BTS Want The Disco-Pop Fun Of ‘Dynamite’ To ‘Be Your Energy’

The end of summer might be in sight, but BTS are keeping those sunny days alive. Their latest single, “Dynamite,” premiered last week, bringing a warm, infectious pop tune bolstered by a disco beat — the kind of song that can extend summer by another month or so. And as the group tells MTV News, its bright music is only half the message.

“It’s a really fun disco-pop track about doing what we can do, even when things don’t work out as planned,” RM said. J-Hope added an additional splash of goodwill: “We hope this song can be your energy.”

The vocals on the sparkling track range from soaring hooks to RM’s more grounded baritone, capturing the full range of expression. “I am kind of in charge of English here, so in many parts of this song, you can hear me singing in the background with a low voice,” RM said. “Listen closely.”

“The singing in ‘Dynamite,’ it wasn’t easy,” J-Hope added, “because the song is high-pitched.”

For the video, this vision is brought to life by a feast of pastel colors and light, as well as signature explosive dance moves. As for he choreography, J-Hope revealed that the group had fun trying out new moves in front of the cameras, some of which ended up in the final visual, which he called “mostly freestyle.”

“We really had fun filming the music video,” Jimin said. “We came up with the choreo and the gestures. There were good vibes only!”

Jungkook revealed that for his solo dancing part — where he stomps around in a bedroom decorated with posters of David Bowie, The Terminator, and The Beatles’s Abbey Road — he “couldn’t focus that well from the start, so I had to re-shoot it later.” Nevertheless, it’s a highlight in the buoyant clip.

In the interview, BTS also listed their favorite videos they’ve ever made, a dynamic range spanning the narrative expansiveness of “Run,” the sleek ferocity of “Fire,” and more. When they broke down the “On” Kinetic Manifesto film, Jungkook made mention of the whirring overhead zooms that reveal the group’s fluid choreography backed up by even more dancer support. He said those shots were captured by drones. “The drones were super fast,” J-Hope said, translated to English.

If their recent “Dynamite” video is any indication, BTS’s own choreo while they perform the song might also be super fast. We’ll find out on Sunday night, August 30, during the 2020 VMAs, where BTS is set to give the tune its TV debut performance. The group is also up for Best Pop, Best K-pop, and Best Choreography — all for “On.”

The 2020 VMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, August 30 across MTV’s linear and digital platforms, as well as with several outdoor performances around New York City. Find everything you need to know at vma.mtv.com.

Bop Shop VMA Edition: Songs From Blackpink, Taylor Swift, And More

Blackpink ft. Selena Gomez: “Ice Cream”

Blackpink, VMA-nominated for Best Group, are serving us another mega pop-star collab, only this time, it’s sweet and screams, “Ice Cream.” Selena Gomez joins Lisa, Jennie, Jisoo, and Rosé in a pastel-saturated playground with a different flavor than other recent Blackpink tracks like “How You Like That” and “Kill This Love.” It’s a flirty, fun, and refreshing taste; Gomez and our leading ladies are addictive on this end-of-summer bop, so run, don’t walk, to their truck and help yourself to all of this delicious treat. And once you’re there, good luck getting “ice cream chillin’, chillin’ ice cream, chillin’” out of your head. Enjoy! —Daniel Head

Billie Eilish Steps Out Of The Darkness And Into The Director’s Chair

A cursory YouTube search of Billie Eilish’s name won’t quickly reveal the music video for the pop star’s second standalone single, “Six Feet Under.” The followup to Eilish’s dreamy Soundcloud debut, “Ocean Eyes,” as well as the singer-songwriter’s first release through Interscope Records, the 2016 clip may be the forgotten gem among Eilish’s 20 visuals to date (though, at 26 million views, its reach is nothing to balk at). Visually, it remains a standout within her catalog, in part because it’s Eilish’s only video in which the artist is not present. And where her better-known visuals boast highly produced body horror fit for a David Cronenberg feature — in “When the Party’s Over,” her eyes bleed black tears — “Six Feet Under” has the DIY appeal of the Blair Witch Project: A smoke bomb placed before a wooden fence is ignited by a disembodied hand and spouts plumes of yellow, teal, and red. The footage was edited by Eilish’s mother Maggie Baird in reverse, at times, so that the clouds spread, then recede, ebb and flow. This was also the first of her music videos Billie Eilish directed herself.

