BTS, who announced last June that they are putting their group activities on “pause” are actually quite busy.
Last June, tears flowed, the stock markets panicked, a union of singers implored them and some skeptics quipped. During a meal filmed for their fans and published on YouTube, the seven members of BTS announced that they were “pausing” their group musical activities to focus on their personal projects. It was enough for the headlines to evoke “their separation”, convinced that they would follow the same path as a well-known boyband that flew into pieces, One Direction. However, South Korean artists said again and again, there was no question for them of leaving their group or abandoning their fans. Their agency itself confirmed a few hours after a wave of panic, that they would continue to evolve at seven but that the next few months would be for their individual work. And a month later, they are indeed busier than ever.
First, it’s a first solo album that has been announced, that of one of the rappers and producer of the formation, J-Hope. The latter unveiled two titles “More” and “Arson”, more experimental projects, far from the image to which his audience was accustomed. Darker, a mix between old school hip-hop and rock, the tracks were critically acclaimed and broke records on Spotify. While making the front page of “W Korea” magazine in August, he explained in this interview that he wanted to put himself in danger to “show people that he exists” off the beaten track and without “following the trend”. And because BTS and its members are used to making history, next week he will become the first South Korean artist to perform alone on stage at a major US festival. He will indeed make his debut at the famous Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, which he will close on the fourth day.
Collaborations and a gigantic concert
And he’s not the only one who’s busy. The leader, RM, who had notably questioned the frenetic pace of the kpop world and explained that he had lost the guideline of his group in recent years, recently announced that his own album was soon to be finished. Those of other members should also arrive. And too bad for those who would have celebrated the dissolution of BTS a little too soon. In early July, Jungkook also broke records thanks to his duet with American artist Charlie Puth. The colorful music video for this pop hit titled “Left and Right” has already been viewed over 125 million times.
And that’s not all, at the beginning of August, the radio waves and streaming platforms are likely to tremble again. Producer Benny Blanco, who has worked with Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and even Mac Miller, has announced the upcoming release of a collaboration that promises to be colorful. Four of the members of BTS – V, Jungkook, Jimin and Jin – will indeed share a song with Snoop Dogg, titled “Bad Decisions”, whose promotion on social networks has already started.
In the meantime, we could also see this same V, Kim Taehyung of his real name, in Paris for the Céline fashion show at the beginning of July. Paris Match, who was present, was able to film the event and see the incredible success of the young singer in France. He was also joined by actor Park Bo-Gum and Blackpink star Lisa.
This week, he shared a video of this trip to the capital on his Instagram account. The clip of a few minutes, accompanied by the song “I am all of you who listen to me”, interpreted by Jeanne Moreau, in which he wanders the streets, between a basketball game with teenagers and a trip to the restaurant, became the publication by an artist most watched in 24 hours with 28.9 million views.
Ambassadors for the World Expo
And if the Armys – BTS fans – feared that they would no longer evolve to seven, they can be reassured. The group was named an official ambassador for Busan’s bid for the 2030 World Expo a few days ago. South Korea, which never misses an opportunity to enjoy BTS’s cultural and economic impact, has everything done to convince the artists (two of whom were born in this port city) to commit to this candidacy. In order to put the odds on their side, officials have announced a giant concert in Busan next October which should be broadcast live. Enough to make Busan, for a few hours, the capital of the world. Prime Minister Han Duk-soo this week thanked global superstars for taking on the role. “The most essential part of our success would be the support of Korean citizens as well as the global community. But we think BTS will play the most pivotal role during the process. With the support of BTS and our team, we will be able to achieve our goal,” he wrote in a statement. Recall that in 2020, according to the Hyundai Research Institute, BTS allowed the country to earn 3.5 billion dollars per year. Before the announcement of the “break” taken by the seven members, the country hoped to count on the resumption of concerts following the covid-19. The Korea Institute of Culture and Tourism predicted that a single BTS concert could generate $500 million or more. Something to dream about Busan and its region, which will have to win in particular against Rome or even Riyadh. The winner will be announced at the General Assembly of the World Expo in 2023.
But despite this hectic schedule, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook probably don’t forget to take care of themselves and enjoy life. Main reason why they decided to slow down their group activities, their well-being remains paramount. And while the leader, Kim Namjoon of his real name, explained recently during a live from the open heart that he could not forget the anguish that their fans would leave them one day, it’s a safe bet that this new chapter in their careers only heightens their admiration for them.