JBTV alumni BTS gave a speech at the United Nation's "Youth 2030" event in New York on Monday, September 24th, 2018. The event was held to launch Generation Unlimited, a UNICEF initiative “that aims to ensure that every young person is in education, learning, training or employment by 2030.”
The Korean-pop supergroup addressed the UN with a powerful speech empowering young people to love themselves and to find their voice. They are the first K-pop group to speak at the United Nations.
Leader Kim Nam Joon, or better known as "RM," took to the mic, joined by his six fellow members -- Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook.
During the speech, RM shared his personal story of finding self-actualization after fighting through adversity. “I tried to jam myself into the other molds that other people made,” he said. “Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and listen to the voice of others. No one called out my name and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. Like this, I—we—all lost our names. We became like ghosts. But I had one sanctuary, and that was music.”
RM also talked about the hardships BTS faced when they were first started out in the industry. “Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were a lot of hurdles,” he said. “Some people might not believe but most people thought we were hopeless, and sometimes I just wanted to quit.”
With their incredible worldwide success, it is difficult to imagine that BTS was ever a struggling group. Formed in 2013, BTS is now K-pop’s most successful group, selling out stadium shows and receiving an abundance of love and support from their "ARMY" fanbase.
Despite the group's colossal success, RM said he is “still an ordinary 24-year-old guy.” “Yesterday's me is still me,” he said. “Today I am who I am with all of my faults and my mistakes. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser and that would be me too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I am, for who I was, and for who I hope to become.”
The speech went viral as the hashtag #BTSxUnitedNations trended worldwide on Twitter for several hours.
BTS is currently on the North America leg of the BTS World Tour: Love Yourself. They will perform at the United Center in Chicago, IL on October 2nd and 3rd.
Watch the full speech below, via The Washington Post.
Filed By Natalie Baltierra
Photos By Bobby Talamine
Heeeeeere’s Jerry! While not being able to attend JBTV’s Let’s Eat Grandma show because of chemotherapy, Jerry took his rightful place back behind the jib camera for JBTV’s September 10th live show of Givers. Originally from Lafayette, Louisiana and making their debut on the JBTV stage, Givers gave the intimate audience a taste of what the Big Easy has to offer. Creating groovy guitar riffs, soulful drums, and a calming tempo, Givers presented a performance that would shake the United Center’s rafters and even make Red Forman from That 70’s Show smile and shake his ass—instead of threatening to put his foot in others.
Although Givers beam nothing but good vibes, dire circumstances brought them together. While living together and studying jazz at The University of New Orleans, Tiffany Lamson and Taylor Guarisco were flooded out of their apartment during Hurricane Katrina. After losing valuable music equipment and their apartment, Lamson and Guarisco made the journey back to their hometown of Lafayette. Shortly after the move, Lamson and Guarisco started skipping class to jam at their friend Kirby Campbell’s place—former band member of Givers.
These jam sessions led to the creation of “Saw You First,” the first song of Givers’ set at the JBTV stage. With a twangy guitar riff from Guarisco and Lamson’s skills on the ukulele—“Saw You First” lulled the crowd into comfort and ease. This feeling of relief was brought together from Lamson and Guarisco’s joyous singing that radiated the JBTV stage. Like lyrics from the song, Givers put the audience collectively “in a dream”—a dream that the audience was not ready to wake up from yet.
After “Saw You First,” Givers went into their next song “Meantime” a song that distills the cheerful, spirit of their hometown of Lafayette. Having never written a pop song before this 2011 song, Guarisco said in the JBTV interview with Jerry Bryant that the sole purpose of “Meantime” was to “get people moving.” Nurturing the jazzy sound from Lafayette and the city’s desire to dance, Givers successfully transcribed a sonic road map of Lafayette. A song whose lyrics have positive affirmations like “love and happiness is growin’ in your vase” and “don’t get stuck in the meantime,” Givers generously offer the listener reasons to be optimistic and filled with joy.
The afro-pop polyrhythm influences of Givers really came to fruition in their next song “Movin On”—a song off of their new album of the same name. Starting out with a Caribbean fused baseline, “Movin On” was Tiffany Lamson's time to shine.. Singing and performing on a percussion kit that looked like a collapsed Guitar Center aisle, Lamson juggled tambourine, bongos, and maracas all the while maintain the easy breezy vibe of the song. Givers’ performance of “Movin On” at the JBTV stage was a prime example of why more people need to discover this band. The amount of talent that each member possesses would awe the most jaded audience member.
The last two songs of Givers’ set list were “Love is Like a Fire” and “Collide.” “Love is Like a Fire” was another song that illustrated Lamson’s talent, by making her vocal range the forefront of the song. Lamson’s ability to manipulative her voice through peaks and valleys, “Love is Like a Fire” ignited the already positive energy that radiated in the JBTV studio from their performance. With a folky, guitar riff and Guarisco and Lamson’s poppy vocals, “Collide” ended the show on the highest, most positive note.
Look, I can sit here and go on about how positive Givers’ energy was in the studio, how talented they are, and how catchy their songs are—but if you take anything from this write up—GO SEE GIVERS LIVE! You won’t regret it! Having already been on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Givers is without a doubt one song away from ambushing the charts. Don’t just take my word for it—take Neil Young’s.
