After releasing their anthology album “Proof” last week, BTS announced through tears on Tuesday that the group will be taking a hiatus to “take time to explore some solo projects.”
The group made the emotional announcement during their annual Festa dinner party in celebration of its 9th anniversary.
In a video of their celebration, the group mates eat and have fun until Suga pivots the conversation to the topic of their upcoming break.
“We’ve now entered an off season … Should we talk about why we’re not doing the FESTA or making content? Should we get into that? Yeah, we have to talk about the direction we’re taking Since the topic of our direction came up.”
BTS group leader RM said that after the release of tracks like “Butter” and “Permission to Dance,” he “didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore.”
“I always thought that BTS was different from other groups, but the problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that they don’t give you time to mature,” said RM. “You have to keep producing music and keep doing something. I need to think and have some alone time and then those thoughts can mature into something uniquely mine… I can’t physically mature anymore.”
Jimin added, “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. 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.”
All seven members have had individual solo projects before. During the Festa dinner, J-Hope, who will be headlining at Lollapalooza this year, said, “BTS’ stance on solo promotions, solo music is going to change a lot now,” possibly hinting that the members will be moving on from their solo mixtapes and focusing on releasing solo albums.
The group reassured fans this is not goodbye forever. Suga noted, “It’s not like we’re disbanding! We can live apart for a little while!”
A disclaimer at the start of the video reads, “NOT scripted! NOT staged! It’s all BTS sincerity of ARMY, by ARMY, for ARMY.”
Following the video, a spokesperson for BTS clarified, “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 formats.”