BTS "Dynamite" is bringing the disco wave once again as the song takes the music charts by storm. BTS's new song is a reinterpretation of the disco genre that swept the world from the late 1970s to the 1980s.
Written and composed by David Stewart and Jessica Agombar, the song boasts of cheerful melody and rhythm that anyone can dance to. RM, the leader of BTS, stated, "I felt excited and cheerful as soon as I heard the melody to 'Dynamite'. It was something we wanted to always try - a light-hearted, cheery song that brightens your mood. Also, we made the dance much easier so that anyone can follow along rather than our usual choreography. We highlighted the disco feel by pointing our fingers up and also slicking our hair back."
In Korea, BTS are not the only ones who are bringing the disco-wave back. J.Y. Park also added the heat to the disco craze as he released his song "When We Disco" a few days ahead of BTS.
J.Y. Park revealed on a talk show that he was inspired by the song "Brother Louie" by Modern Talking and completed the song "When We Disco" in three hours.
He revealed that he had used live instruments and used the recording equipment from the 80s to capture the retro sounds. J.Y. Park also incorporated the signature disco move into his choreography.
J.Y. Park went to duet with Sunmi for his new single. Sunmi is also known as one of the artists who incorporated the retro sounds into her music. Her songs such as "pporappippam" and "Black Pearl" as a solo artist have vastly used the retro disco-pop melody as the base as she reinterpreted the genre into her own color.
If the 1950s is the Rock and Roll era, and the 1960s is the Fork and Psychedelic era, then The 1970s and 1980s were the age of Disco.
Disco reportedly started in France in the 1960s at a dance hall called "Discotheque," where records were used instead of bands playing live. At the discotheques, there was more space to dance at a low cost since the bands were replaced with record players. This gained popularity and positive response from the younger generation at that time.
With the success of Donna Summer's "Saturday Night Fever" in 1977, disco fever spread worldwide. OSTs such as "Staying Alive" and "How Deep Is Your Love" were enjoyed by huge popularity. Since then, disco singers have appeared not only in the U.S. but also across Europe. Beethoven and other classical music were remixed as discos genres as well.
This disco wave crossed the seas and also made its way into Korea. In the 1970s the streets of Itaewon and Mugyo-dong were filled with Discotheques where the Disco genre was able to flourish in the country.
Then in 2007, JYP Entertainment brought back the retro disco music with Wonder Girl's "Tell Me". With the popularity of their song, more artists such as Uhm Jung Hwa released her song "D.I.S.C.O".
Throughout the years, many artists have been reinterpreting retro songs. However recently, in the light of the pandemic more artists seemed to bring back the retro-disco genre.
Recently, the duo unit Sehun and Chanyeol of EXO released a hip hop song with an underlying Disco rhythm titled "1 Billion Views". The new rookie group Cravity also released their song "Ohh Ahh", which mixed the genre of Nu-disco with the Nu-electro punk genre.
This light funk-pop genre did not take its boom only in Korea but in other countries as well. Earlier this year, English singer-songwriter, Dua Lipa released her song "Don't Start Now" which gained much popularity as well as Doja Cat's "Say So".
Both of these songs reinterpreted the disco genre and gained much popularity with the general public. These songs have ranked quite high in Billboard's single chart "Hot 100".
Many believe that the rise in popularity of this retro-pop is thanks to the interest received by all age groups. This retro genre is something new for the younger generations but it is also nostalgic for the middle-age generations. Therefore, disco has resurfaced.
Not only that, in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic across the world, many people also are in need of something to cheer up their mood. What can better than music? As mentioned before by RM, disco has the power to lighten up the mood as it makes people move their body with the flow of the cheerful melody.
As RM stated, "This song would be the ray of light that would help break through the hardships and tough situations. We call this song a recharge project."