Kenagh girl, Ellyn Montgomery had her dream come true this summer when her favourite group, international K-pop sensations, BTS, featured her on the video for their song, 7 Reasons.
The 15-year-old local girl has been a very dedicated fan of the seven-member South Korean pop group since she stumbled upon them in 2018.
Formed in 2013, the septet have amassed a huge following, due to both their music and personalities. They are known for covering multiple genres and their music often carries important messages relating to mental health issues, self esteem and social issues.
“I became a fan of BTS in September of 2018, after stumbling across one of the music videos for their song, Epiphany,” Ellyn told the Longford Leader.
“I quite frankly fell in love rather quickly, and can recall feeling utterly empowered by the message of that first song of theirs that graced my ears.
“The song is about the realisation that true love first begins when one loves themselves, that they are the one they should love. It is a message that I really gravitated towards, like so many others.
“From there, I spent hours poring over whatever content I could get my hands on, listening and falling in love with their discography and growing suitably attached to all seven members.”
The group’s fanbase is called the ARMY, an acronym, standing for ‘Adorable Representative MCs of Youth’ and, with over 27 million followers on Twitter alone, their fanbase is massive.
“It is comforting to think of how this band can unite so many with their music, despite the language barrier. It is true that music transcends language,” said Ellyn.
The Global ARMY project started in 2018 and is a thank you present of sorts to the band, Ellyn explained, expressing love and gratitude for fans.
The auditions for this year’s song opened in April and Ellyn, who was suitably bored during lockdown, took it upon herself to give it a shot and audition, not expecting anything to come of it.
“Yet a few weeks later, the announcement of those who had passed the first round of auditions appeared on Twitter and to my absolute surprise, I had made it to the first round. I was stunned, but once again did not think I would get any further,” Elynn explained.
“But, a few short days later, I was to discover that I had made the final 50, and was selected to represent the Irish fans of BTS. It still feels surreal, looking back on it.
“The experience of putting the song together, recording our lines ( all from the comfort of our own homes), seeing the project come together, meeting other fans of BTS from all corners of the globe and knowing that I was finally going to give something back to the band that had changed my life, was one I will never forget.”
The song, 7 Reasons, was released on July 9, and answered the question BTS had posed in their song, We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal, she added.
“They asked that, after all this time why do we stay with them - ‘Tell me why you don’t stop this, tell me why you’re still walking with us’.
“7 Reasons answers that it is because they, all seven, are the reason why we stay, the reason we believe in our galaxies,” said Ellyn.
“It was a truly amazing experience to participate in a project as amazing as this one. The song has over 1.4 million views on YouTube. I sing the very first line, ‘looking back’. There are over 50 voices featured on the track.
“In retrospect, it’s pretty obvious the impact this band has made on my life. They have taught me to love myself, to fight for what I believe is right and have kept me smiling, particularly during hard times.
“I suppose you could say I am drawn to this group as they really provide a sense of comfort, and in comparison to most musicians the bond between them and their fans, is much greater.”
The song, 7 Reasons, is now available on YouTube.