Okay … where to start?
For those babies who grew up in the ’90s, vocal quartet-turned-trio Boyz II Men is pretty much an R&B staple. Their music, harmonies and impeccable musicality continue to inspire artists from all over the world to this very day. Well, fans of the group got a surprise when a video of falsetto Shawn Stockman singing BTS‘s own high-voiced vocal Jimin‘s solo track “Intro: Serendipity” hit the internet. The song comes from BTS’s highly acclaimed 2017 release “LOVE YOURSELF 承 ‘Her’.”
Needless to say, your girl was shook!
Originally, the cover was posted to Stockman’s Instagram. The sudden spark of inspiration didn’t come from nowhere. It seems the legendary vocalist is a fan of BTS. In fact, he posted a series of short videos, saying he “Got off the plane and went straight to the BTS concert at the Rose Bowl.”
The revelation that one of R&B’s, in fact, one of music’s greatest living legends found himself drawn to BTS obviously had fans of the Korean septet in a frenzy. Many of their fans are at an age where they remember swooning over the members of Boyz II Men, from their voices to their songs about love and all its many twists and turns. Some of the more ambitious fans have even expressed interest in hearing BTS cover one of Boyz II Men’s numerous hits. What a surprise, then, to find out one of the members has a fondness for the object of ARMYs’ infatuation.
Shawn Stockman’s voice is incomprehensible. He has an easy range that doesn’t push, doesn’t seem like he’s trying at all. A true falsetto in the tradition of the greatest like Eddie Kendricks of the Temptations and Phillip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire. His voice was seemingly made for this track. In fact, if by some strange twist of fate you’d never heard of BTS, you would be forgiven for thinking Stockman was suddenly hit with a need to sing in Korean and learned it just to create the song himself. All that being said, however, that’s not the most brilliant part of this video.
The most brilliant part came at the end when Stockman was saying his farewells, taking the moment to announce the radio show he was doing this for. He sits with his guitar, strumming the chords of the song as he revels in the beauty of the song itself. He says, “It don’t matter what language a song … is sung into. If it’s beautiful, it’s beautiful.” This is something that we as fans of this crazy thing called K-pop have been trying to express for years.
Here’s what I know. Whether you’re a fan of BTS or not, whether you know who Shawn Stockman or Boyz II Men are or not, music transcends all things. Pettiness, dysfunction, childish squabbles over things that don’t really mean anything in the grander scheme. If we all just bask in the glory of music, none of that should matter. Music truly is universal. It’s a cliché, but that doesn’t diminish its truth. Shawn Stockman is a testament to all fans of music who’ve ever listened to something in a language they don’t understand. Every person on this earth has music in them. Everyone expresses it differently, but the ultimate truth is if there’s real emotion behind it, it doesn’t matter if we understand that expression.
If it’s beautiful, it’s just beautiful.
(Featured image created in Canva, YouTube, Instagram.)