A/N: Among the many MV’s and tracks that I found myself scrolling past, Young Forever was possibly the one that stood out the most at this time. Combined with the artistry that BTS has never failed to deliver both lyrically and musically, there’s the accompaniment of an extremely meaningful video.
A little bit of insight?
Released on 19th of April 2016, Young Forever served to provide the audience with a glimpse of the upcoming content on BTS’ special album The Most Beautiful Moment In Life: Young Forever (commonly referred to as: Hwa Yang Yeon Hwa or HYYH)
In case you were wondering, BTS is a South-Korean based group consisting of seven members (Rap Monster, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V & Jungkook).
What’s up with the lyrics?
넘어져 다치고 아파도
Even when I fall and hurt myself
끝없이 달리네 꿈을 향해
I keep running toward my dream
If you’ve been a part of BTS’ ARMY (the assigned name of their fandom) for a while now, comprehending the artistry behind these lyrics might be easier.
Much of the track refers to the exhilaration faced by the members after a satisfying performance, then shifting the focus to their insecurities regarding the future. The members express their desire to remain young forever, simultaneously portraying them as youths who keep running towards their dreams. Whilst this is being addressed, they declare that they won’t give up, even if they are hurt in the process.
오늘의 나로 영원하고파
I want to stay this way for life
영원히 소년이고 싶어 난
I want to stay young forever
What’s up with the music?
Composed by RapMon and producer, Slow Rabbit, the track begins with a few chords that are played in succession, contributing to the eerily beautiful, if not haunting intro of the song. This leads to mellow vocals from RapMon himself before transitioning to the emotional rapping/singing of Suga and J-Hope, two individuals whose prowess pave the way for the vocal line to begin their cue after the only beat-drop present throughout the track.
While the “Forever, we are young” lines are sung by V, Jungkook and Jin alternate in progressing the song towards its group vocal. And from that point onwards, coupled with the infectious clapping and chanting of the other members, Jimin and Jungkook take the reigns in leading the high notes in the background.
Whilst the subtle EDM influences in the background were possibly a hint of the genre playing a more significant role in future releases, the simplicity of the vocal harmonies have successfully contributed in giving the track some sort of an ethereal feel. Coupled with its strong sense of lyricism, Young Forever successfully presents its listeners with a sense of nostalgia and determination, a glimpse of hope in the midst of eternal darkness.
In case you were wondering, yes, the track is unbearably short but that’s actually the point. Back then, it was a teaser regarding what the viewers/listeners could expect from them in the future. If you look at it in another way, the fact that it remains incomplete could mean that their career/lives are far from over.
And the video?
BTS are among the few groups of the industry that never fail to impress their audience with gorgeous cinematography in their music videos, most of which have been directed by Lumpens. However, many of the theories behind their MVs remain unsolved and fortunately or consequently, open to interpretation.
In Young Forever, the members are struggling to free themselves from a maze which could be viewed as a symbolic representation of the struggles that youth face as they transition to adulthood. The incorporation of film reels which depict various scenes from the HYYH era serve to enhance the overall sense of nostalgia and memorabilia, making it seem as though the members are reminiscing over a distant past.
The use of feathers along with the abandonment of the struggles (leaving behind the maze) and the progression towards a sun-streaked sky could imply that the members have now reached heaven. In BTS’ case, this could allude to their success, if not heaven itself.
Moreover, I find it worth mentioning that rather than a single member walking down the runway, it is all seven of them. Coupled with the chanting in the background of “Forever, we are young”, this could symbolize the struggles that they’ve dealt with in the past, now supporting one another as they move forward to attain a common goal.
Some other things worth mentioning
- In 2016, BTS released the ‘unplugged’ version of Young Forever. With all the electronic sounds removed, this version features strong guitar riffs and clearer voices, enabling you to hear certain hidden vocals that weren’t too audible before.
- While the song was composed entirely by Rapmon and Slow Rabbit, the lyrics were written by: Slow Rabbit, RapMon, Suga, J-Hope and Hitman Bang (the CEO of their company)