“Stray Kids mean everything to us, they are our ‘Best Friends’ as we are to them.” – Indian STAY
“Stray Kids everywhere around the world,” is never an understatement, as the group have drawn the global attention and placed themselves to be one of the prominent rookie groups in the industry. Despite the numerous debuts and rapid music releases found in the current generation of k-pop, Stray Kids have always found their way to stand out and shine amidst the competitors. It is true that the group’s approach and newness to music might box them with pre-judgments, but it is their sincerity and originality that makes them more than artists in one’s life. The sense of belonging existed since the beginning of the group’s pre-debut as the members dethroned themselves from being celebrities to fighters and wanderers trying to make sense of everything they experience.
“I’m riding on my pain and my tears. As I try to escape above, I’m on a hellevator.” – Hellevator
India being struck by the biggest k-wave has been enjoying the fruitful industry, supporting and appreciating numerous artists. While desi fans get to experience a hand full of concerts and fan meets, the fans thirst to witness more groups and artists have never been quenched including the visit of the gleaming rookie, Stray Kids. The act has been one of the most loved and preferred artists on the list. With a diverse fan base in India, Indian STAYs made sure to rank their bias team as one among the top 10 most streamed k-pop groups in Spotify. Apart from the statistics, STAYs have always kept their team spirits high by proposing various projects and actively participating in them.
“Stray Kids have always been special since their pre-debut and debut focused on teen’s problems all around the world. We know many beautiful artists who speak about these things already in the industry too… But the fact that makes SKZ different from others is their relatable and uplifting lyrics. Their lyrics can never fail at making someone feel good or motivated,” says Yathigna, one among the admins of Stray Kids India. The fan page started in 2017 has been supporting the boys since their survival show days. The page was finally recognized as the official fan stop in India with four admins taking different responsibilities. “Our sole reason and goal was and is to make SKZ famous in India and to let Indian STAY have a platform to meet the other STAY and support and love the boys on the national front,” she adds.
The solid fan base is one of the main reasons for the group’s glory, the fans themselves stand as testimonies for the life-changing experience they have with their beloved Stray Kids. “Stray Kids is one of my biggest inspirations. Personally, for me, Stray Kids have inspired me to find a meaning for my life. Their passion and dedication to their craft make me want to find something in my life that gives meaning to it like music is to them. I’ve been going through some really hard times especially with school and struggling to find a reason to wake up each morning and go on with my life. Sometimes I feel like k-pop and stray kids are the only reasons I feel happy and now even my therapist has been using stray kids as an example to motivate me because it was through Stray Kids I figured out what I wanted to do with my life,” says Ananya Ghosh from Mumbai, who has been greatly aspiring to take a unique path to success.
Ananya is not the only soul who confesses about Stray Kids majestic influence, as Baoshaindi Thaosen states, “To me, Stray Kids mean a book full of hopes, motivational teacher and friends who always stay beside us in bad and good times.” Being a bunch of artists, the act has been more than entertainers. Their own lives testify the fruits of hard work and passion while STAYs get to learn from it. Adding up to being an inspiration, the team takes the sides of STAY during their hard times and push them to make wonders. They sing, “I can hear it wherever I am, yeah, yeah, yeah. You can rest here,” in the track, “You can STAY” from the album Clé: LEVANTER as one of their ways to express their gratitude and promise to walk further together.
Their View On Life
Every idol got to get through a pattern of struggle to reach where they are now and Stray Kids is no different from them. From the days of their survival show, STAYs knew the hardships the act had to get through to reach the stop. What makes the journey even more personal and beautiful is that the artists’ raw feelings and sincerity make their fans look at life in a whole new point of view.
Fighting the battle and getting over them is the most fearful yet essential trait in a fighter’s life and as the fandom name says, “STAY” is not just staying with the group but making the decision to “STAY” no matter what comes against us.
“I feel like fans of any group or artist are proof to them that their efforts are not going to waste and that their message is being heard. Stray Kids inspire Stay all around the world everywhere and even the name they’ve given us is so beautiful. Many Stays have admitted that Stray Kids literally saved their lives and I can genuinely say I’m one of them. An incident that comes to mind is when I was at a leadership and confidence workshop with my classmates and I ended up spilling in front of my entire grade about my mental health and also told them how Stray Kids really helped me,” Ananya proudly proclaims. Preet Sandhu from Uttar Pradesh also states, “The reason I think I am still alive when I got bullied or mentally tortured by my classmates. Then Stray Kids’ thoughts and their songs give me the reason to live to fulfil my dreams, I was scared of my dreams I always feel like what if they destroy me? But I was wrong, Thanks to Stray Kids for being my motivation and they give me the reason that if you want to do something do it to express not to impress.”
