BTS, Coldplay stunningly transcend musical boundaries on ‘My Universe’

photo of My Universe cover art
Parlophone Records Limited/Courtesy

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BTS and Coldplay. It’s a collaboration that’s literally out of this world. 

After BTS released an MTV Unplugged cover of Coldplay’s “Fix You,” BTS’ fanbase, ARMY, had been speculating what it meant for BTS’ upcoming works. Following a few subtle leaks and rumors, the two groups finally unveiled their combined effort this month. Released Sept. 24, “My Universe” is an ode to the transcendence of language, love and time.

The collaboration from two of the biggest bands of our time is nothing short of spectacular. It started from a scrappy, far-fetched phone call from BTS to Coldplay poster boy Chris Martin. A few months later, Coldplay’s members found themselves flying to South Korea to meet BTS. An oasis of musicality and imagination opened when the artists met, granting the creative talents on both ends to flourish as one.

“My Universe” starts with Martin’s hypnotic vocals taking control. His mellow voice blends seamlessly into the growing bass notes, later to be beautifully met by BTS vocalist Jungkook. At this point, “My Universe” transitions into its Korean lyrics, a distinct and effective musical choice that melds any barriers in culture or heritage. It’s both a seamless and effortless transition, and we finally get the first taste of a language-crossing track.

Following the chorus, BTS vocalist V grabs hold of the second verse. His part is short, but memorable, as he sings in Korean, “darkness used to be more comfortable for me/ within the long shadows.” V’s unique baritone voice is enough to make his part fully appreciated. He is later complemented by the harmonization between rapper RM and vocalist Jimin that swells into the chorus with vocalist Jin’s support. 

The bridge is handled remarkably by BTS rappers j-hope and SUGA, ensuring that every member gets a role in the song. The duo’s patent style is highlighted in the song, a refreshing return to their rapping artistry. The song being four minutes in length makes finding space for all members challenging, but the artists ultimately found a way for everyone to play an important role regardless.

A short documentary released on BTS’ YouTube channel, BANGTANTV, displayed the authentic behind-the-scenes footage of the two artists. It’s revealed that the song’s inspiration stems from their devotion to giving the best versions of themselves to their fans, regardless of how far or how different everyone may be. The organic creation of the single was powered by hearty laughs and smiles. Between RM’s songwriting talents and Martin’s vision, we see how music is truly universal at heart. BTS’ and Coldplay’s willingness to exchange ideas and try new things is what makes the song succeed. 

What makes “My Universe” so exceptional is what it stands for and what it means for the future of music. A collaboration between artists who don’t share the same language or upbringing is not only amazing but truly touching. This song shines best as the epitome of musical transcendence, never allowing cultural or linguistic barriers to block unity and for Coldplay and BTS to dedicate their universe to us.

Contact Ashley Tsai at [email protected].