BTS members' individual endeavors may mean the best is 'Yet to Come'
BTS’s announcement of halting group activities has been wreaking havoc on its management HYBE’s stocks and raising concerns about the K-pop sensation’s future since the news first broke two weeks ago. But according to some industry experts and financial analysts, the outlook may not be so bleak after all.
In fact, considering the seven members’ individual talents, the start of solo endeavors could herald the beginning of the band’s second heyday as members find success on their own in various fields.
BTS members have already officially kicked off their solo activities. J-Hope confirmed the release date for his first solo album, and Jungkook was featured on a song by American pop star Charlie Puth that is currently sweeping charts around the globe. Jimin sang for the original soundtrack of a K-drama that is also setting new records.
On Sunday, BTS’s agency BigHit Music confirmed that member J-Hope will release his first solo album “Jack in the Box” on July 15.
“Like the meaning behind the title, J-hope is determined to break the mold and show that he has grown one step further,” his agency announced.
So far, J-Hope has only released solo work unofficially, in the form of a mixtape or collaboration track. His 2018 mixtape “Hope World” rose to No. 38 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The following year, he worked with American singer Becky G for their song “Chicken Noodle Soup,” which reached No. 81 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
“Jack in the Box” will be the artist's first official music as a solo musician, as BTS and HYBE have stanchly adhered to the principle of being active as a complete team of seven throughout the band’s nine-year career.
While J-Hope is the first BTS boy to drop a solo album, other members are already also seeing success with their own music projects. Jungkook and Puth’s collaborative track “Left And Right,” released on Friday, immediately topped the iTunes Top Songs charts in 93 countries including the United States, Canada, France and Sweden.
On the same day, the group’s eldest member Jin was named No. 1 on global music search engine Shazam’s “This Week’s Top 10 Artists” for the second week in a row. Jin became the first K-pop artist to achieve the feat.
Also on Friday, Jimin’s song “With You,” sung with singer Ha Sung-woon for the recently-ended tvN series “Our Blues,” hit 80 million streams on Spotify two months after it dropped — the fastest time for a K-drama soundtrack to surpass the milestone.
On Sunday, V attended luxury brand Celine’s fashion show for its men's Spring/Summer 2023 collection in Paris. He reportedly received a personal invitation to the Celine show from the brand’s creative director Hedi Slimane.
Member Suga has also been showing off his solo talent long before the group’s time off was announced. He recently produced and featured in singer PSY’s lead track, “That That,” of his new album, which dropped in April. Suga has been releasing solo mixtapes over the years, using the alias Agust D. He entered the Billboard Hot 100 with his 2020 song “Daechwita.”
“BTS’s prime may be yet to come,” said Ahn Jin-ah, an analyst at eBest Investment & Securities, using a play on words to compare the group’s outlook to the title of its latest song “Yet To Come” (2022). “Each of the members will present diverse music genres through collaborations with artists around the globe, strengthening the seven members’ individual intellectual property.”
British Vogue predicted that BTS members’ solo projects will not be limited to music, but also include acting, fashion design, art and photography.
V’s “self-designed Mute Boston Bag sold out in under a second in January, making any future V-created clothing or accessory collection sure to be a bona fide hit,” the fashion magazine wrote on June 19. The bag was part of BTS’s “Artist Made collection” sold on the fan community platform Weverse.
The magazine added that it “wouldn’t be a surprise” if leader RM, known for his passion for art, took on a “curatorial role for a show at a major art gallery” in major cities around the world.
BY BAE JUNG-WON [email@example.com]