At the time of its release, Eilish was 15, living with her parents in a Highland Park, Los Angeles, bungalow, where she was homeschooled and collaborated on music from the childhood bedroom of her brother and primary creative partner Finneas. She began writing music at 11, but before that, “since I was, like, nine years old, I was making music videos to songs that I just liked, ‘cause I just wanted it so bad,” she tells MTV News. And while, by 14, directing her own visuals was still largely a dream — the beginning threads of which can be seen in “Six Feet Under” — but Eilish found that her experience, particularly as a young woman in the industry, wasn’t valued. “There’s this weird world of ‘You don’t have any experience so you can’t have the job; – it’s like, well, how am I supposed to get the job if I can’t get any experience?” she once posed to The Guardian. “I think that’s a big problem in the world with women. I don’t think people like us being the boss.” As her sound evolved from ethereal, fairy-like pop to incorporate a convergence of influences — she’s often cited the rap game’s resident weirdo Tyler, the Creator as a perennial inspiration — while her earliest visuals reflected the teenage state of an identity in flux.

Eilish has synesthesia, a neurological condition that makes her uniquely able to visualize music as vibrant hues, and her earlier videos appear to nod to that: “Bellyache,” for example, finds the singer exploring a canyon rendered in high-contrast technicolor, while she dons an all-yellow sweatsuit. It was with “You Should See Me in a Crown” that Eilish fully stepped into the macabre aesthetics for which she has become known, as well as back into the director’s chair. The video, which released in 2018 and was the third Eilish self-directed, sees the singer mouthing lyrics to-camera while wearing a glittering diadem the size of her head. Tarantulas crawl across her arms and inside her mouth as her body shakes and spasms, perhaps a reference to her diagnosis of Tourette syndrome, that often manifests as facial tics and muscle tension. Often incorporating characteristically nightmarish fantasies the likes of which haven’t been seen in the industry since the work of ‘90s industrial titans Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, the visuals that came after were meant to haunt and discomfort. “I love bugging people out,” she said in a New York Times Magazine profile earlier this year. “Freaking people out. I like being looked at. I like being in people’s heads. I feed off it.”

By the release of her debut album in March 2019, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Eilish was fully in control of her sound — beat-heavy electronics and droning synths; whispered, spoken-word vocals that dissolve into guttural sighs — and her image, even while collaborating. For “All the Good Girls Go to Hell,” which is up for three VMAs on Sunday, she brought her highest concept yet to director Rich Lee: Riffing off the song’s title, she would become a fallen angel, plunging into a tar-drenched hellscape. Together, the pair referenced images of oil spills in the ocean, as well as Paul Thomas Anderson’s film There Will Be Blood. “She wanted to have these angel wings burn off, and what you’re left with are the charred remains of the wings underneath,” Lee tells MTV News, “to become the devil, basically.” The transformation involved the design and fabrication of a pair of wings, each extending 15 feet, which were strapped to Eilish via harness and puppeteered by an off-camera crew. Covered in black oil composed of Nickelodeon slime to communicate a harrowing warning about the climate crisis, Eilish lugged the full weight of the slime-soaked wings across the set. “You can see just how far she’s willing to go to almost endure pain to make art,” Lee says.

That sentiment rings particularly true when viewing Eilish’s “Xanny” video, which transposes the uncomfortable experience of breathing in secondhand smoke into a muted gray tonality. In the vein of “You Should See Me in a Crown,” the singer remains passively center-frame, mouthing her lyrics to-camera, as hands holding cigarettes reach in from beyond the frame to extinguish the butts on her cheeks, leaving temporary marks across her face. “It was just so natural, and kind of magical, the way that it came,” Eilish says of the inspiration for the visuals. Directing it herself, however, was another matter. “It’s a lot, a lot more work. It’s definitely a lot less… I want to say fun, but it is fun. It’s fun in a different want, though,” she says, comparing the experience to being directed on set. “But really, it was exactly what I’ve needed, because I’ve wanted to direct my own stuff for my entire life.”

Now, it seems the tide has finally shifted. This year, Eilish’s direction for “Xanny” earned her a VMA nomination for Best Director, while another video with Eilish at the helm, “Everything I Wanted,” is up for Video of the Year. Meanwhile, her latest music video for the up-tempo “My Future,” an animation that sees a cartoon rendering of the singer literally grow and blossom as the song’s beat picks up, seems to shirk off some of the darkness, perhaps a message of hope in what’s to come. “I love the idea of making you think about something that you didn’t even know you thought,” she says. “The songs that I’m working on currently, the videos I’m working on currently, I got a lot of things I want to say about my life and about the world in general. And you know, why not say them?”

