BTS is bidding fans goodbye, for now. The juggernaut K-pop group, which arguably wields the most obsessively adoring fanbase on the planet, has announced it’s going on hiatus so that members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook can focus on their individual projects.
BTS shared the news during their Festa dinner, an annual event where the group sits down to celebrate its anniversary. This year marks BTS’ ninth year as a band.
During the filmed dinner (the video was uploaded to BTS’ Youtube channel), the members reflect on their career, their unbreakable bond as bandmates, and their endless gratitude for their fanbase. RM says that, while the group has reached unimaginable heights as a unit, the individual artists have more growing to do on their own.
“I think we should spend some time apart to learn how to be one again,” J-Hope adds. He then addresses viewers directly: “I hope you don’t see this as a negative thing, and see it as a healthy plan. I think BTS will become stronger that way.”
Each member of the group has already taken the first steps towards focusing on their individual crafts. All seven BTS members have released solo music, with J-Hope booking a solo slot at this year’s Lollapalooza festival and Suga and Jungkook both releasing singles in the last few months. Suga lended a hand on the production of Jungkook’s February offering “Stay Alive” and Suga teamed up with PSY for “That That” in April.
“People think ‘Wow, BTS!’ but when it comes down to each member, people don’t know who each of us are,” RM says in the video of BTS’ decision to go solo now. “And since we’re singers, it’d be most effective if we showed that with our music or performance.”
Although the excitement amongst the group for this new era was clear, Suga emphasized BTS’ break is by no means permanent. “It’s not like we’re disbanding,” he says.
“I think that change is what we need right now,” J-Hope agrees. “It’s an important part for BTS to start our second chapter.”