The second chapter of the BTS story

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Author: Carol Correa Torres

The seven members of BTS have come a long way since their debut in 2013 under the name 방탄소년단. During this journey, they released a long list of songs, in which they were involved in the compositions, especially RM, SUGA, and J-Hope, who in turn influenced other members to participate in the composition of various songs for the group. Although the three rappers (previously mentioned) already had mixtapes and the four vocalists in the group (Jin, Jimin, V, and Jungkook) had solo songs, most of them were not fully revealed in their maximum expression as individual artists. Therefore, later on June 25, 2022, a new chapter in the musical life of each member would be revealed, with J-Hope starting this journey, culminating with Jungkook, the youngest of the group, releasing his album this year. In this blog, we will summarize some of the achievements that each of them has reached in this new stage of their lives.

Image 1. Retrieved from Twitter

J-Hope – “Jack in the Box”

“Jack in the Box”, J-Hope’s solo album released on July 15, 2022. It comprises 10 songs, with two main singles called “MORE” and “Arson”, which narrate stories inside and outside the “box,” revealing another side of J-Hope, some of his darker sides, thus showing other aspects of himself (Debate Magazine). Therefore, J-Hope hosted a pre-launch party for his album, inviting many artists and, of course, his BTS brothers, who, along with great friends, had a pleasant time listening to J-Hope’s new songs. Additionally, he appeared on many web shows and radio programs such as 아이유의 팔레트 (IU’s Palette) and Park So-Hyun’s Love Game radio show, among others.

Image 2. Retrieved from the YouTube video titled "Jack In The Box" Listening Party

On the other hand, J-Hope performed at Lollapalooza on July 31, 2022, becoming the first South Korean artist to headline one of the largest music festivals in the United States (Pop Crave). He sang a total of 19 songs and had Becky G as a special guest, with whom he performed the song “Chicken Noodle Soup.” At the festival, J-Hope expressed his excitement as he did not expect many ARMYs to attend the event. However, as SUGA pointed out, “there are many ARMYs who enjoy diverse music festivals. At the beginning [ARMY] was dancing like this [without any Army Bomb], and suddenly they brought it out [at the moment of J-Hope’s performance].” Everything was dark, and as soon as all the lights went out, ARMY suddenly appeared with their lightsticks. J-Hope prepared a lot for this performance, as he stated, “I couldn’t tarnish the name of BTS.” His effort during rehearsals was so intense that he weighed less than 60 kilograms.

Subsequently, he performed his two main songs at the MAMA Awards on November 30 of the same year, receiving six awards on behalf of BTS, including a very valuable “MAMA Platinum,” not to mention the awards that J-Hope received as “Most Popular Male Artist” and “Culture and Style.” After that, he performed in New York’s Times Square to give a grand welcome to the New Year 2023. Later, his documentary called “J-hope in the Box” was released on Disney on February 17, 2023, showcasing the entire creative process in the making of his new album. A month later, specifically on March 2, he released a digital song titled “On the street”  in collaboration with J.Cole (who was his muse), as he had a positive influence on J-Hope, and he holds great admiration for him.

Image 3. J-Hope's performance at Lollapalooza. Retrieved from Pop Crave’s tweet

Currently, J-Hope is serving in the military, but he has left us many surprises for the upcoming year 2024, including a new documentary “Hope On The Street,” where we will see one of J-Hope’s most incredible facets, dance, and a soundtrack album composed of 6 songs. Our J-Hope has become someone who does amazing things, being the “first South Korean act at Lollapalooza, the first solo album of BTS, and the first soundtrack album” (SUGA on SUCHWITA), although being the first gave him the pressure that “he had to do it well so that the other members could have a good influence when they come out as soloists,” in J-Hope’s words.

Let’s continue to support him, as J-Hope has left us many things prepared, and he will not stop surprising us. Let’s eagerly await his return on October 17, 2024.

Jin – “The Astronaut”

“The Astronaut”, a song released on October 28, 2022, in which Jin and Coldplay participated in its composition. It is worth noting that this was not Jin’s first solo song, as in 2019, he released the song titled “Tonight,” and later, the song “Abyss” in 2020. Before enlisting in the military, Jin released a song titled “The Astronaut” in which he expressed his gratitude towards ARMY, who made it possible for him to be who he is now, as Jin stated, “You have allowed me to shine more than ever.”

Image 4. Retrieved from the Manilla Bulletin page

On the other hand, before his departure, Jin wanted to present “The Astronaut,” so upon learning that Coldplay was touring in Argentina, he decided to travel from Korea to Argentina (approximately 36 to 40 hours of flight) to sing his latest single. This presentation took place on October 28, 2022 (see Jin’s presentation with Coldplay).

Image 5. Jin with Coldplay during the rehearsal in Buenos Aires. Extracted from BANGTANTV’s YouTube video

Furthermore, Jin appeared on the SUCHWITA program, discussing his new song and his performance with Coldplay, in which he mentioned the complications he had in that performance with only a small speaker, which is very common in bands, so he could hardly hear anything through the in-ear. In addition to his nervousness about performing without the other members, despite such setbacks, Jin gave us a wonderful performance. As a vocalist, he reminisces, “When we debuted, I didn’t want to sing live because it’s hard to sing and dance at the same time. But RM, SUGA, and J-Hope kept saying that singers should sing live,” so, he adds amusingly, “Those with the lowest musical notes [referring to the rappers] forced me to sing live.” Therefore, after many years of singing live, he is grateful that it happened that way, as he has improved significantly as a musical artist.

Currently, although Jin is fulfilling his military service, all ARMYs eagerly await his return on June 12 of the next year, one day before BTS’s anniversary. In the meantime, let’s continue to delight in his songs. As of the current date, “The Astronaut” has surpassed the figure of 283 million streams on Spotify, according to the JIN GLOBAL fanbase. 

RM – “Índigo”

The album “Indigo,” released on December 2, 2022, by RM, contains 10 songs, with “Wild Flower” as the main track. It is also considered the first work that the leader of BTS can officially recognize as his own, in RM’s words. He also considers “Indigo” as his “diary from the year 2019 to the year 2022”; in other words, it represents the journey of his twenties before turning thirty. Therefore, “Indigo” would be RM’s twenties. On the SUCHWITA program, he mentioned that “this album is not focused on music charts, which are important, I don’t deny it, but I want it to endure in people’s hearts […] that at least one of the songs lasts on the playlists.” In other words, what RM desires most is that this album brings comfort to many people.

Image 6. Retrieved from Pinterest

On the other hand, RM performed at Tiny Desk. Later, on December 5, he presented “Indigo” to approximately 200 people in an intimate concert in Seoul. He also made a guest appearance on the first episode of SUGA’s show called SUCHWITA. Additionally, he participated in So!YoON!’s song “Smoke Sprite” and Colde’s “Don’t Ever Say Love Me.” RM has recently mentioned in a live session that his next song will be pure “fire.”

Image 7. RM with Youjeen at the concert at Rolling Hall in Seoul.

Jimin – “FACE”

“FACE”, Jimin’s first mini-album composed of 6 songs, was released on March 24, 2023. The production time for this album was 10 months. The pre-release of the song “Set Me Free Pt. 2” took place. Additionally, the album’s title track “Like Crazy” reached the number 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100, making Jimin the first Korean soloist to achieve this feat. The album also contained a hidden track titled “Letter,” dedicated to fans.

Image 8. Retrieved from Twitter

Jimin appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s show “The Tonight Show,” where he presented “Like Crazy,” as well as on music shows like Inkigayo, Music Bank, and Mnet Countdown. Later, he released his documentary titled “JIMIN’S PRODUCTION DIARY” on October 23, revealing the production process of “FACE.” He also held a video call autograph signing and a fan meeting called “SPECIAL TALK with Jimin,” where he expressed his feelings after completing his album:

“I can’t explain my personal story in detail, but I think relationships are one of the most difficult and painful things in my life and one of the most grateful and happy things. That’s why I included the difficulties I felt in the album. There will be many people going through tough times. I hope everyone has a place to express their feelings. I hope there’s a place where you can relax. That’s what I thought during the production process.” – Jimin.

Image 9. Retrieved from Twitter

Today, Jimin has made a couple of trips for recordings as he is preparing big surprises. He previously detailed that he still has songs to reveal. What incredible things will he be preparing!

SUGA/Agust D – “D-DAY”

His album was released on April 21, 2023, and consists of 10 songs, with “해금 (Haegeum)” as the main track. The pre-release of the song called “사람 Pt.2 (feat. 아이유 (IU))”  was on April 7, 2023, which is also part of the album. He also released the “AMYGDALA” MV on April 24, 2023. This album is the last part of the trilogy, which started with “Agust D” in 2016, followed by “D-2”; these two mixtapes primarily represented Agust D’s past. On the contrary, in this new album, SUGA wanted to focus on the present; furthermore, “D-DAY” represents the “day he puts an end to his hard past and the beginning of a new start” (SUGA, SUCHWITA).

Image 10. Retrieved from Pinterest

SUGA embarked on his first solo tour called D-DAY TOUR, which started on April 26, 2023, aimed at promoting his new album “D-DAY” and his mixtapes “Agust D” and “D-2.” In the last 3 days of his tour, 3 members of BTS (Jungkook, Jimin, and RM) joined him on stage to sing their solo songs and, along with Suga, perform the songs “Burn it,” “Tony Montana,” and “Strange.”

Image 11. Suga with Jungkook, Jimin, and RM. Retrieved from Twitter

He also released a documentary called “SUGA: Road to D-DAY” on Disney Plus, showcasing the entire process of composing and producing his latest album. Additionally, he held a video call autograph signing, as well as a mini-fan meeting. Currently, SUGA is serving in the military, which started on September 22 of this year. Let’s hope for the return of the great Agust D, SUGA, Yoongi.

V – “Layover”

V’s album was released on September 8, 2023, featuring 6 songs, with “Slow Dancing” as the main track and “Love Me Again” and “Rainy Days” as pre-releases. On this occasion, Taehyung collaborated with creative director Min Hee-jin.

With this album, V expresses a “pause or transition in the journey of life because there is no direct path to life’s ultimate goal” (Taehyung, You Quiz). Additionally, “Layover” showcases the bond he shares with his dog Yeontan, who is part of the album cover and made a special appearance on one of the music shows. He also appeared on various programs such as “You Quiz,” “Running Man,” “SUCHWITA,” among others. The album sold 2,101,974 million copies in its first week of release.

Image 12. "Layover" album cover by V. Retrieved from Twitter

Furthermore, he hosted a fan meeting called “Vicnic”, where he played games with several ARMYs and sang songs from his new album. He also had a surprise guest: his friend and groupmate Jimin. They enjoyed a pleasant moment while singing “Friends.” Currently, Taehyung posted a photo in a recording studio, raising expectations for a new project.

Image 13. Taehyung "V" with ARMY before starting the games. Retrieved from YouTube

Jungkook – “Golden”

The album was released on November 3, with a total of 10 songs, featuring the main track “Standing Next To You”, as well as the pre-releases “Seven” and “3D” on July 14 and September 29, respectively. This album details various aspects of relationships and love that people generally experience, such as unconditional love in the song “Please Don’t Change,” the emotions experienced after a breakup in “Hate You” and “Somebody,” or the pain and sadness in “Too Sad to Dance” (@jeon_vantella). Furthermore, “Golden” represents the “golden moment,” meaning all the experiences lived that have shaped him into who he is today, not forgetting that Jungkook has been labeled as the “Golden Maknae” of BTS by RM since the beginning. With “Seven,” Jungkook achieved the number 1 position on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the “first Korean soloist in K-pop to have 4 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 for several weeks” (Soompi Spanish).

Image 14. Retrieved from Twitter

Jungkook has appeared on various foreign programs such as Good Morning America and BBC Live Lounge, among others. Later, he performed in Times Square in NYC as a surprise event that gathered a large number of fans. Likewise, Jungkook held his solo concert on November 20, also streamed live on the Weverse platform. RM attended to cheer on the group’s maknae, who is already a pop star. On the other hand, Jungkook does not rule out bringing new Korean music for all ARMYs; we eagerly await that moment.

Image 15. Jungkook's GOLDEN concert. Retrieved from Twitter

With this new chapter in BTS’s lives, the seven members have individually achieved significant milestones, which haven’t been fully detailed in this blog due to the extensive list. Besides, this has been a moment for them to grow even more personally and professionally, fostering great synergy for the group when they reunite. Although it’s uncertain whether the entire group can embark on a tour in the same year, 2025, they all hope to perform for the eagerly awaiting audience as soon as possible. What is certain is that through these individual activities, they are learning valuable lessons that the entire ARMY will witness when these seven remarkable people come together again. Additionally, in 2025, the tenth anniversary of “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life” will be celebrated, already hinting at incredible things to come that year. Let’s continue to wait and trust in them.

