My Universe by Coldplay ft. BTS dropped at 9:30 this morning, sending fans into a tizzy and unleashing a soundscape of love and joy that you’re sure to carry around with you for the rest of your day (week, month or life!)
After months of speculation, fans were overjoyed when the collaboration was officially confirmed by both bands earlier this month. Since then, there have been behind-the-scenes photos, videos and an audio teaser — all of which set the stage for the big release today.
In the run-up to this release, My Kolkata spoke with a few BTS and Coldplay fans in the city about the bands, their collab and how they’re feeling now that this is a reality.
Lights will guide you home...
There is something magical about the way the lyrics of Fix You can wash away all your blues. Starting off slowly, by the time the music builds to a crescendo and finally ebbs away into the closing notes — it inevitably leaves you feeling a lot calmer than it found you.
A hit from 2005, Fix You remains, to this day, one of Coldplay’s most popular songs.
So, when Jin, RM, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, Taehyung and Jungkook dropped a surprise cover of the song on MTV Unplugged back in February, fans took immediate notice and began wondering if a collaboration could be on the cards.
A fourth-year student at Amity University, Sanchari Sinha has loved Coldplay since her school days. So, when she heard about the cover, she knew she absolutely could not miss it, “Thanks to university and other things, I haven't had much time to closely follow every BTS-related event and activity. But when I heard they covered Fix You, I listened to it right away and had it on repeat for the next few hours . The harmonies, the rap lines, the performance — everything was beautiful. The collab was inevitable”, she said.
Finally, when the announcement dropped on September 13, the internet went into a frenzy. For those who follow both bands closely, it really felt as if everything was falling into place.
“Ever since BTS covered Coldplay's Fix You, ARMYs have been manifesting a Coldtan collab and the stars have finally aligned,” gushed 22-year-old Crystal Valencia Sayter, as she described how she felt upon hearing the announcement of the collaboration.
When the odds are stacked high...
From selling tickets for their own concerts and performing for small, scattered crowds to becoming global sensations and icons of the music industry, it has been quite the journey for the seven members of BTS.
If you read up a little bit on them or just ask any of your ARMY friends, they’ll tell you how the Western music industry has been reluctant to let them break into the forefront despite their impeccable discography. Even though they are immensely popular now, the underlying strains of this tension are still palpable.
A student of English at Loreto College, Crystal said that faced with the possibility of losing their control over the progression of pop culture, the Western music industry now offers backhanded appreciation for the K-pop band. “They thought BTS was a ‘one-time phenomenon’. It is only when BTS started upstaging others, that it became a problem,” she observed.
In spite of all this, the band has managed to beat the odds, break out of the moulds they were cast into and surpassed all expectations as they smashed one record after another on their way to becoming global sensations. And through it all, they have managed to remain as humble and graceful as ever — charming the world with their smiles, their voices and their music.
Of Coldplay, collabs and more…
Today of course, there is a large list of artists that the boys have collaborated with. But, if you think BTS has gained mileage solely because of such collaborations, think again.
21-year-old Neha Kujur dismissed and dismantled all of these notions when she pointed out, “BTS never needed a collaboration with a Western artist to break into the western music industry. Their first Hot 100 debut, DNA, was a Korean song without any collaboration.”
So what makes this particular collaboration special?
“I was thrilled when I came to know that the collaboration was really happening. Coldplay x BTS is important because they appreciate each other as artists — it automatically makes them more special,” said Neha.
The other side of the table…
Coldplay fans, who are unfamiliar with the music of BTS, found themselves experiencing mixed emotions in the wake of the collaboration.
“I came to know about it a week or so ago, when Coldplay posted about it. I didn't know about this before. I was apprehensive because I don't know what to expect, but I saw the teaser and they sounded great,” said Mahasweta Chakravarti, a student at Jadavpur University. She added that she is very excited about Coldplay’s new album and has loved the two songs that have already been released as singles. “Since Coldplay always has music videos accompanying their singles, it will be pretty cool to see a Coldplay-BTS video”, she said.
For some fans, it is a chance to foray into a genre of music they haven’t previously explored.
An ardent fan of Coldplay, Deya Ganguly has been a little apprehensive of the band’s previous collaborations, because she feels that it takes away their essence. Yet, when it comes to My Universe, she decided to place her faith in Coldplay and look at this as an opportunity to get acquainted with new music. “I am excited to listen to this. I had no prior knowledge of BTS, so I feel this will be a good stepping stone for me. I trust Coldplay and I believe that they will do really well.”, she smiled.
Ask ARMYs about their favourite BTS collaborations and names come pouring in.
When we asked 21-year-old Sanchari Sinha the same question, she too could not pick just one. “So far, my favorite BTS collabs is Boy With Luv featuring Halsey, because it's a fun song and their interaction is wholesome. Other than that I really enjoyed Blueberry Eyes by MAX featuring Suga. Chicken Noodle Soup by J-Hope and Becky G is also one of my favourites because their vibes matched a lot. And it was in Korean and Spanish, which is very cool”, she said.
Ask the fandom who they would like to see BTS collaborating with in the future and there are some common names that come up over and over again. Key among them are Zayn Malik, Bruno Mars and Doja Cat.
BTS, of course, have their own list of artists they would like to work with. In past interviews, members of the band have thrown up names like Ariana Grande, Troye Sivan and Billie Eilish, among others. In a 2019 interview, the band had also mentioned Coldplay.
And now that My Universe has released, we cannot wait to see what other collabs and releases are in the pipeline. Until then, just plug in your earphones, drown out the clamour of the world outside and let two world-class bands whisk you away into their universe.