if you need something to become a trend just put it on V. He literally pulls off anything.
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J-Hope (Jung Hoseok) pitches in: “And we have always shown our fans all our behind-the-scenes through various contents. I think opening ourselves up without hesitation helped us convey our sincerity.” In fact, their opening up to the fans even before their debut and literally living every moment of their growth as singers, performers, and growing up from boys to men in front of the camera has endeared them more.
Their trials and tribulations, as they went from a one-room dorm in Seoul to the mega HYBE building in 2020 are the stuff of legend. Along the way their hardships — of sometimes making it through the week with just Bulgogi (fire meat) to distributing posters on the streets of L.A. for their first concert in the US — that saw few takers in 2014, to today’s phenomenal chartbusters — ON (February 2020), Dynamite, Life Goes On, Film out, and Butter (within the span of just over one year) — is a journey they have shared with the fans on Bangtan Gayo, RUN-BTS (an absolute stress buster), BTS in the SOOP, among others.
The rise of the band has been a phenomenon that has not only reorganized the contemporary mainstream music scene all over the world but has also defined the shifting socio-politics of showbusiness. The success of BTS, after all, has widely been seen as a triumph of inclusivity. In turn, the band, which started out as a hip hop group, evolved quickly to adapt to a larger market.
And all this success, despite almost all Korean lyrics in all their songs, until the all-English single Dynamite in August 2020. Today, they sing in English to connect with their worldwide ARMY. ARMY, the band has said time and again, is intrinsic to their growth. Wider reach and a growing fan base ensure better feedback, they point out, and BTS is one band that is known to listen to their fans.
“When we go on tour, we get to perform a lot and that helps me improve,” says Kim Seok-jin (Jin). J-Hope, who is Mr. Sunshine of the group and has the trademark intro “I am your Hope, You are my Hope…” adds that the feedback they get for their songs has worked because it tells the band which areas to focus on on on in order to grow. “I was able to check what I lacked and what I had to pay more attention to,” he explains. J-Hope is the main dancer, who is a hard taskmaster for the group when it comes to grooving. Known for his agile moves, he is that guy, who almost left the BTS at one time just before debut, but was destined to return — as the love between the members could not keep him away.
He is one of the three rappers along with Leader RM (Rap Moster or Kim Nam-joon) and Min Yoongi or Suga. In fact, Hobi, as he is lovingly called wanted to be in the vocal line — that has V, Jin, Park Ji-min, and Jeon Jung-kook. But gave it away to V, the surprise member of the group on debut, as is known from a number of their documentaries along the way — Burn the Stage, Bring the Soul, and Break the Silence. V credits new experiences to their growing popularity. “We encounter new things and our stage always gets bigger, so it does give me pressure. However, I tried to expand my mindset so that I don’t make mistakes,” he says.
For RM, like everyone else, the pandemic has had an impact. “I think the current pandemic situation played a big part because we needed to change, whether we wanted to or not. Thus, during Covid, we were able to release ‘Dynamite’, ‘BE’, and ‘Butter’,” he points out.
Jimin, who was the last member to be finalized in the group and trained only for six months before their debut on June 13, 2013, says the challenge is about seeking out the right direction when it comes to improving one’s performance. “I couldn’t really find an answer to what I should do to improve, but if I can find a better direction, I will be able to take a step forward,” Jimin says.
The need to grow guides them all. Jung Kook, the main vocalist, and the Golden Maknae, for instance, says he is driven by the constant need to “grow and evolve”.”I think the biggest factor is that I always feel like I’m lacking and I have the continual ambition to get cooler,” says Jung Kook. The youngest member, who will turn 24 this year, has given us five makeovers in six months — blonde, blue, mint-choco, silver, and purple — and each time fans have loved it. Currently, with his purple hair, Jung Kook did the impossible — losing weight in five days as he said while shooting for Butter.
The conversation shifts to their interestingly-named title tracks. The band says their process of selecting the title track of a BTS album is simple. “We usually select the song that best shows the overall message and theme of the album,” RM says. This brings one to their latest track “Butter”, which premiered on May 20. The song currently has 277,508,962 views on YouTube and 16 million likes. It is also No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as many other charts.
Jin, the self-proclaimed ‘World Wide Handsome’, feels the song is a rage because it works perfectly as “BTS’ summer song!” Jung Kook recalls the fun that the band had while shooting it, and attributes that energy to its success.”The song itself is exciting and fun, so we were full of energy when we recorded it,” Jung Kook notes.”I think ‘Butter’ is special because it encapsulates our charms,” Jin sums it up for the song, the band, and the band’s ever-growing aura. With just days left for their 8th anniversary, BTS has their hands full. (IANS/JC)
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television
One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.
The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.
As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Speaking on the recent report, Kamini Sawhney, Director, Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), said, "MAP is focused on changing the notion of a museum in India, by enabling more relevant and inclusive programming, both online and in our space in Bengaluru. The audience research commissioned by MAP, and conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, provides valuable, and actionable insights which we hope will help museums across the country better understand their consumer base, improve decision making and deepen social impact." As much as 62.3 per cent college students and 47.6 per cent professionals/homemakers perceive culture as anthropological and sociological. Music was the most popular cultural event likely to be attended, followed by heritage tours and plays/comedy shows for Indian audiences.
Over 70 per cent of college students visit museums with family and friends; working professionals, homemakers and senior citizens also predominantly visit with groups/ spouses (indicating a need to focus on increased group programming/facilitation). As much as 68 per cent of people were optimistic about going outdoors for activities and events in 2021. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.(IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Art, Culture, India, Museum, Music
What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?
Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Vaz also said that the promotion of feni was also in sync with the Prime Minister's vision for India to go "vocal for local". "There is no conglomerate, multinational company owning the drink. So every time we sell feni, it is a direct cash injection into Goa. If you sell a feni cocktail in Calangute (a popular beach village), it makes a direct impact in Valpoi and Bicholim, because this money is going down there," the Association official said at a press conference in Panaji.
The Association held the media briefing to announce a road map ahead for the feni industry, especially vis a vis streamlining aspects related to production, standardisation and marketing of the brew to make it popular in other Indian states and abroad.
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. | Photo by Ishvani Hans on Unsplash
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. "We request the government to allow the sale of feni in duty free stores in airports and cruise liner terminals. The government should also support us through the department of Tourism, so that feni can be promoted in its programmes. iIf you go to Scotland, they promote Scotch. Goa should promote its feni to Goa," Haldankar said, adding that traditional distillers should also be given subsidies and other measures should be taken to standardise feni, which he said, "would require further subsidies and financial assistance from the government".
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: deforestation,cashew,distillers,association,government, goa, feni, India