BTS members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, announced they would take a break from the band to focus on their solo careers.

BTS announces hiatus to focus on solo career after 9 years
BTS announces hiatus to focus on solo career after 9 years

The K-pop stars announced the news during their FESTA dinner on Tuesday, June 14, celebrating their 9th anniversary.

RM explained,

“I started music and became BTS because I had a message for the world. I didn’t know what I would do after ‘ON,’ but then COVID-19 came up so we did ‘Dynamite,’ ‘Butter,’ ‘Permission to Dance,’ ‘Life Goes On.’ And then I realized the group had definitely changed. So we have to accept that we’ve changed.”

He explained that after running so fast for so long, he is creatively and physically exhausted and unsure of the group’s direction. He added,

“After ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission to Dance,’ I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore,” he 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. So I don’t know what kind of story I should tell now.

The K-pop star believes this problem isn’t unique to BTS but affects all Korean pop groups.

As the only English-speaking member of the group, he has been under more pressure to connect with their overseas listeners, speaking in international interviews on their behalf and serving as a spokesperson.

BTS announced a hiatus in 2019 and again in late December 2021, but both were shorter than expected. Despite their last reported break, they released their Proof anthology album earlier this month.

RM knows it would “still be fun” to keep performing with the group, and he worries about ARMY, their worldwide fans.

He said,

“We’ve lost our direction, and I just want to take some time to think and then return, but that feels rude to our fans and like I’m letting them down,”

V disagreed with this and said,

“But I think most of our fans wouldn’t think like that because they know our sincerity,” the 26-year-old said. “I think 90 percent of our fans would root for us no matter what kind of music or what kind of direction we choose.”

Meanwhile, Jimin said,

“I think now, finally, we’ve come to think about what kind of artists we want to be remembered as 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.”

Suga agreed that they were out of steam. He says,

“Out of all the time i’ve made music since 2013, I’ve never purely enjoyed it. It was always painful trying to squeeze out ideas but doing that now compared to 7-8 years ago feels completely different. Back then, I had something to say, but I just lacked the skills. Now I don’t have anything to say. I don’t know what to say.”

V said J-Hope first pointed out to him that a hiatus could make them stronger. He said,

“We could focus on our solo work this time, and later when we gather again as a group, synergy will be like no other. We’ll be better than before.”

While discussing the extended break, a few BTS members even shed tears.

J-Hope will also be the first member of BTS to have a major gig following the hiatus announcement. In July, he will headline Chicago’s Lollapalooza festival.