BTS vs. Blackpink – Decoding feelings in K-Pop
New data shows how K-pop artists express emotions
Calling all BTS Army and Blinks! Do you know who has more heart in K-pop? Are Boy bands or Girl groups more likely to share their feelings? Global music streaming service Deezer teamed up with LyricFind, the world’s leader in licensed lyrics, to analyze the most used English words and phrases in the top 10 BTS and top 10 Blackpink songs worldwide.* Deezer’s data, alongside lyrics powered by LyricFind, show how both K-pop bands are more likely to use specific words and phrases in English to emotionally connect with their fans.
When analyzing the two bands, we noticed several crossover words in English. While “love” was one of the most popular words sung by both groups, boyband BTS love “love” the most as they use the word a whopping 65 times compared to Blackpink at 43. The all-boy group is also more likely to use emotive language to express how they feel as they sing “Love you so bad” 8 times in their mega hit, “Fake Love.” But their need for love and affection isn’t always an easy path as they mention pain 13 times in “On,” compared to Blackpink who don’t use it at all.
While the mega boy band takes a more touchy-feely approach, the ladies in Blackpink are unapologetically direct in what they want. The fierce foursome use “sorry,” in a not-so-sorry way. It was used 11 times on their hit tracks including “Kill this Love,” and “Kiss and Make Up,” while the gents only use it three times. But the ladies also have a sweet side as they use “kiss” 65 times in the featured songs, compared to the BTS fellas who only use it twice.
Blackpink are also all about girl power! Our top 10 list found that while both bands enjoyed success collaborating with Western artists, Blackpink love to support fellow female artists. The girl group peaked at #3 with supporting vocals on Lady Gaga’s “Sour Candy” and #5 on “Kiss and Make Up “ with Dua Lipa. BTS seems to be more gender agnostic as they’ve worked with both male and female artists including Halsey in “Boy with Luv,” and “Make it Right” with LAUV.
Blackpink is also all about “you.” The ladies sing about “you” 98 times, compared to BTS at 54 times. There’s really no “you”without “me,” so it makes sense that Blackpink would sing about “me,” 58 times, while BTS play it cool with 49 times.
“It’s amazing how K-pop bands like BTS and Blackpink have managed to reach so many music fans around the world by singing most of their songs in Korean. The English words and phrases that they do use is also quite revealing how they communicate and connect emotionally with their non-Korean speaking fans. It was only a matter of time before both bands decided to sing only in English, finding new ways to express how they feel with their fans,” said Mauricio Mendoza, Head of Content and Artist Marketing for The Americas
Below are BTS and BLACKPINK’s top 10 English/K-Pop tracks on Deezer:
BTS’ Top 10 English/K-Pop Tracks on Deezer
- Black Swan
- Boy With Luv (ft. Halsey)
- FAKE LOVE
- Blood Sweat & Tears
- Life Goes On
BLACKPINK’s Top 10 English/K-Pop Tracks on Deezer
- How You Like That
- Kill This Love
- Sour Candy (with Lady Gaga)
- DDU-DU DDU-DU
- Kiss and Make Up (ft. Dua Lipa)
- Lovesick Girls
- Pretty Savage
- As If It’s Your Last
- Playing with Fire
*Deezer looked at top ten K-Pop songs from the period of January 1 to December 15, 2020. Tracks must feature both Korean and English lyrics. All English tracks were excluded.