The 2020 VMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, August 30 across MTV’s linear and digital platforms, as well as with several outdoor performances around New York City. Find everything you need to know at vma.mtv.com.

Looking Back At Justin Bieber’s VMAs Journey From 2009 To Now

In 2009, Justin Bieber attended his first VMAs, excited to see Beyoncé. He stood next to Diddy on the red carpet outside Radio City Music Hall, having just met him for the first time, and gleamed a big smile with the sleeves of his jacket rolled up. Later, he’d be onstage introducing a fellow pop sensation, but first, he was taking it all in. “He’s a great young man in the making,” Diddy said, smiling himself.

Eleven years later, Biebs’s history with the VMAs is long and speckled with plenty of highlights. He’s won three Moon Person trophies and been nominated for 20 in total, including four this year at the 2020 VMAs. But back in 2009, when Bieber first stopped by the show, Diddy was right: JB was still in the making. Now, he’s a made man. Below, relive Bieber’s VMAs evolution from then until now.

  • 2009: A Biebs is born

    Bieber’s first-ever appearance at the show wasn’t marked by a performance, though he did join Miranda Cosgrove onstage to introduce Taylor Swift, who launched into “You Belong With Me” with the help of some creative subway cinematography. On the red carpet, Bieber’s baby face and gigantic smile helped make him an instant presence, especially with his then-trademark artfully shaggy hair.

  • 2010: Homecoming king on the skins

    The following year saw JB making his proper performance debut, and he seized the moment. It was, naturally, a shining medley, and dressed like a Riverdale homecoming king, he managed to pack a bit of “U Smile,” “Baby,” and “Somebody to Love” into just over four minutes. He had help, flanked by a battalion of dancers while rocking a sideways black cap, and capped the show by busting out a drum solo from behind the kit. Biebs’s “Baby” also won the highly coveted Best New Artist trophy, beating out an impressive roster of fellow nominees: Nicki Minaj, Kesha, Jason Derulo, and Broken Bells. The legend had just begun.

  • 2011: One less lonely snake

    The 17-year-old was another year wiser and another few inches taller as he picked up the Moon Person for Best Male Video for “U Smile,” the song he’d fittingly teased at the previous show. Bieber topped Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” Cee-Lo Green’s “Fuck You,” Bruno Mars’s “Grenade,” and even Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” for the distinction, and earlier in the evening, he memorably used a baby albino boa constrictor named Johnson as a fashion accessory — though he later reportedly auctioned him off for charity.

  • 2015: A triumphant (and tearful) return

    After a few years away from the VMA spotlight, the 2015 show was very much a welcome return for the recently 21-year-old performer. Two days before the event, he dropped “What Do You Mean?” and had dominated the entire summer with his Jack Ü collab “Where Are Ü Now.” He hit the red carpet looking like a stylish ’80s vampire — leather jacket, suede boots, a blond swoop of bangs — and nabbed Best Visual Effects along with Skrillex and Diplo. But no one could’ve predicted what happened after the athletic, flair-filled performance of his big summer hits: Biebs broke down in tears onstage. “I just wasn’t expecting [the audience] to support me in the way that they did,” Bieber later explained. “Last time I was at an award show, I was booed.”

  • 2020: Stuck with him

    Though he’s not scheduled to perform, Bieber nabbed four nominations for the 2020 show, the most he’d been up for since 2016. His noms include a biggie for Artist of the Year, Best Collaboration (thanks to “Stuck With U,” his charity quarantine team-up with Ariana Grande), Best Pop, and a nod in the inaugural Best Music Video From Home category. It’s been 11 years since his first VMA appearance, and Bieber’s still holding strong.

The 2020 VMAs will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, August 30 across MTV’s linear and digital platforms, as well as with several outdoor performances around New York City. Find everything you need to know at vma.mtv.com.

Blinding Lights And Chromatica Dreams: Get To Know Your VMA Artist Of The Year Nominees

This year, the North Carolina rapper continued his incredible streak of features by appearing on a staggering 11 — and also found time to release seven of his own singles, including team-ups with Drake, Camila Cabello, and more. He dropped his third album in 13 months, Blame It on Baby, in April, and saw his Roddy Ricch collab “Rockstar” hit No. 1. That tune has spent 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 as of this writing, which speaks to the kind of longevity DaBaby has cultivated in such a short amount of time. At this year’s VMAs, he’s also nominated for Best Hip-Hop and Best Choreography, and his Cabello collaboration, “My Oh My,” also landed one for Best Cinematography. He’ll bring the full expanse of his power to the stage, too, as one of the night’s performers. The man never sleeps.