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What Does The BTS Hiatus Mean For ARMYs Around The World?

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

BTS is not new to setting new records and making headlines. This time, however, the band is in the news for a bittersweet reason. At a dinner to commemorate their ninth anniversary, the seven members announced that the group will be taking a break to focus on solo projects for some time.

The discussion of the hiatus was kicked off by Min Yoongi, or Suga, during the dinner when he said, “We’re going into a hiatus now. Should we talk about why we’re not doing the FESTA or making content?”

Each member broke down the reasons why they felt it necessary to hit pause and take a step back to reflect on their own identities as musicians and the kind of impact they want to leave on the world.

As one of the most successful and celebrated groups of all time, BTS has reached heights that they, in their own words, never dreamt of or planned for. From bolstering South Korea’s economy to performing in packed stadium concerts, the band has managed to achieve unprecedented amounts of success in a relatively short time. Not to forget, the millions of fans they’ve managed to garner with their music and message. Somewhere along these metrics, the band started losing its identity, according to the band’s leader Kim Namjoon, or RM.

RM explained that the group wanted to take this decision right after the release of ‘On’, a single from their 2020 album Map of the Soul: 7. The group had planned to announce their hiatus after their world tour but then Covid-19 hit the world and everything changed.

BTS released their single ‘Dynamite’, followed by their most underrated album to date BE, another English-language single ‘Butter’, followed by ‘Permission to Dance’.

According to the band’s leader, he felt he had a grip on what the band meant and where they were headed until the release of ‘Dynamite’ but felt that things got out of hand after the enormous success of ‘Butter’, which earned them their second Grammy nomination.

The rapper spoke about the K-pop system that is relentless in expecting the idols to churn out songs and performances one after the other, without a break. He felt that takes away the time for them to actually mature.

“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,” he said.

His fellow rap line member Suga echoed his sentiments and said, ““The hardest thing is writing lyrics… I have to talk about something that I really feel, but right now, I’m just squeezing it out because we have to satisfy people’s wants and the listeners. It’s so painful, but that’s just how this job goes.”

The members assured ARMYs that they are not breaking up as a group and will reconnect for future group activities, like their variety show Run BTS. But they want to take some time off to explore what they want to be as individual artists.

Their parent company HYBE responded to several media outlets with a statement that said, “To be clear, they are not on hiatus but will take time to explore some solo projects at this time and remain active in various different formats.”

ARMYs, while shocked and dismayed at the news, immediately took to various social media platforms to express their support for the band and their decision to take time off to focus on their art. In a heartening display of solidarity, fans all over the world comforted each other and applauded BTS for being honest and open about their feelings and mental distress like this.

This news comes just a few days after the release of their anthology album Proof that showcased the band’s journey over the past decade through their most iconic hits. The album also featured three new tracks which, in retrospect, talked about how they want to enter a new chapter in their lives with a different outlook towards their art and life.

The future seems bright and promising with individual projects of the members to look forward to, the first being J-Hope’s solo act as one of the headliners at the Lollapalooza festival, followed by each member’s individual albums. As the band’s youngest member said, “We’re each going to take some time to have fun and experience lots of things. We promise we will return someday even more mature than we are now.”

We can’t wait to see what RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook have in store for us!

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