South Korean boy band, BTS have become the first Korean act to score a UK number one album with their latest K-pop release, Map of the Soul: Persona. The seven-member group is also playing two sold out shows at London’s Wembley Stadium in June.
The new album is said to be inspired by Karl Jung’s psychological theories of the ego, persona and the psyche. Dr Murray Stein delivered a series of lectures on Jung’s findings, with his course turning into a book – Jung’s Map Of The Soul. Thus, the link between the book and BTS’ album is clear.
In particular, reference to the persona was of interest to the group. Dr Stein explained that: “Persona is a reference to the theatre. It’s the Latin word for the masks that actors wore on the stage – and we all put on masks, in a sense, when we go out in public. In some cultures this is more important than others, and I must say in the Asian cultures of Korea and Japan, where BTS originate, persona is an extremely important part of their lives.” This can be seen in lyrics from the album such as: “Who am I? Is the question I’ve had all my life / And I’ll probably never find the answer.”
Click on the link below to watch the group’s most recent appearance on SNL: