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BTS member Suga has long been writing and producing songs for both the chart-topping group and fellow artists, but the rapper and songwriter is taking his talents to a whole other dimension, as part of a new campaign with Samsung.
The electronics giant tapped Suga earlier this year to remix “Over the Horizon” — better known as the Samsung Galaxy brand song — and the final track is being released today as part of Samsung’s “Unpacked 2021” event, an annual event that showcases the latest and greatest in Samsung products, technology, and innovation.
According to Samsung representatives, Suga was the perfect person to remix the track, which serves as the default ringtone on all of its smartphones. First composed in 2011, the jingle is now also the official brand sound on all Samsung Galaxy devices.
For Suga, the opportunity to work on a new version of the iconic track gave him a chance to flex his producing and arranging skills beyond the pop and R&B stylings of BTS, and his rap alter ego, Agust D.
“I listened to a lot of instrumentals at a young age and I’ve always wanted to make an instrumental track, so the whole process was incredible” Suga explains in an accompanying promotion video for the song’s release. “It was an honor to work on a song that has been part of Galaxy’s 10-year history.”
While Suga isn’t the first artist to tackle the Samsung chime — everyone from Quincy Jones to Icona Pop have created their own versions of the track — the singer and rapper says he tried to experiment with new sounds and add a little emotion to the song. “The first sketch didn’t take long,” he says of his writing process, adding that he listened to some of the versions created by other artists for inspiration. “I listened to it over and over again [and then] added a string solo and guitar to make it more dramatic and to give it the full grandeur.”
And while some artist remixes often result in unrecognizable versions of the original track, Suga says he was careful to not stray too far from what has worked for the Samsung brand. “I tried to make my own interpretation while keeping the melody largely the same, for it to resonate with a broader audience,” he says.
Of course, “Over the Horizon” is an instrumental track that doesn’t have any lyrics, but Suga says the title and feeling of the song can still inspire listeners, whether they’re just hearing the familiar refrain of the ringtone, or listening to the expanded version of the track (which a Samsung rep says is expected to be available as part of the next software update for Galaxy phones). “Like the title, ‘Over the Horizon,’ it’s about going beyond our limits,” Suga says. “No one knows what will unfold, but our dreams make us go farther than ever.”
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) August 9, 2021
The Unpacked 2021 event marks the next chapter of the popular Samsung x BTS partnership. The group teamed up with the brand on a commercial for the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G earlier this year, and launched a holiday campaign for the Galaxy Buds Live (on sale right now for just $109). The group previously unveiled a co-branded Galaxy S20+ 5G and Galaxy Buds+ BTS Edition, featuring the band’s logo and purple heart iconography among other BTS-inspired themes.
Samsung says the new version of “Over The Horizon” is “bridging tech and music together,” while BTS management company Big Hit Music released a statement saying: “We are delighted to offer yet another fresh experience to people all over the world through this partnership with Samsung. Putting his own spin to ‘Over the Horizon’ has been a meaningful experience for Suga as well.”
Suga’s new Samsung song remix wasn’t the only big news to come out of this year’s Samsung Unpacked event. The company also unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold3 5G and Galaxy Z Flip3 5G — two foldable smartphones that can be “unfolded” into mini tablets for working, designing (with an included S Pen on the Fold3) and watching videos. Both new phones are also fully waterproof and Samsung says the devices were both built with the company’s new “Armor Aluminum” — the strongest aluminum ever used on a Galaxy smartphone.