On July 27, 2021, BTS made their debut on the iconic BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, where they performed “Dynamite,” “Permission To Dance,” and a cover of Puff Daddy ft. Faith Evans & 112’s “I’ll Be Missing You.”
The special episode not only featured these performances but also a mini-documentary of their rise to global stardom, their past concerts in the UK, and a fresh new interview with Adele Roberts.
Check out the full transcription of BTS’ BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Interview and listen to the portions of the interview on BBC Sounds.
BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge Interview
Adele Roberts: Wow, wow, wow! I am so excited to welcome to the Radio 1 Live Lounge — BTS!
BTS: Hello, we are BTS!
j-hope: What’s up, BBC?
RM: Long time, no see.
AR: So, your debut Live Lounge. We’re so happy that you’ve done this for us. We’ve been praying for four years. It’s happening. Where are you?
RM: We’re, of course, in Korea… a city named Incheon and we have the set over there that reminds us of a garage band. It’s a truck. So it’s a fabulous stage and some performance, so stay tuned.
AR: Do you need a driver for the truck? I can drive.
BTS: Oh, yeah! Come on, come on!
AR: How was it when you came to London for the first time?
j-hope: Do you remember?
Jin: Of course. The first time we went to London was for our O2 Arena concert and I remember Jung Kook got injured, right?
Jung Kook: Yes, I did. I hurt my heel.
Jin: It’s a very memorable city for us. We rarely get hurt while on tour.
Jung Kook: It wasn’t during a show or anything. I was just warming up.
Jin: That’s right. You cried while saying you were very determined to come back and show a better performance next time.
Jung Kook: Yes. Yes, exactly.
AR: Yes, soon, JK! We want you back soon so that you can perform with the boys. You were so good at Wembley!
Jung Kook: Of course, I’ll be there at the earliest opportunity.
AR: When you played Wembley, how did that feel? I was in the crowd, the screams were so loud it was wonderful.
SUGA: We’d heard so much about the iconic Wembley Stadium and at that time the Bohemian Rhapsody movie was quite popular in Korea. So we were like, “We’re actually going to perform there? On that stage?”
AR: Oh! So maybe that’s a clue as to your covers. Do you like Queen?
RM: Who doesn’t love Queen? Everybody loves Queen!
Jimin: Love of my life, you’ve hurt me
AR: What is your favorite thing about the UK?
Jimin: I was there with some friends and we all walked around together. The streets and buildings were so pretty. And the bridge, too, of course!
V: It was a country that I’d really wanted to visit, so as soon as I arrived, I wandered around the streets.
RM: For me, my favorite artist is William Turner, and I visited the National Gallery and there were a ton of his paintings, and seeing that is like a dream come true.
AR: Oh, love that! Love that. What’s your favorite city around the whole world.
SUGA: I’ve always liked London. I watched a lot of British movies and the Premier League ever since I was young. So London was unforgettable and it’s one of the cities I would love to visit again.
V: Each city has its own charm and appeal, right?
V: They’re all very different and that’s why we like them for their unique characteristics.
SUGA: It’s difficult to pick just one city because they were all amazing.
Jin: I liked Seoul the best because the commute is short!
AR: How does it feel to be in the biggest boy band in the world?
SUGA: For the past four years since we first talked with BBC, we were fully, totally immersed in this. And looking back now, so many things have changed. But it hasn’t sunk in yet.
Jung Kook: It doesn’t feel real.
SUGA: Because we’re here in Korea and although there’s news about us constantly being released, we can’t have any concerts…
Jung Kook: Or go abroad either…
j-hope: Once the pandemic is over and we can go on tour, then we’ll truly be able to feel everyone’s energy and love.
V: We’re just like everyone else.
AR: So, “Butter,” yes! Number One on the Billboard charts. Yeah!
Jung Kook: For six weeks straight! It feels surreal. It hasn’t hit us yet. If we could see our ARMY at concerts and have interviews like this in person, it might’ve. But we haven’t had a lot of chances to reciprocate their love, so it’s a bit difficult. We’re definitely aware, we just haven’t been able to express it as much as we wanted to. I just hope there’ll be more opportunities for us to fully convey our gratitude in the future.
AR: What about the fans? You must be missing the BTS ARMY so much.
RM: For sure. It’s been almost, like, two years we haven’t seen the ARMYs. It’s the first time ever, ’cause sometimes we meet them like twice a day, and now it’s been like a year. So, we’re still trying to see them. It’s crazy.
AR: Do you have a message for them?
Jimin: WE LOVE YOU!
RM: WE MISS YOU!
j-hope: It echoes here. It’s echoing.
Jung Kook: We want you!
RM: We’ll be missing you
V: We purple you!
AR: In the time that you’ve been waiting for things to get back to normal, have you been able to sleep? And what have you been learning in the past year?
SUGA: We kept ourselves busy.
j-hope: Yes. It was a year in which we learned the preciousness of things often taken for granted.
AR: Definitely, like family and just those little things, and those special times with each other.
V: I’ve been talking with my family a lot these days. That’s been one pocket of joy and happiness for me. I didn’t have much time to do that before.
AR: We are so excited to hear your cover of “I’ll Be Missing You” by Sting and Puff Daddy. Why did you choose that? Why is it so special to you?
RM: You know, it’s a tribute. First, kind of had like burdens in our minds since it’s a tribute to the legend, Notorious B.I.G., but the lyrics and the vibe just felt right for us. There’s some rap and vocals together at the same time, and it’s a famous song, it hit Billboard No. 1, so that’s why we chose this song. And we just want to say that we miss all of you, BBC, (Adele) Roberts, ARMYs, and everyone abroad. Of course, in Korea, too, so yeah, it’s kind of like a message to all the ARMYs all over the world.
AR: That is so special. That is going to mean so much to the BTS ARMY. We love that. Thank you.
RM: We miss everybody. We hope things get (back) to normal again ASAP. We hope everyone sees everyone that they love and hug, anything. We just want that real soon.
AR: So I’m dressed ready for your new single “Permission To Dance.” You’ve collaborated with Ed Sheeran. What was it like working with Ed again?
V: It was incredible! Quite unimaginable.
j-hope: The track itself was so good. As soon as we heard “Permission To Dance,” we all knew that this song was it. The guide version featured Ed’s vocals.
RM: That’s right. He’s the best.
AR: Absolutely! He’s also into hip hop and you mentioned Biggie there, and a lot of your earlier stuff really had lots of hip hop influences, which sounded great. Do you think you’ll ever go back to that sound?
SUGA: I think the current trend in the music industry is at a point where there are no specific and clear-cut genre boundaries. For the singles we’re releasing now, our biggest hope was for them to reach a lot of people. And I’m sure we’ll have more hip-hop tracks in future albums, so if you’d like to hear more of them, you shouldn’t have to wait too long. They might be released one day.
AR: What’s next for BTS?
Jimin: First, seeing our fans is our biggest goal.
Jin: Yes and there’s also something else we’ve envisioned for a while now — gathering every one of various ages and backgrounds from all over the world in one place, and performing for them, in front of thousands of people, is our dream. We’re hoping to make it happen one day.
j-hope: And maybe celebrate the end of COVID-19.
SUGA: It’d be great to have a concert to mark the end of COVID-19.
AR: Thank you so much for joining us at Live Lounge. We love absolutely every single moment in it. Hopefully, we’ll get you back in the UK soon. Lots of love from Radio 1, the UK ARMY, and all the ARMYs around the world. Thank you, BTS!
BTS: We love you! Adele, BBC, thank you! We miss you!
AR: Do we have your permission to dance?
Jimin: We don’t need permission to dance!
RM: So let’s dance!