“Exhausted” the group BTS takes a break

(Seoul) Self-described “exhausted” K-pop group BTS has announced a “hiatus” for each of its seven young men to focus on their own journey to focus .

Updated at 6:57 am

with Maggy DONALDSON and Nicolas REVISE in New York
Media Agency France

Their label HYBE, which went public Wednesday morning the day after the news, tried to soften the information by assuring AFP the seven boys would continue working together.

The sudden announcement of this “break”, which was a bombshell on social media, was published on Tuesday during a dinner broadcast on the internet to mark the ninth anniversary of the group of seven artists aged twenty.

In a very relaxed and casual style, the seven in jeans and t-shirts chat around a beautiful wooden table with bottles of wine and beer surrounded by purple and blue balloons.

One of them, RM, 27, explains with tears in his eyes and a lump in his throat that after several nominations for the Grammy Awards – the honors of the American music industry – they “can’t remember exactly which group they are anymore”. . adding that some members are “exhausted”.

“Star System”

“I always thought BTS was different from other bands. […] But the problem with K-pop and the whole “star system” is that you don’t have time to mature,” the young man continues in front of millions of fans and the music industry.

BTS is credited as a pump to generate billion-dollar spin-offs for the South Korean economy, posting record revenues of more than $1 billion in 2021 thanks to online content and album sales.

But according to RM, the group needs to “continuously produce music and do something.”

“In ten years I’ve changed and I have to think and have time for myself,” the artist blows.

One of his partners, Suga, then announces that BTS is “going to take a break now”.

“They will launch individual and team projects in parallel,” AFP assured label HYBE, whose share fell 27% in Seoul on Wednesday morning.

Another member, Jimin, 26, adds that the septet “gradually tried to understand” what was happening to them and “think about the memory everyone wanted to leave for their fans.”

Jimin, who spoke Korean like his comrades and whose comments in the video were subtitled in English, also acknowledges that BTS is “going through a difficult time (of) searching for (his) identity, a long and arduous one.”

At the end of the dinner, the “pop icons of the 21ste Century” according to their label Big Hit authors of the hits dynamite and butter – shedding a few tears and expressing gratitude to their fans, grouped under the Army banner.

“It’s not like we’re ending the group,” Suga assured, “we’re just living apart for a while.”

And Jungkook, 24, promises that “one day we’ll come back even more mature than we are today,” and pleads for the “blessing” of her fans.

They showed understanding by posting tens of thousands of comments under the YouTube video.

“I really love how honest they are,” said one. “These are people like us. You can be tired and exhausted. They deserve to rest and enjoy what they love to do,” said another.

K-pop culture expert Lee Moon-won regrets a “confusing” and “unclear” announcement.

“It seems they meant that BTS will continue their side group activities (like on YouTube) while pursuing a solo career,” he told AFP, without quitting any new albums as a group.

“need for change”

“It would have been more appropriate if the label had first released a statement clearly spelling out what this means,” said Mr. Lee, adding that asking the band to announce this news was a poor decision , which the fans did not miss .

BTS, which released an anthology album on Monday (prove), had already announced “breaks” in 2019 and 2021. But this time, “the group needs a change” and wants to “start a new chapter,” says J-Hope, another member of the septet.

South Korean artists were invited to the White House by President Biden on May 31 to denounce anti-Asian racism in the United States.

The group had previously been invited twice to address the United Nations in 2018 and 2021 on climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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