The world-renowned K-Pop group BTS is going on hiatus just days after dropping a three-disc career retrospective compilation, Proof. The indefinite hiatus will allow each man time to focus on solo ventures. A few weeks before the announcement, BTS visited the White House to discuss anti-Asian hate.
While this isn’t the first break or pause for BTS, this feels more definite. The group took a month-long break from the spotlight in 2019 “to recharge and prepare to present themselves anew as musicians and creators.”
They also took an “extended period of rest” towards the end of 2021 to allow them to get “re-inspired and recharge with creative energy.
During the group’s hourlong FESTA dinner, RM, Jin, SUGA, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook jokingly reminisced on their rise to fame. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, they earned No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits “Dynamite,” “Butter,” “Permission to Dance” and “Life Goes On.” However RM and Suga and the group felt a shift, and talked about it during the event.
“We have to accept that we’ve changed,” RM said, and even though this was a celebration, everyone was downcast. “For me, it was like the group BTS was within my grasp until ‘On’ and ‘Dynamite,’ but after ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission to Dance,’ I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore.”
RM went on to say “ [The problem with the K-pop idol system is] they don’t give you time to mature. You have to keep producing music and keep doing something. […] But right now we’ve lost our direction and I just want to take some time to think.”
Then, the final blow landed. This time it was Jimin who spoke. And the decision was made partly out of respect of their fans, the ARMY. Jimin said, “We can’t help but think of our fans no matter what — we want to be the kind of artists that are remembered by our fans. I think now we’re starting to think about what kind of artists we each want to be remembered 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. Our fans know us and we know us.”
Check out the full FESTA announcement below.
BTS Solo Career Projections
J-Hope told ARMY that this definitely does not spell the end for the group. He also revealed that he’s already begun work on his solo material. The 28-year-old said, “It’s important for BTS to start our second chapter.” It is noted that J-Hope is the first member to officially step down from the group.
Suga, who is known for his rapping in BTS, would find it “boring” for a 2-hour solo show. Instead, he would rather explore other genres and “be hip-hop like Bruno Mars.”
Going forward, RM announced that the members’ individual mixtapes will be treated more like proper albums.
All seven members are currently making have solo projects. And it seems that J-Hope will be the first to be a solo act. J-Hope will perform without his bandmates at Lollapalooza this July.