In a recent interview, Steve Aoki discussed BTS‘s vocals in “Waste It On Me” and why he believes the supergroup is this generation’s Bruce Lee.
“Waste It On Me” is Steve Aoki’s third collaboration with BTS. It is also BTS’s first song with all-English lyrics.
According to Steve Aoki, the group’s English pronunciation is not 100% perfect, but it has the raw truthfulness he was looking for.
“I didn’t want it perfect, I didn’t want them to sing certain words the way Americans want it to be heard. I want them to sing it the way they really feel like it should be sung … I want to keep it as raw and as close to your heart and as close to what really goes from your mind, [to] your heart, to your voice.” — Steve Aoki
The “Waste It On Me” music video, which dropped on November 19, features an all-Asian American cast of celebrities in the hopes of empowering the Asian community by celebrating it.
The “soul” of BTS’s voice is a part of that endeavor.
“This song is a beautiful song, sung incredibly by BTS. When people hear it, they really hear … the soul of their voice.” — Steve Aoki
Steve Aoki, who grew up in a predominantly white area, credited music with helping him to overcome the alienation he felt and to embrace his identity.
“I’d just say its more about gratitude in a way. I’m grateful I was able to find this path. And there’s paths like that for all kids out there that don’t feel like they’re connected to their community around them…I want to speak to my younger self, I want to speak to the young little Asian kid that didn’t think that he had any talent or that he could actually do something that could have an impact.” — Steve Aoki
Bruce Lee also played an important role in Steve Aoki’s journey to self-acceptance. The martial arts star was an idol Steve Aoki could identify with and look up to, who had broken through cultural barriers to enter the mainstream.
Steve Aoki believes that BTS is now giving today’s generation the same much-needed representation that Bruce Lee gave him. He feels that having these idols to look up to and love can help Asian youth to love themselves too.
“I grew up watching Bruce Lee [but] it was, like, after Bruce Lee did his thing, and I was a kid and he was already gone. There was never someone else who could fill that space, someone else that crossed all cultures, that all cultures love. I mean, there’s Asian celebrities and Asian musicians and artists that Asians love, but not the whole world. So BTS, they are, to me, the Bruce Lee of our time…” — Steve Aoki
“They are a group of Asian individuals that the world adores and loves and fights for and roots for.”