BTS are starting a new chapter of their career as a group. A day after celebrating their nine-year anniversary on June 13, the septet announced in a YouTube video that they’ll be taking a hiatus from making music as a group in order to focus on solo music and activities. “We have to accept that we’ve changed,” RM 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 . . . I needed to think and have some alone time, and then those thoughts can mature into something uniquely mine.”
RM explained that after being with BTS for nearly a decade, he “can’t physically mature anymore.” The other members echoed his feelings, which is why they will be taking some time to continue growing as individual artists. The rapper added that although the guys don’t know how long their hiatus from group activities will last, this break is necessary so, when the time comes, they’ll reunite as a group stronger than ever. “I want BTS to go on for a long time. We have to go through this to do that,” he said.
Fans are understandably a bit overwhelmed with how fast things are changing, especially considering there’s also the ever-looming question of when BTS will enlist in the Korean military. Barring any major legislative changes to Korea’s mandatory military enlistment policies, the older members will be required to enlist soon, and it’s unclear how that will factor into the band’s solo plans and timeline.
Still, none of these developments come as a surprise to fans who have been following BTS from the beginning, so they’re simply comforted knowing BTS definitely aren’t disbanding. “I hope you don’t see this as a negative thing,” J-Hope said at one point. “It’s a healthy plan. It’s not that we’re disbanding. We’re just living apart for a while.” You should also find comfort in the fact that BTS confirmed they’ll continue filming their variety show, “Run BTS.” Finally, RM hinted that BTS will come back with many amazing group performances to show for their time apart. “We’ll show you proper performances for songs like ‘Run BTS’ when we’re all together again,” he teased.
In the meantime, fans should be excited to see what the members have up their sleeves as solo artists. Luckily for us, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook have already hinted at upcoming solo projects, so scroll through the slideshow to see what they plan to do next.