It’s a bittersweet time for fans of K-pop superstars BTS. Yesterday, during their hour-long FESTA Dinner (the dinner is part of the band’s annual celebration of their founding), the band made an unexpected announcement: BTS will be taking an indefinite hiatus in order to allow each member of the group to pursue individual solo projects.
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BTS announced a hiatus during their FESTA dinner
During the dinner (which you can view on YouTube here), the band members — RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook — reminisced about their time together and their success before announcing the hiatus. As translated by Billboard, Suga introduced the topic by stating, “We’re going on a hiatus now.”
Later, RM added context as to what may be driving the need for the hiatus. “We have to accept that we’ve changed,” RM said. “For me, it was like the group BTS was within my grasp until ‘On’ and ‘Dynamite,’ but after ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission to Dance,’ I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore.”
It seems that, as the group members grow into adulthood, they need room to grow, which the group members found challenging within the K-pop industry. As RM added, “they don’t give you time to mature. You have to keep producing music and keep doing something.”
The decision, the band noted, would impact fans — but was still necessary in order for each member to get in touch with their individual identity. “We can’t help but think of our fans no matter what — we want to be the kind of artists that are remembered by our fans,” Jimin said. “I think now we’re starting to think about what kind of artists we each want to be remembered 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. Our fans know us and we know us.”
Will BTS members be making solo projects?
During the dinner, the band members discussed plans for upcoming solo projects, though no definitive release dates were given.
So is it a break, or a breakup? According to a spokesperson’s statement to Billboard, the band will still be active. “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,” the statement said.
As Variety notes, this year marks the seven-member Korean band’s ninth anniversary. The group has reached global stardom with numerous hits like “Butter,” “Dynamite,” “Life Goes On” and many, many more. Most recently, the group released a career retrospective compilation, Proof.