“My Universe” by Coldplay & BTS

We have noted in the past how K-pop acts, such as BTS, tend to rarely, if ever, drop an overt love song, though that trend seems to be changing. But for now, My Universe is more or less carrying on that tradition. 

When you refer to someone, in a metaphorical sense, as being your “universe”, especially within the context of pop music, then almost invariably listeners will conclude that said addressee is a romantic interest. Or, as India TV puts it, this song possesses a “romantic vibe”.

But alas, the type of relationship that exists between the vocalist and addressee is never actually specified in the lyrics. As far as the actual wording goes, one of the biggest clues we have that said addressee is a lover of the singer’s is the latter referring to the former as his “baby” in the pre-chorus. 

But there is also other terminology pointing to such. For instance, when you make statements like “the stars [are] embroidered with your love”, “we are made for each” and “they said we can’t be together”, well, there’s only a very limited range of relationships whereas all of this terminology would really be acceptable.

That noted, during this bridge Suga drops a line in which he proclaims that “these hardships are just temporary”. Also in the second verse, V alludes to the concept of he, the vocalist, having once been depressed. And no, we haven’t forgotten about Coldplay. But this is further indicative of the BTS influence on this song, as in there has to be some type of mention of overcoming adversity, striving towards a goal or what have you when dealing with the Bangtan Boys.

So putting all of this together yes, we would have to also logically conclude that this is a romantic love song. However, the vocalist does not go about proclaiming the addressee as ‘his universe’ in the way that a Western artist, operating on their own, likely would, i.e. by implying that said individual is his all. 

In other words, it’s not like the BTS and Coldplay are saying that this lady is their reason for being or whatever, even if they do ‘put her first’. Instead, the lyrics operate more along the lines of using astronomical metaphors, including light, to point to the fact that the vocalist is indeed smitten with and his life edified by the addressee.

Lyrics of "My Universe"

Facts about “My Universe”

This song is actually derived from a forthcoming Coldplay album, slated for release later in the year, entitled Music of the Spheres. That is to say that My Universe was released as the second single from that project, via Western labels Atlantic Records and Parlophone Records, on 24 September 2021.

Fans of Coldplay have known about this song’s existence, in name, since July of 2021.  However it wasn’t until early September that it was revealed that BTS would be collaborating on My Universe.

Fandoms being what they are, some had already formed a solid belief that said collaboration was in the works even before it was officially announced.  These suppositions dates back to February of 2021, in which BTS participated on the long-running MTV Unplugged franchise and therein covered one of Coldplay’s older tracks, 2005’s Fix You, to the approval of Chris Martin and co.    

To note, an official video to My Universe was not released on the same day of the single, as is convention. However one is in the works, as directed by industry vet Dave Meyers. But in the meantime, fans can enjoy the official lyric video which, as of this writing seven hours after its publication on YouTube, is already nearing 8.5 million views.

There is also a documentary being put together based on detailing this collaboration.

And no disrespect to Coldplay who, from a commercial perspective, have thus far been the most-successful British musical group whose (non-EP) discography commenced in the 21st century. But in recent times dealing with BTS, you know that virtually any single they drop, especially one that has generated ample press beforehand like this one, is going to go viral from the jump. And accordingly, upon release, My Universe proceeded to reach number 1, via iTunes, in nearly 80 countries.

Also to note, Coldplay had already performed this song live, at New York City’s historic Apollo Theatre actually, on 23 September 2021, a day before its release.  However, the Bangtan Boys were not present at that performance.

As expected, there is an extended writing team behind this tune. For instance, as is Coldplay’s standard, all four of the primary members of the band – singer Chris Martin, drummer Will Champion and guitarists Guy Berryman and Jonny Buckland – are credited as writers. 

Then we have BTS members J-Hope, RM and Suga also acknowledged in that regard. And finally the producers of this track, Max Martin (no relation to Chris), Oscar Holter and Bill Rahko are furthermore recognized as co-authors.

Even though the other members of BTS – Jin, Jungkook, Jimin and V – didn’t officially participate in writing My Universe, they all, like their bandmates mentioned above, contributed vocally.

As you likely already know, BTS is a musical act native to South Korea, while Coldplay is from the UK. Therefore the lyrics of this song are rendered in both Korean and English, though primarily, it would seem, the latter. In fact the only part of the track that is completely in Korean would be the bridge, as held down by J-Hope and ad-libbed by Suga. However, such is apparently by design, as BTS wants to keep challenging themselves in terms of mastering the art of dropping songs in different languages.

According to the words of Chris Martin, it would appear that this song may have been recorded in South Korea (or at least in part).  But either way, he described the whole process of collaborating with BTS as “one of the most fun things ever”.

But Martin’s trip to South Korea may have been when he and BTS rather recorded an episode of a series, hosted by YouTube Originals, entitled Released which aired earlier in September of 2021.

Chris Martin also met with BTS in New York closer to the release date of this track.

Apparently it was Coldplay’s idea for this collaboration to take place.

The cover art to this single features a bunch of, what sorta appear as astrological symbols though aren’t really.  But to note, there are a couple of alternate versions of the cover also, one of which features handwritten lyrics rendered in different colors.

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