It’s 2021 and ARMY has turned eight years old. We’ve come very far as a fandom, supporting our artists and their music from the beginning and growing alongside them. With BTS as the blueprint and inspiration, people from all over the world with different nationalities, genders, ages, and ethnicities have found a home in this community and contribute to it in their own way. Each ARMY has a story and talents of their own, one such example being the unique story of Gracie Ranan, founder of the Global ARMY Song project.

The Global ARMY Song project is led by Gracie to create not just songs, but beautiful open letters to express the love ARMY has for BTS and to convey how much they have influenced and comforted people. Each Global ARMY Song has been sung in several languages to display the diversity of ARMY and allow for it to be given a voice. This message has remained the same throughout We’ll Be Fine back in 2018, See You There in 2019, 7 Reasons in 2020, and the latest one, W8, in 2021. All of them had an amazing response from the fandom. They communicate well how ARMY feels about being represented in a wonderful way, therefore they are worth sharing so more ARMYs - and maybe BTS too - can get to know the project.

Gracie Ranan started the project through her passion for music and great love for BTS, and turned that into a beautiful combination of both. We had the pleasure to interview her about the project, its evolution, and her personal thoughts on it:

“Back in 2016, when BTS still allowed ARMY to send them birthday gifts, I started writing songs for each member. After that, I realized I wanted to give ARMY around the world a chance to give BTS a gift as a whole. I wanted to give more ARMYs a voice and the project only grew from there.”

Gracie discussed the inspiration behind the project and coming up with the idea of uniting ARMY from all over the world to participate. For example, See You There and its music video, which shows ARMYs recording themselves around their cities, express how BTS has reached people from all kinds of places, and how ARMY, regardless of where they are from, are always connected by BTS’ music. So, what first started as a very personal gift from Gracie to the group, later became a big shared gift from the whole community.

Regarding the first ever Global ARMY Song We’ll Be Fine and the story behind it, Gracie told us that everything was rather organic. The process wasn’t stressful and there wasn't an elaborate marketing plan. She and a couple of her friends managed the project and posted on social media about auditions for other ARMYs; the song was given a lot of love. Since that first time, the project continued to grow with each year, evolving and changing and being kept together with solid organization. “(It) entails a lot of communication. Since we have so many parts in the project; vocalist, promo, production, graphic, etc, we try to divide the work for the admin team, but still manage to keep a good open line of communication for good organization and team work.”

Gracie’s biggest takeaway from the project is how much representation she sees in ARMYs. Putting into words the love they feel for BTS and the impact they have in their lives is no easy task. By hearing these songs and reading their lyrics, ARMY feels represented, seen and heard, and Gracie takes it as an honor to be able to provide that for people.

The most recent Global ARMY Song, W8, has a very pertinent meaning about the beauty of waiting. Gracie remarked that sending the message of “waiting” will remind us once more that we are not alone in that feeling. Coping with the pandemic for her and the team was as hard as it was for everybody. We were, in a way, forced to wait. Gracie wanted to remind ARMY that we are all waiting together. Naturally, the biggest inspiration was BTS themselves — “BTS helped ARMY through the pandemic and that’s why I was inspired by a lot of their messages to us.”

As the main recipients of these songs, Gracie wanted to tell BTS that “I know this song project is just a fraction of the love that you have shown ARMY, but I hope it can let you know just how much you’ve changed our lives and inspire us. In a way, this song is a manifestation of the love we want to repay you. ARMY will ALWAYS have your back in whatever you do. We Purple You.”

Like BTS, Gracie and the Global ARMY Song team are busy with upcoming projects, such as the release of their first album EXIST and full-length versions of W8 in different languages “We hope you all look forward to these projects and show a lot of support, but most importantly, can feel connected and find (in) the new songs something you can relate to.”

We cannot wait to listen to this album! Stay tuned, ARMY!

Written by: Ala

Edited by: LJ

Designed by: Judy

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