Fed up with being isolated, two groups came together to create a song to bring the world together. “My Universe” is a collaborative single between world renowned South Korean boyband BTS and British pop rock icon Coldplay. This collab wasn’t out of the blue, as both groups have a mutual admiration for each other, with the prime example being BTS covering Coldplay’s “Fix You” during their MTV Unplugged Performance Series. This collaboration was possible due to both groups’ desire to return to live performances. This song is in Coldplay’s ninth studio album, “Music of the Spheres,” and was released on Sept. 24 as a preview to their album.
This song is clearly an anthem song with a lot of meaning behind it. It has a powerful beginning because all eight singers are vocally present, along with a symphony of pumping synths and a commanding bass line. The song feels like a tool that BTS and Coldplay are using to make a grand declaration of love. This song was clearly made for the live stage that both groups crave for so much, with the EDM breaks for BTS’s dance routine and the drawn-out vocal refrains for Coldplay to move across the stage. This combination has more value than you think; the song is also a representation of a union between two groups that is creating cross-cultural art. Despite the bridges that separate them, the two icons from two different realms of music have the ability to come together for a common mission. This aspect is further shown in the music video.
When two big groups like BTS and Coldplay get together, you know the music video is going to be intense, but who knew that there was going to be a three-band interstellar storyline involved? The video, which is a little less than five minutes long, continues the theme of overcoming bridges by telling a simple but powerful story about rebelling and coming together through the power of music. In a futuristic world where music is forbidden, three bands on three different planets, light years away from each other, collaborate and help each other rebel against the music ban. Now, the question is: Who is involved in this rebellion? Naturally, BTS and Coldplay are involved, but who else? Radio DJ LaFrique, played by actress Joe Diao, and fictional alien band Supernova 7, comprised of seven animated aliens Angel Moon, Loop & Switch, Kasio Mars, Eko, Dorean Delorean and Blaze, join them on this quest against the “silencers.” This is a call back to Coldplay’s album “Mylo Xyloto,” which took place in a fictional world called Silencia, where “silencers” are soldiers whose job is to make sure that the world does not have sound or color. Some of the names from Supernova 7 are also taken from that album.
The plan is quite simple; BTS on the planet Calypso, Coldplay on the planet Floris and Supernova 7 on Super Solis are all simultaneously performing the song “My Universe,” while DJ LaFrique “holoband” broadcasts it live to unite the universe from the ship. When the broadcast starts, you see the bands as holograms in the other bands’ performances. As the song comes to a climax, DJ LaFrique gets a warning of the approaching “silencers,” and as stated on the alarm screen in the ship, they are charging down these musicians.
The aesthetics of the planets and the ship are all unique, especially the planets. BTS’s planet, Calypso, is industrial themed with the group performing on a ruined helipad or docking bay — it’s not very clear which it is. The dystopian world is quite clear here, with the Star Wars rebels-type outfit layering, haircuts and boots. Even the earthier color scheme plays on them being rebellious heroes. Floris, Coldplay’s planet, on the other hand, gives off an urban vibe compared to the ruins of Calypso, with Coldplay performing in an abandoned swimming pool complex that has a lot of colorful graffiti. Coldplay themselves have a metropolitan look with a more colorful and casual style. Supernova’s planet, Super Solis, and DJ LaFriques’ spaceship give off more personality from the people inhabiting it then the environment itself. If you want to see these, you can just search them up.
The performance and symbolism in the video are amazing. The silencers’ design was based on the COVID-19 particle. This symbolizes that the characters are fighting against COVID-19 itself, which makes sense because the song was created based on their longing for live performances. The music ban could possibly be symbolism for the hate and prejudice in the world, and the two bands jamming together despite being in different places represents how only when we all come together no matter what, then and only then can we defeat this “evil.”
Overall, I found this song to be a beautiful representation of what can be possible if two groups who have a pure passion for what they are doing come together to create something brand new. Along with the song and music video, there is also a documentary that you can check out on YouTube – it’s a must see!