Goodbye for now. BTS announced that while they aren’t going through a breakup, they are going to take a hiatus to focus on their solo careers.
K-pop stars made the announcement at their FESTA dinner on Tuesday, June 14, as part of their 9th Anniversary celebration. RM, Jimin, J-Hope, V, Jungkook, JinAnd SugaThey told their fans that they would take an extended vacation to allow them to work on solo projects and get some much-needed rest.
“I started music and became BTS because I had a message for the world,” RM, 27, explained. “I didn’t know what I would do after ‘ON’ but then COVID-19 came up so we did ‘Dynamite,’ ‘Butter,’ ‘Permission to Dance,’ ‘Life Goes On.’ And then I realized the group has definitely changed. We have to accept that we’ve changed.”
The rapper explained that after going so fast for so long, he’s creatively and physically exhausted and isn’t so sure of what the group’s direction.
“After ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission to Dance,’ I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore,” he said. “Whenever I write lyrics and songs, it’s really important what kind of story and message I want to give out, but it was like that was gone now. I don’t know what kind of story I should tell now.
The performer believes the issue isn’t specific to BTS but all Korean pop groups.
“I always thought that BTS was different from other groups, but the problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that they don’t give you time to mature,” RM said. “You have to keep producing music and keep doing something. After I get up in the morning and get makeup done, there’s no time left for work. And it’s not just about music and work I’ve changed as a human over the past 10 years, so I needed to think and have some alone time and then those thoughts can mature into something uniquely mine. … Right now, when we’re at our best, I feel like I should be contributing something to the world, but I don’t know what that is.”
The star said that he was the only English-speaking member and has had to communicate with international listeners. He is also the primary speaker for international interviews and a spokesperson for their group.
“Somehow it’s become my job to be a rapping machine and remake music and speak in English for the group,” he said. “Other members are great at performances, so I just quietly go along with them. This is how I kept my life going. Although the group was fine if all I did was do the work, I felt trapped inside. I wanted to let go of that feeling for a bit and just think about what I should have been doing right now. But the world wouldn’t let me, so I kept postponing it since last year.”
BTS announced a hiatus beginning in 2019 and ending in December 2021. However, those vacations were shorter. They released their Proof album earlier this month, despite the hiatus they had previously announced. They stated that they need more than a quick getaway to help them through their creative struggles.
RM knows it would “still be fun” to keep performing with the group, and he worries about ARMY, their dedicated fans across the world. “We’ve lost our direction and I just want to take some time to think and then return, but that just feels rude to our fans and like I’m letting [them] down,” he said.
V didn’t agree. “But I think most of our fans wouldn’t think like that because they know our sincerity,” the 26-year-old said. “I think 90 percent of our fans would root for us no matter what kind of music or what kind of direction we choose.”
Meanwhile, Jimin, 26, chimed in, “I think now, finally, we’ve come to think about what kind of artists we each want to be remembered as [by]Our fans. I think that’s why we’re going through a rough patch right now. We’re trying to find our identity and that’s an exhausting and long process.”
Suga, 29, agreed that they’ve run out of steam. “Out of all the time i’ve made music since 2013, I’ve never purely enjoyed it. Although it was difficult to get ideas out, it’s so much easier to do that now than it was 7-8 years ago. I had a lot to say back then, but I lacked the skills. Now I don’t have anything to say. I don’t know what to say.”
V said that J-Hope, 28 years old, first pointed out to him the possibility of them becoming stronger by taking a break. “We could focus on our solo work this time and later when we gather again as a group that synergy will be like no other,” V said. “We’ll be better than before.”
BTS men were emotional and some even shed tears while discussing the extended break.
J-Hope will be the first member to perform a major gig with BTS since the hiatus announcement. He is set to be a headliner at Chicago’s LollapaloozaFestival in July