BTS Prom: One DJ’s Journey to Bridging Friendship Through K-Pop

DJ Madi excited to host BTS Prom at the 230 Rooftop Bar.

By Amanda Moses

Over two years ago, Madi set out on a self-exploratory journey as a longtime fan of BTS. She decided to pick up a turntable and utilize her DJ skills to unite fans across the nation through K-Pop music. While this venture began as simply an idea to create a safe haven for fans to meet and make friends, it has transformed into an organization set on uplifting each other.

“What I thought would be one week of just helping K-Pop fans make friends has turned into two-and-half years [of] bringing thousands of thousands of K-Pop fans together across the nation,” Madi told the Spring Creek Sun.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, Madi would start her day by listening to “Awake” by Jin of BTS as she prepared to virtually teach English classes. For Madi, BTS has always been a group she turned to as a source of comfort, and the pandemic taught her that she was not alone in this sentiment.

It was through this passion for the South Korean group—and her curiosity with DJing—that she was led to create “Armys Who Travel,” which has hosted over 70+ events for the over two years in the United States fostering the K-Pop music industry through dance parties.

“We are dedicated to the mission of helping every K-Pop fan meet one person that just gets them. No questions asked,” Madi said.

Now known as Anpanmania, Madi’s organization hosts a series of BTS Army events throughout the year. Their latest venture was held on June 15th with a BTS Prom, celebrating the group’s 11 years since their debut at the 230 Rooftop Bar.

“I hope this can continue so we can bring this worldwide,” Madi said.

With the view of the Empire State Building behind her on the 20th floor of the Rooftop Bar in the Flatiron District, tears began to well in DJ Madi’s eyes as she reflected back on her journey. It was not an easy feat to gather the courage to stand up in front of a crowded room to play music for a group of strangers, but it was through the love and friendship of BTS—as well as K-Pop as a whole—that gave her the strength to pursue and succeed on her venture.

The Rooftop Bar invited Madi several years ago to DJ an event, but she felt that she wasn’t ready then and wanted to hone her skills more. But on June 15th, beneath the lights of a disco ball, DJ Madi cultivated an event unlike any other.

Over a hundred fans donning beautiful gowns, tuxedos and even their BTS light sticks—known as Army Bombs—held hands and danced together.

Looking at the sea of people smiling and singing along to her mix tracks with several projectors playing customized video clips of BTS’s performances, Madi saw her dream come to fruition.

BTS has been known to teach their fans to “Love themselves,” to “Stay Gold” and pursue their dreams, and that could not be truer for DJ Madi who helps to create a movement that empowers others to do the same.

“I hope that through our events like the BTS Prom here in New York City at 230 Rooftop can encourage others to continue to support fan-owned and fan-created businesses because we are the ones that drive the success of our artists,” Madi said.

Photos by Amanda Moses

Posted in

Amanda Moses