Coldplay X BTS: A Life-Changing Experience Behind “My Universe” Collaboration


“I can’t imagine a time when we didn’t have a song with BTS or when we didn’t love them,”


At the end of 2021, the music industry was shocked by the collaboration of Coldplay and BTS in ‘My Universe’.



‘My Universe’ is a collaboration song between Coldplay and BTS. This song was supposed to be a BTS song that is written by Chris Martin but they ended up singing it together. ‘My Universe’ was released on September 24, 2021, and rocketed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Billboard Global 200, and Billboard Global excl. US chart.



Behind the Collaboration


Before ‘My Universe’, BTS previously covered Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ on their MTV Unplugged performance and got positive responses from the fans of both. Coldplay’s official Youtube account also commented, “아름다운 ????????????” or “beautiful” in Korean on BTS’ performance video.



BTS also often mention Coldplay as their inspiration and the artist that they want to collab with.


In April 2021, Coldplay was spotted in South Korea. It made the fans wonder about a possible collaboration with BTS, but the rumor sank as there is no further news about the most-awaited collaboration.


Two days after the release of ‘My Universe’, BTS through their Youtube channel, BANGTANTV, uploaded a documentary video about the collaboration with Coldplay. The documentary shows us the making process of My Universe and just confirmed Coldplay’s visit to South Korea earlier in April 2021 was for the collaboration with BTS.


The twelve minutes fifty-eight seconds documentary is very raw and pure, showing how music transcends language barriers and culture, uniting two worlds into one.


The subtitle is available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.


The whole collaboration was initiated by a friend of Chris Martin saying that BTS wants to collaborate with Coldplay. At first, Chris Martin was wondering, “How would that work?” and he even did not understand how that could be possible.


Chris admitted that Coldplay’s journey to South Korea was very difficult and stressful at that time, due to the COVID-19 travel restriction. They only got two days to record the song at BTS’ studio.


(Chris Martin and BTS in South Korea)


As for BTS—who has always been a fan of Coldplay—being able to work with Coldplay is like a dream come true. “He was my role model at some point. He had such a great influence on me,” said BTS’ V in the documentary.


Meanwhile, BTS’ Jimin said, “He’s beyond just a legendary singer. He impacts others for the better with his positive mindset. He’s so admirable.”



The Meaning of ‘My Universe’


Chris Martin explained that ‘My Universe’ is a song about how the power of love transcends all things, borders and rules, genders, race, and every sexuality, about how nothing can stop people from loving each other. Meanwhile for SUGA, the lyric “The universe created by you and me” is in line with the messages that they have been trying to get across.


Besides its meaning, the making process also added loads of sincerity to the song. The way they worked together, recorded together, all the togetherness and love during the process is well-captured by the song.


Regarding the working together process, j-hope said, “It could have been done remotely, but we could add more sincerity to the song this way,”


V also added, “This song is all about us creating something together. That’s why Chris came here in person and recorded with us as well. I really loved the theme ‘not alone but together’,”



Performing Together


In the documentary video, RM who is also participated as the lyric writer of My Universe said, “Whether it’s a Coldplay’s concert or ours, I hope we can sing this song together. That would be the perfect moment to shake off all the stress from the pandemic,” and the dream finally comes true.


(BTS and Coldplay before their AMAs performance)


Coldplay and BTS finally had the chance to perform ‘My Universe’ together at the 2021 American Music Awards on November 22, 2021.




After AMA’s performance, Chris Martin made a surprise appearance at BTS Permission to Dance on Stage concert in Sofi Stadium, Los Angeles on December 4, 2021. They performed My Universe together and the performance marked the end of BTS’ 4-days-concerts in Los Angeles.



Not Just an Ordinary Collaboration


After ‘My Universe’ was released, the bond between Coldplay and BTS is still there and even getting stronger. During BTS’ diplomatic visit to the United States in September 2021, they made time to meet Coldplay who happened to be in New York at that time.


(BTS and Coldplay during their meeting in New York)


The two bands had lunch together and exchanged gifts with each other. Chris Martin even gave his guitar to BTS Jin. They also recorded a mini acoustic live performance of My Universe.


(Chris gives his guitar to Jin as a present)



In the recent interview with Jayn of San Francisco’s Alice 97.3 on Wednesday (20/04), Chris said, “I don’t think we will ever be able to match the BTS surprise because that was surprising even for us. The first time it was mentioned, I was just like how could that ever work (…) So now it’s feeling like the most natural collaboration in the world.”


He also added, “So, it’s an amazing lesson for myself, in keeping open mind all the time because you just never know what life or music is gonna throw you. I can’t imagine a time when we didn’t have a song with BTS or when we didn’t love them,”



As for Chris Martin, BTS is very special and the collaboration itself has a great impact on his life.


“I think it is very special to me that the most popular artist in the world speaks Korean and is like a group of brothers not from the West and it just feels very hopeful to me in terms of thinking of the world as one family. Then of course, when you see who they are as people and their songs, it’s really a message of togetherness and finding, being yourself. All the stuff I agree with,” said Chris in the documentary.


It was a rare and beautiful experience, witnessing the collaboration that was started with a simple, “BTS wants to collaborate with Coldplay,” ended up being the most genuine, sincere, yet natural collaboration ever.


These all are possible because of the mutual respect they have for each other. Coldplay respects BTS, BTS respects Coldplay. Although they are from different sides of the world, they try to understand each other.


Chris Martin admitted that he and his fellow bandmates learned about BTS before they decided to work together. They are mesmerized by BTS music which is very diverse and have an unusual production. Chris also watched BTS performance to have a better understanding of BTS before they met.


You know it when two groups that appreciate music, treat their fans well and always try to do good in this world work together, it will be the greatest collaboration ever.

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