first came the shout-outs, then the rumours, and now we have a collaboration between pop behemoths BTS and Coldplay.
Released on Saturday, My Universe is a sparkling and euphoric track produced by Max Martin, the Swedish hit-maker behind The Weeknd’s Take My Breath.
Sung in English and Korean and set to feature on Coldplay’s coming album Music of the Spheres, the track has both artists rhapsodising on the endless possibilities of love.
“You are my universe and I just want to put you first,” croons Martin in the chorus. “And you are my universe, and you make my world light up inside.”
Speaking about the collaboration on Apple Music 1, Martin remarked that Coldplay has always been fond of BTS. “We love them and it’s been such a joy. It’s something you could look at so cynically, and we have at times, but anytime there’s actual communication or music between us, it just feels so good,” he said.
“So, I unabashedly and unashamedly feel really grateful for the song, grateful for the person that inspired the song, and grateful for the people we sing it with.”
The viral reception to My Universe makes it the latest successful collaboration between BTS and western pop stars. Here’s a look at five of their other hit
1. ‘Permission to Dance’ with Ed Sheeran (2021)
This star-studded collaboration fulfilled its brief: Permission to Dance was a sun-kissed banger co-written by Ed Sheeran.
An ode to letting go and seizing the moment, the group’s second English single stays true to the BTS K-pop formula, with added dollops of piano and auto-tuned vocals. With all seven members sharing vocals, the track does drag on to five minutes. Not that fans will mind.
2. ‘Mic Drop’ with Steve Aoki (2017)
Such was the impact of the remix that it overshadowed the original release.
EDM producer Steve Aoki reinvented Mic Drop into a lean and swaggering work by removing the guitar parts of the original and replacing them with atmospheric synths and heaving beats. As a result, BTS has a track that actually sounds cool in a club.
3. ‘Boy With Luv’ with Halsey (2019)
This collaboration had its heart in the right place.
Halsey and BTS have been friends for years, with both featuring on each other’s respective albums, Manic and Map of the Soul: Persona. The infectious Boy With Luv is carried by pulsating electro beats and a top notch chorus. Halsey fits in perfectly here – her vocals feature prominently in the background – thus underlining both artists’ pitch-perfect chemistry.
4. ‘Butter’ with Megan Thee Stallion (2021)
This could have been risky as Butter is a perfectly good pop song that didn’t require tweaking.
Fortunately, all involved knew the score and this remix, released in August, kept the sunny production and added in a guest verse by star rapper Megan Thee Stallion that was, indeed, smooth as butter.
5. ‘Dream Glow’ with Charlie XCX
An underrated gem because, this time around, Charlie XCX managed to bring BTS into her stark electro-pop world.
While Dream Glow is pristinely produced, the melodies and hooks here are more abstract and live up to the ethereal vibe of the title.