That’s right. You’re read that correctly. Neil. Fucking. Young. In his latest autobiography Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream, Neil Young lists Givers as one of his favorite bands after seeing them on Fallon and Kimmel. So if think my opinion doesn’t hold weight, how about Neil Young’s?
And if that’s not convincing enough, how about the fact that Givers’ music helped keep a person alive? Marc Pagani, a New Orleans based photographer, was on an assignment to take photographs of the Himalayas in 2011. With Nepal experiencing warmer weather and a longer monsoon season than normal, Pagani and his climbing partner became trapped after multiple avalanches demolished their campsite for the night.
Stuck in between their two campsites in brutal weather conditions, Pagani and his colleague made a makeshift campground and showed each other songs on their iPhones to distract themselves from their current situation. Having saved Givers on his iPhone after seeing them perform at NOLA venue One Eyed Jacks, Pagani played Givers’ song “Up Up Up.” Once the vibrant music of “Up Up Up” blasted from Pagani’s iPhone speakers, morale was boosted immediately. “It slowly became the theme song for the trip…and gave us hope that we would make it through the night,” Pagani recalled of the trip. Once a long night of cascading snow turned into a still morning, Pagani and company made the trek down the mountain with their morale intact—thanks to “Up Up Up.” You can check out some of the photographs Pagani got from this experience in his book Fearless Photographer: Travel.
Now, you don’t have to go to the Himalayans and have a near death experience to fully appreciate Givers. The band’s mission statement is to “bring something positive where there wasn’t before,” and if you could use a higher dosage of positivity, you should experience Givers for yourself.
If you want to donate to help Jerry as he fights against cancer and keep him on the JBTV jib camera, you can here.
If you want to help keep America’s longest music television program up and up running you can by clicking here.
Filed By Alex Ghere
Photos By Bobby Talamine
On a rainy Thursday afternoon, the Norwich band Let’s Eat Grandma—whose name is a comma away from being a familial invitation versus a proposition in ancestral cannibalism—graced the JBTV stage. With our beloved leader Jerry not in attendance due to chemotherapy, the JBTV family pressed on and maintained the energy the space possesses when Jerry is behind the camera.
Rocking stylish and comfy clothes, Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth of Let’s Eat Grandma started their set with their single “Hot Pink.” With it’s high energy beats and catchy lyrics, the crowd bobbed their heads to a song the band describes as debunking “the assumptions people make about gender and feminism, and how there’s nothing wrong with being feminine or not at all.” Through the hypnotic synth and entrancing chorus, the crowd fell under the Let’s Eat Grandma trance immediately.
Following “Hot Pink,” Let’s Eat Grandma kept the positive, upbeat energy with their song “It’s Not Just Me”—a song that sounds straight out of a John Hughes movie that was never made. Friendship is a common theme in Let’s Eat Grandma’s catalogue, and “It’s Not Just Me” is no different. The song illustrates the hardships of maintaining relationships as one gets older, and the importance of keeping those friendship alive. A beat and tempo that has the familiar comfort of an inside joke between close friends; it made this writer realize he needs to stay in better contact with his friends. Seriously people, let your friends know how important they are to you.
“Falling Into Me” and “I Will Be Waiting” solidified the sheer talent that Walton and Hollingworth possess musically through their constant shifting from instrument to instrument with the ease of seasoned performers. Both Walton and Hollingworth have the young, carefree energy of nineteen-year-old performers, and yet harness the music comprehension, stage presence, and musical complexity of artists who have a backlog of greatest hits.
The musical opus of the show was the last song “Donnie Darko”—a song that’s partly about the movie and partly about the awkwardness of coming of age. Clocking in at over eleven minutes, “Donnie Darko” took the audience on a journey filled with highs and lows. Let’s Eat Grandma further extenuated this ebbing and flowing by starting their performance on the floor with Walton playing the guitar. As the song ramped up and built to a euphoric crescendo, the energy onstage catapulted Let’s Eat Grandma to bring audience members onstage to gel with the rising and falling of the epic song. Like the movie that inspired the song title, “Donnie Darko” leaves the listener with no concrete answers, but ends on a cyclical note with Let’s Eat Grandma wilting back onto the stage floor.
After the audience gradually exited the space, JBTV’s Greg Corner interviewed Let’s Eat Grandma. Through this candid conversation, we learned that Walton and Hollingworth have known each other for the majority of their lives, since they were four, and also have someone close to them battling cancer like Jerry. Their friend Billy is battling a rare form of bone cancer that affects young adults, and if you would like to help with Billy’s fight, donate.
Let’s Eat Grandma has a sound that bundles the synthesized sound of 80s pop, but with the unique, perplexing mood that permeates into a new frontier. The sonic mutation of the familiar that Let’s Eat Grandma peppers into their sound and lyrics, keeps an audience hungry for more. If you want to experience Let’s Eat Grandma for yourself, you can catch them on tour opening for Chvrches starting in November. To learn more about the band, check out their website.
To support the awesomeness that is JBTV, be sure to donate as we strive to innovate JBTV as we continue to break bands and new music.
Photo Credit: Bobby Talamine