“Permission to Dance” is the latest single from infamous South Korean boy band BTS, and was released on the 9th July 2021. The dance-pop song follows their last release of “Butter“, and is the band’s third English-language single.
Various members of the group spoke about the song’s process, inspiration and collaboration with English singer Ed Sheeran to different media outlets.
Jimin speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the song’s meaning:
“We’re going through some confusing times right now, but it is getting better, so we worked really hard on this song, hoping that day we can dance freely together will come as soon as possible.”
RM speaking to V Live about their choice to include no rap parts in “Permission to Dance”:
“We received “Butter” and “Permission to Dance” at the same time. We liked them both. “Butter” is a summer song that we can dance to, it’s powerful, and great. “Permission to Dance” felt like a song that you can enjoy for a longer time, it was good, too—it’s the great way forward. That’s how we got to work on them. […] For “Permission to Dance”, we were torn whether to add rap in it or not. We were torn over it, but since it was complete as it is, rap wouldn’t fit in it. We wanted to add some rap part, but it would ruin the flow completely. That’s why we couldn’t add any, and instead we sang.”
j-hope speaking to Entertainment Weekly about working with Ed Sheeran:
“Ed sent us this amazingly good song, and as soon as we listened to it we just couldn’t resist it. We thought it went really well with our image too, so we just went with it.”
The music video for “Permission to Dance” was released via the HYPE LABELS YouTube channel on the 9th July 2021 – the same day as the single’s release. The video shows the BTS band members dancing in a sunny area, a laundromat and a patio, encouraging others to dance and move. The group’s choreography incorporates international sign language, where the group show the signs for “fun”, “dance” and “peace”. Originally, BTS had used Korean sign language, but changed their minds to switch it to international sign language to make it more accessible and allowing the message to be understood more widely. In its first 11 hours of release, the video has received over 45 million views. As of the 26th July 2021, the video had received over 203.5 million views with 12 million likes.
Read the lyrics to “Permission to Dance” here.