If you’re familiar with Samsung, particularly their Galaxy smartphones, you’d immediately recognize the sound of “Over the Horizon,” as it’s the official sound of Galaxy phones. The trademarked sound for Samsung smartphones, “Over the Horizon,” is the only music that automatically comes with a new device. It’s the phone’s default ringtone and notification sound, as well as the sound when powering on and off.
Composed by Joong Sam Yun, it first debuted with Samsung Galaxy S II in 2011. Ten years later, it now has numerous reimaginings and remixes by various music artists—the latest being by BTS‘s Suga.
As a member of BTS, Suga is also a brand ambassador for Samsung, but using his producing skills for the brand too feels extra special. For a fan of the products, this whole experience is a dream come true for Suga. He said, “This project was to arrange the song ‘Over the Horizon.’ As a big fan of Galaxy, it was a very special experience.”
Everyone knows that it’s the Galaxy theme song just by its melody. I was really excited when they asked me to do the project. I started off feeling like it was meant to be.
Suga is no stranger to producing. Nonetheless, he hasn’t much experience doing instrumentals, although he enjoys this genre. So, he was excited to do one finally.
I listened to a lot of instrumentals from a young age, and I’ve always wanted to make an instrumental track, so the whole process was incredible.
Suga hoped that while his job was to reimagine the song, he would be able to maintain enough of its original melody so it can continue to resonate with other Galaxy fans. He was able to put his own spin on it while still respecting its beginnings.
It was an honor to work on a song that’s been a part of Galaxy’s 10-year history. I tried to put my own interpretation while keeping the melody largely the same for it to resonate with a broader audience.
Samsung’s U.S. registration of the trademark describes the sound as “the sound of a bell playing a B4 dotted eighth note, a B4 sixteenth note, an F#5 sixteenth note, a B5 sixteenth note, an A#5 eighth note, and an F#5 half note.”
During his creative process on this project, Suga reflected not only on its original but listened to other artists’ reimaginings too. Remixes have been done by Quincy Jones, Icona Pop, and Yiruma just to name a few. Some of the most recent versions include Jamie Christopherson‘s orchestral arrangement in 2015, Jacob Collier‘s in 2016 for Samsung Galaxy S7, Dirty Loops‘ in 2016 for Samsung Galaxy S7, Academy Award-winning composer Steven Price‘s in 2019, and Korean pianist Yiruma‘s in 2021.
I wouldn’t go far as to say that it’s my source of inspiration, but I always liked ‘Over the Horizon.’ I also heard different versions by various artists.
When Suga was working on his own version “Over the Horizon,” it didn’t take the genius long. And, of course, everyone loved his creation!
The first sketch didn’t take long. Everyone loved what I did with the song. I listened to it over and over again, added a string solo then the guitar to make it more dramatic and to give it the full grandeur.
It may be instrumental, so there are no lyrics to communicate a message, as is the case with most BTS songs. Yet, Suga still hopes that listeners will be able to get more out of the song.
Like the title ‘Over the Horizon,’ it’s about going beyond our limits. No one knows what will unfold. But our dreams make us go farther than ever. I hope that together with Galaxy, you’ll feel your heart open up.
Watch the full interview below:
See BTS’s latest commercial for Samsung below: