Meghna | Credit: Michelle Grace Hunder

Love Letter to a Record: Meghna on BTS’ ‘Love Yourself 轉 Tear’

Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Naarm-based genre-shifting artist Meghna sings the praises of BTS’ 2018 album, Love Yourself 轉 Tear.

Meghna is a law and human rights student with a knack for flipping disparate genres into svelte and contemporary-sounding pop songs. The Melbourne/Naarm-based artist’s new single ‘2045’ is stylistically indebted to trap music, Rihanna and Japanese pop trio Sudannayuzuyully, while the lyrics transport listeners 20-plus years into the future.

Meghna’s love letter to BTS’ Love Yourself 轉 Tear

Meghna: PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ was about as deep as I had ever gotten into the K-Pop rabbit hole. I had friends who used to listen to BTS religiously, but I had never consumed any of their content, or made any effort to understand the hype.

At this point, I was in my 80s phase — a period of time in 2017 where I became irrationally upset that I didn’t get to experience the 1980s firsthand, shoulder pads and all, after dad took me to a Guns N’ Roses concert. I had lots of funny, intense, transient musical phases like this – do not get me started on my Irish music phase after watching Sing Street, or my 60s phase after discovering Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

This was my regular routine until year 12 — I’d wake up, feel nostalgic for a time I never existed in, sleep and repeat. When I started studying day and night without fail, I craved content that would alleviate my stress, bring me to another world, and keep me sane. By chance, BTS’ ‘DNA’ popped up on my recommended page on a study break, and I clicked on it. The rest was history.

I loved how vibrant their music was, their colourful aesthetic and their cheerful and unique sound. In 2018, I waited with bated breath for Love Yourself 轉 Tear to come out, the sophomore album in their Love Yourself trilogy. After the school day finished, I ran home, still in my school tunic, and sat down on the couch anxiously refreshing YouTube to see if the title track had come out.

Love Yourself 轉 Tear shaped me musically and was a gateway into hip hop for me. I previously listened to rock and EDM music almost exclusively, and this album came at a time where I was starting to formally make music – it was a year before my first proper release on streaming. Tracks such as ‘Fake Love’ and ‘Outro: Tear’ inspired me to look into trap and rap music more, a newish genre for me.

Members of BTS would sing the praises of renowned rappers and hip hop artists who inspired them, which in turn inspired me to listen to these artists. The album also introduced me to neo soul, with tracks such as ‘Singularity’ and ‘134340’ springing to mind.

I had previously been writing songs in my room, left, right, and centre, but with no uniting thread. There was absolutely no nexus between some of these songs, and I felt a disconnect. After listening to BTS and lots of hip hop acts, I felt empowered to pick up a pen and paper and start jotting down ideas for my musical project.

Perhaps this informed what kind of artist I am today, and the way my new single ‘2045’ flows – employing elements from trap beats that I was introduced to through BTS and the artists they lauded.

Meghna – ‘2045’

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