If you are a card-carrying member of ARMY—the official and apt term for the legions of fans that regularly swoon over Korean pop sensations, BTS—you are already well aware of the group’s long-awaited incursion onto U.S. soil. The Bangtan Boys landed at LAX on Tuesday morning, sporting their trademark airport style and greeted by their usual contingent of anxious fans. In the coming weeks, BTS is slated to make an ambitious number of appearances as well as various musical performances on popular American talk shows such as The Late Late Show with James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, culminating in a live performance at the American Music Awards on November 19th.
American fans who have long watched their idols from afar have completely obliterated available tickets for taped recordings and the outdoor concert the group plans to host as a part of their Jimmy Kimmel appearance.
BTS seems determined to make a lasting impression on American audiences, regardless of their current awareness of, or opinions on, the world of Kpop. Rumors are circulating that the group, in conjunction with their management, Big Hit Entertainment, made the decision to refuse a collaborative performance with a well-known American artist at the AMAs. These reports, as well as the identity of the artist in question, remain unconfirmed. Either way, BTS is making one thing perfectly clear—they did not come all this way to be anyone’s background dancers.
BTS have plans to further their genre-bending discography by collaborating with none other than Steve Aoki on a remix of their song “Mic Drop” off their most recent EP, Love Yourself: Her. The remix will feature Desiigner and is set to be released towards the end of their American escapades, on November 24.
Aoki expressed nothing but respect for BTS’s creative prowess:
“I love these guys. These guys are the geniuses…they’re so creative on every level — on their dance, on their sound, on their style, their flow, creatively musically, creatively on the fashion tip. They’re brand developers. They developed their own brand, and they’re global. It’s incredible working with artists like that.” (via Billboard).
Aoki has also hinted that further collaborations with BTS may be possible in the future, which seems likely given the group’s pointed foray into EDM following their earlier collaboration with The Chainsmokers on “Best of Me.”
Only time will tell if more international collaborations are yet to come, but until then, U.S.-based ARMYs will watch eagerly as their boys blow up in a big way stateside.