What do you get when you mix colorful visuals with strains of hip-hop, rock, electronic and R&B music? Korean pop, or K-pop for short.
And BTS, K-pop's biggest ambassadors to date, are about to converge on the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena (1201 Houston St., Fort Worth) for a two-night, sold-out stay, 8 p.m. Sept. 15 and 6 p.m. Sept. 16.
The group is on its "Love Yourself" world tour and kicked off the North American leg Sept. 5 in Los Angeles with almost a week of sold-out shows. It's doing its part to spread the news about a genre that before now was mostly known for its formulaic approach to music.
K-pop groups are made through auditioning, which means the groups look smooth and polished right out of the gate. (Think 'NSync, but more rigid.) Group members usually fall into stereotypical roles: the cute one, the dancer, the charmer, etc. And song lyrics fall into safe territory.
But, wait. Here's BTS, flipping the script. While others follow the formula to the nth degree, BTS hit upon a formula all its own, even starting a viral dance challenge for the the video for "Idol." (Plus, when you have a hit song with a guest shot by Nicki Minaj, safe isn't the word you're thinking of and you might as well make your own path.)
The group is so big that even its fans are winning awards.
The BTS ARMY (Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth), so named because of its well-choreographed campaigns to stan for their favorite group, won Choice Fandom at the Teen Choice Awards in August; Best Fan Army at the iHeartRadio Music Award for BestfanArmy; and Fiercest Fans at the Radio Disney Music Awards.
The Army is just keeping up with their generals, who won three awards at the Radio Disney Music Awards: Best Group, Dance Track and Best Song That Makes You Smile. BTS also won the Teen Choice Award for Choice International Artist; iHeartRadio Music Award for best boy band; became the first K-pop group to take over No. 1 on the Billboard 100 and ... there's not enough room, really, to list them all. Just know that the group has won music awards in North America, Europe, Asia and South America.
And one can't forget their American television debut at the American Music Awards. One could hardly hear the group over the choreographed fan chants and screams. And they followed that up with a performance Sept. 12 on America's Got Talent. Members V, Jungkook, Jimin, Suga, Jin, RM and J-Hope are willing and able to conquer the D-FW market, too.
Get ready, because big-time BTS is probably just the opening act for more K-pop to come.