Revised by: Marisol Montiel

References:

als (@Vantaegi95) (October 30, 2023). #Jimin sobre las relaciones personales y FACE. [Tweet]. https://x.com/Vantaegi95/status/1718982599337562263?s=20

𝑎𝑣𝑎 ◡̈ (@jeon_vantella) (November 3, 2023). El álbum “GOLDEN” de #Jungkook aborda varios aspectos del amor y las relaciones. [Tweet]. https://x.com/jeon_vantella/status/1720339986203951588?s=20

BANGTANTV (December 5, 2022). [슈취타] EP.1 SUGA with RM [Video]. YouTube 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN9gQBb4up0

BANGTANTV (February 5, 2023). [EPISODE] 진 (Jin) Coldplay Concert Special Performance Sketch – BTS (방탄소년단) [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOLAaK3u_jw

BANGTANTV (March 27, 2023). [슈취타] EP.7 SUGA with 지민 [Video]. YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6Svs7gYs1U

BANGTANTV (April 24, 2023). [슈취타] EP.9 RM with Agust D [Video]. YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXr6-vXzSrI&t=57s

BANGTANTV (June 10, 2023). [슈취타] EP.12 SUGA with 진 #2023BTSFESTA [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZscK8j5a5w

BANGTANTV (July 19, 2023). [슈취타] EP.14 SUGA with j-hope [Video]. YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xfosKUglZw&t=219s

BANGTANTV (September 11, 2023). [슈취타] EP.18 SUGA with V [Video]. YouTube 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wpkLCiHoI&t=2019s

BANGTANTV (November 4, 2023). [슈취타] EP.21 SUGA with 정국 Ⅱ  [Video]. YouTube 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RKnjVL2kWA&t=753s

Bighit Music (2022). Jack In The Box. Ibight. https://ibighit.com/bts/eng/discography/j-hope/detail/jack-in-the-box/index.html

BTS WIKI (s.f.). Chapter 2. https://bts.fandom.com/wiki/Chapter_2

BTS WIKI (s.f.). D-DAY. https://bts.fandom.com/wiki/D-DAY

BTS WIKI (s.f.). FACE. https://bts.fandom.com/wiki/FACE

BTS WIKI (s.f.). Indigo. https://bts.fandom.com/wiki/Indigo

BTS WIKI (s.f.). Jack In The Box https://bts.fandom.com/wiki/Jack_In_The_Box

FIREⓢ⁷ 불타오르네 (@i_am_hyyh_fire) (November 12, 2023). You ever think about how yoongi extended his tour by 3 days, then had 3 members join him on stage, and the first letter of each song spells BTS? cuz I do. all the time. [Tweet and Image attached]. https://twitter.com/i_am_hyyh_fire/status/1723881278275998075

Inzunza, F. (July 16, 2022). La “Jack in the Box” de J-Hope ha sido abierta: se desafió a sí mismo y revela aspectos más oscuros. Debate. https://www.debate.com.mx/show/La-Jack-in-the-Box-de-J-Hope-ha-sido-abierta-se-desafio-a-si-mismo-y-revela-aspectos-mas-oscuros-20220716-0261.html

JIN GLOBAL (@SeokjinGlobal) (November 12, 2023). “The Astronaut” has surpassed 283 MILLION streams on Spotify! Congratulations Jin #TheAstronaut #Jin #방탄소년단진 @BTS_twt [Tweet] https://x.com/SeokjinGlobal/status/1723815921402118643?s=20

jungkook golden (@adoresjeons) (November 2, 2023). [the meaning of ‘GOLDEN’ and the process of choosing the album name] [Tweet]. https://twitter.com/adoresjeons/status/1720093353545716152

LEANELLE (2022). indigo // record of RM [Image]. Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/pin/2603712278687581/

Pop Crave (@PopCrave) (July 31, 2022). #BTS’ j-hope officially makes history as the first South Korean artist to headline #Lollapalooza. [Tweet]

https://twitter.com/PopCrave/status/1553924290369622016

Soompi Spanish (@SoompiSpanish) (November 21, 2023). #Jungkook de #BTS se convierte en el primer solista de K-Pop en incluir simultáneamente 4 canciones en el Billboard Hot 100 durante varias semanas. [Tweet].  https://x.com/SoompiSpanish/status/1727067890141245918?s=20

The Purple Herald (@thepurpleherald) (September 6, 2023). Taehyung is basically expressing that the concept of “Layover” represents a pause or transition in life’s journey. TAEHYUNG ON YOU QUIZ #YouQuizWithV. [Tweet] https://twitter.com/thepurpleherald/status/1699437003769524693

Karmaisa (@BTSbackpocket) (November 22, 2023). I can’t wait to welcome you back in 2025, because I know I will be here, forever walking with you. #BTS #BTSARMY #방탄소년단 [Image attached]. https://twitter.com/BTSbackpocket/status/1727250218713063811/photo/1

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