Stay Alive is the OST from BTS’s 7 Fates : Chakho, a webtoon that is a futuristic take on ‘chakhogapsa’, or tiger hunters from the Joseon Dynasty.
Stay Alive has topped iTunes’ top songs charts in 51 different regions worldwide within three hours of its release. The song became the fastest song by a Korean soloist ever to reach the No 1 spot in 80 different regions within six hours.
In order to make the webtoon an immersive experience, SUGA’s elegant and masterful production and lyricism has ensured that readers and listeners are drawn into a cinematic soundscape from the very outset. Jungkook is a natural tenor, and his warm breathy vocals when he deploys his lower registers to move from legato to staccato, creates the emotional tension required to create the sensory experience that heightens the dramatic elements of the song.
The transition(or the lombard rhythm) is reminiscent of other BTS songs, such as Fake love. Jungkook’s full range and vocal prowess is on display in this song and his whispery vocals are similar to the technique SUGA often uses in melodic raps, but Jungkook’s harmonies, vocals and ad-libs make it completely his own. The variation in melody creates a dream-like desperation that is also found in other tracks produced by SUGA.
The interplay of light and shadow is a thematically common recurrence in SUGA’s lyrics. He alludes to it in Shadow, as well as in Blueberry Eyes. In Stay Alive , Jungkook declares, “Although my shadow grows larger/ It’s okay because it’s thanks to the great light that is you.” This interplay of light and shadow is a consistent theme in SUGA’s oeuvre, a metaphor for palpable optimism even in times of hardship.
The song solidifies Jungkook’s reputation as one of the finest voices in modern pop and SUGA’s as a multi-talented, multi-faceted songwriter, composer, lyricist and producer.
The music video features all seven members of BTS- seven young men brought together by a tryst of fate- who must traverse life’s journey in a fantastical setting.