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(2nd LD) BTS to pause group activities to focus on individual careers

11:03 June 15, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more quotes in paras 6-8; statement from BTS agency in paras 13-14)
By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, June 15 (Yonhap) -- K-pop supergroup BTS said it will suspend performing as a group and focus instead on solo projects to explore the growth of individual members.

The septet unveiled the plan on a YouTube video posted on Tuesday night of the group casually having dinner together to celebrate its ninth anniversary.

BTS said it will continue to move forward in the future even though it takes breaks.

"The K-pop idol system doesn't give you time to mature. You don't have time to grow because you have to keep producing something," band leader RM said in the video.

"I've always thought that BTS was different than other groups," he continued. "But I didn't know what kind of group we were anymore."

Suga, the band's rapper, songwriter and producer, confided he has always been trying to push himself to create music since the band's debut in 2013 and things have changed a lot from seven to eight years ago.

"I have been squeezing my brain because I had many things to tell but lacked skills at that time, but now I really don't have anything left to tell," he said.

"Fans know us, and we also know them," Jimin said. "I feel exhausted partly because it's been so hard. So, I'm going to resolve it little by little."

A photo of K-pop supergroup BTS, captured from the group's official Twitter account on June 10, 2022 (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The group then said it will focus on solo projects, which they have released in mixtape form so far. J-Hope is expected to become the first to do so.

RM said the group will begin dropping formal solo albums, starting with J-Hope's projects, although it may be "too late" to shed light on individuals' talents.

Jin expressed his interest in pursuing an acting career.

"I wanted to be an actor. After experiencing many things as an idol singer, I now think I don't have any feelings left for the job. But we never know what will happen in our lives," he said.

The group's agency Big Hit Music, however, said in a press statement Wednesday that BTS will still be working as a group, as well as individually.

The agency did not give further details. The statement appears to mean BTS will stay away from its formal music projects as a group for the time being but will continue participating in other team activities, such as filming web-based content and commercials.

Debuting in June 2013, BTS became a global star with many hits, such as "Fire," "DNA," "Spring Day," "Fake Love," "Dynamite" and "Butter. The group released an anthology album "Proof" on Friday, wrapping up the first chapter of its career. The three CD album has already sold more than 2 million copies.

"I want to work as BTS for a long time. For this, I should remain who I am," RM said. "Even though BTS can't dance gorgeously like we did in the past, I want to remain part of BTS and RM."



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