BTS, the most popular K-pop groups of the new wave, is going on a hiatus as a group. Less than a month after the release of their anthology album Proof, the seven members announced that they plan on seeking out new experiences and inspiration and are planning to work on solo projects for an undisclosed amount of time.
Not A Disbandment But A New Start
Almost ten years have passed since BTS debuted. Now, after all this time, the most popular Korean group is going on a hiatus. The members want to take some time to focus on solo careers. BTS announced this next move during a pre-recorded special as a part of FESTA, the group’s debut anniversary program. In the video message, the members — Jin, Jimin, RM, J-Hope, Suga, V, and Jungkook — all gathered in their old dorms where they used to live together at the beginning of their career. After looking back at working on their many albums, music videos, tours, and concerts, they started talking about their future. “We’re going into a hiatus now. Should we talk about why we’re not doing the FESTA or making content?” Suga wondered aloud.
RM followed by saying that being with BTS has been an incredible journey. Yet, in the past years “the group has definitely changed,” and he “didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore.” When it comes to creating content for the band, he admitted that he's been lost. “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,” he explained.
Expansion of BTS
The idol system may be to blame for the hardships all members have faced. When pressured, musicians and artists don’t have any “time to mature…there’s no time left for growth,” RM said. “Right now, we’ve lost our direction, and I just want to take some time to think.”
Jimin, too, admitted that he felt like the group has been going through tough times, which may have been exacerbated after they joined the American music scene and started coming out with more internationally oriented music. “The hardest thing is writing lyrics…," Suga agreed. "I have to talk about something that I really feel, but right now, I’m just squeezing it out because we have to satisfy people’s wants and the listeners. It’s so painful, but that’s just how this job goes."
After the brief announcement, however, a spokesperson for BTS rephrased Suga’s words when speaking to Rolling Stone: “To be clear, they are not on hiatus but will take time to explore some solo projects at this time and remain active in various different formats,” they said.
Overall, the group has been busy this past year, performing at the Grammys, putting on global shows, and even visiting the White House. So, focusing on solo activities could be the way to go. “I think we should spend some time apart to learn how to be one again,” said J-Hope. “I think BTS will become stronger that way.” The rapper and dancer will be the first to come out with his album and has already come out with his newest single, "More." J-Hope is also set to make music history as the first South Korean artist to headline for Lollapalooza. “We’re each going to take some time to have fun and experience lots of things," Jungkook added. "We promise we will return someday even more mature than we are now."