STAYs’ Best friends
When asked who Stray Kids are to you, the immediate and rapid replies were, “Best Friends.”
“Stray Kids are my best friends. Their songs helped me get through a lot in life and helped me find a goal. Every time I am down, I don’t talk to anyone… I even end up talking to their poster to let out my frustration and sadness,” says Abhilasha Rawat being in the brim of her teens.
“Can you stay right with me, with me, Cause we gon do it together, with you” – 0325
Being a best friend is taking each other’s back when help needed and that is exactly what Stray Kids are to their fans and vice versa.
With overflowing power and solid determination, the group tends to sound more like an ambitious bunch which is true but those are not the only traits that make them for who they are. Apart from being dreamers and achievers, Stray Kids are more like a bundle of joy to their fans.
“Since all member is younger to me and literally so young I feel like they need to be protected. They were formed out of a survival game and I cannot help but support them. And I really appreciate how hard working they are and literally the cutest,” says Sandra, who basically adores them way too much for their innocence. Omega replies, “Stray Kids means a lot to me, they mean the whole world to me. They’re the reason for my happiness and the strength for me to live well. To be honest, they are just my ‘everything’ and my whole world. ♡,” is one among the youngest STAYs born in 2006.
The group does posses a duality, preaching on life through their songs and letting their fans know how to enjoy life. After all, they are just a bunch of curious kids making out the meaning of life in their own language.
Like a Family
With no doubt Stray Kids and STAY strong together as one big happy family. From spreading happiness, teaching lessons to growing together, it has been a path with unity.
“Stray Kids are my family and life support,” states Brenny, Manipur Stay Admin, which many of them will agree. Their exclusive content for STAYs to keep track of the act’s process is one of the many ways they use to keep close to each other. “They are a big part of my life, my sadness goes by listening to their songs. Having had a chance to talk to them 2 times has really really made me closer than ever to them before and though it’s impossible to personally stay in touch, the bond is there with every stay,” adds Shreedhi, who got lucky to represent Indian STAYs in shows as After School Club and Build NYC.
STAYs around the world is even more blessed that the leader, Bang Chan himself sits down to listen to his fans talk about their problems and bestow them with consoling and positive words. Sion Ropheca from Chennai says, “Stray Kids comforts me especially Bang Chan’s words during his live ( Chan’s room) helps me in gaining comfort and hope, I was very anxious to face ‘a day’ but only because of his words I did it! And it went well thanks to him.” While another STAY adds, “It’s been two years after I stanned them. Now they mean no less than my family. In fact I stan them and love them to the point where I feel like telling, “yeah, I know them well, we are pretty close” 😅. They are not just idols to me but my family, friend, and a safe place where I go to.”
Adding up to the strong bond shared between the idols and fans, the fandom itself is a true representation of unity and love. “The way STAY fandom rose in India was very slow at the start but in the mid of 2019, we had a sudden rise in the number of INDIAN STAY. And most of them reasoned out that the reason they started stanning SKZ is that they find their music and lyrics relatable to their problems in life and in studying and college as a Teenager. Which actually you could say is beautiful that almost every Indian Stay gives you the same reason. That’s what brought us all together. Our problems were relatable to each other and we became a family who looks after each other and shares their struggles in life. We became a strong beautiful family through emotional bonds and music. All thanks to SKZ that now Indian STAY are active in reaching out their hands to people who are having problems and who needs happiness,” proudly says Yathinga, the admin of the Indian STAY page.
Within two years, the k-pop world has already seen the group and their fandom aiming to stars beating all odds together and that is not a superficial statement. And Stray Kids being young artists have shown their various colours as creative producers, impressive lyricists and massive performers, which ultimately led them to the stardom they are in today.
“Even small things are magnificent and spectacular. They’re God-given gifts. I’m not short of them I’m satisfied.” – Get Cool
As the above-quoted lines say, the members are more contented with what they have been doing and are continuously proving to be deserved recipients of the recognition they get. And with affirmation, it can be proclaimed that this is just the beginning of whatever lies ahead. If anybody is to probe any further, they have an answer.
“Please stop interfering. This is our jungle. In here, we move according to our own rules”
Special thanks to all the Indian STAYs for their beautiful words. Wishing you all goodness!
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