H.O.T's Tony Ahn talks about BTS' achievements and their growing popularity.
Recently, first-generation idol and H.O.T member, Tony Ahn, sat down with Korean media outlet, DongA, for an interview, where he also talked about global superstars and hoobaes, BTS, and their success and the difficulties they may face with their increasing popularity.
H.O.T Tony Ahn Praises BTS' Global Achievements
Debuting in 1996 as a member of H.O.T under SM Entertainment, Tony Ahn is a first-generation idol who had cemented the foundations of K-Pop in its early days. 25 years later, he is still well-respected in the industry as a sunbae.
When talking about BTS, he had nothing but praise for the seven-member group and their achievements. Many young people are dreaming of becoming an idol nowadays to become the best, and Tony Ahn says it's because of BTS that made the dream of becoming the best in the world possible.
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He mentions how back then, K-Pop idols didn't even think of penetrating Asia or any other country, except for their own. Although they were able to advance to other East Asian countries such as Taiwan, China, and Japan, they didn't exactly establish a foundation.
But over the years - after experiencing successes and failures - entertainment companies have started gradually expanding to other countries to get the results they have to this day.
When it came to BTS and H.O.T's achievements, Tony Ahn says, "Actually, I don't know for sure. They [BTS] are friends who have accomplished far greater achievements than me. Honestly, they are ten times, a hundred times more successful than me."
However, what he can say for sure about BTS and their success is that it must be hard for them.
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Tony Ahn Discusses the Difficulties BTS May Face With Global Popularity
Talking about the difficulties BTS may be facing, he points out that experiencing physical exhaustion is only a portion of the overall exhaustion that may be affecting them and other idols as well. Now that K-Pop has transcended borders and expanded to other countries outside of Asia, K-Pop idols will have to work harder, which can take a toll on their health.
"Simply put, the physical part would be difficult as there will be too many schedules. It may be difficult to work abroad due to COVID-19 right now. But it will be physically difficult to travel around the world and work," explained Tony Ahn.
Besides physical exhaustion, idols also experience mental exhaustion, which Tony Ahn had also experienced back when he was still promoting with H.O.T. Although the feeling of loneliness was manageable for him, he thinks otherwise for BTS, who are now easily recognizable everywhere.
Back then, Tony Ahn was able to walk around comfortably as he was not too recognized outside of Korea, but for BTS, it is difficult for them to have that kind of freedom.
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Other than the feeling of loneliness, Tony Ahn also talks about the feeling of being under pressure to keep going, comparing the weight BTS may be carrying on their shoulders to that of a national athlete competing in the Olympics.
"[For idols] there is a pressure to continue moving forward. They have to protect what they have accomplished. The [pressure] BTS must be feeling? The pressure to surpass themselves? I can't even imagine. Those who have won Olympic medals or won first place around the world could relate to the pressure of having millions of people behind you," said Tony Ahn.
The advice that Tony Ahn could give to BTS is for them to find happiness in every moment despite the difficulties and should never take a fan's unconditional love for granted.
Do you agree with him?
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Written by Robyn Joan