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(LEAD) BTS' RM begins new career as soloist with 'Indigo'

14:35 December 02, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with album's release, quotes from singer; ADDS photos)

SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- RM, leader of the global K-pop sensation BTS, said Friday his solo debut album "Indigo" is just like himself and will be another starting point of his nine-year musical career.

The rapper became the third BTS member to make an official debut as a solo artist by dropping the album "Indigo" at 2 p.m., following J-Hope and Jin.

It marks RM's first individual project in about four years since October 2018, when he released a mixtape titled "mono."

A photo of RM, leader of K-pop boy group BTS, provided by Big Hit Music (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"It was 2019 when I first conceived the idea of making 'Indigo'," RM said in a video released through his agency, Big Hit Music, to introduce the new album. "It's an album that contains all my feelings, worries and thoughts just like a diary."

He said it will be more "Kim Nam-joon like" than his previous unofficial releases and be "another starting point," referring to his original Korean name.

It was in this context he came up with the title, "Indigo."

"To express my changed tendencies, colors and thoughts, I wanted to contrast with the black-and-white atmosphere of 'mono.' So, I wondered what it would be like to start my formal album with this natural basic color," he said. Indigo is the basic color of jeans that comes from nature, he added.

The album has a total of 10 tracks, including its main single "Wild Flower," "All Day" and "Closer."

A photo of RM, leader of K-pop boy group BTS, provided by Big Hit Music (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

RM said "Wild Flower" has lyrics about his wish to live just like a calm wild flower, not a flame that is flamboyant but disappears in an instant.

Cho Yu-jin, a vocalist of K-pop band Cherry Filter, participated in the song as a featured artist.

"I think the story that I wanted to tell gained the potential for broader approach when Cho's rocking and powerful vocal was added to the song," he said.

Also among the artists featured on the album are Erykah Badu, Anderson .Paak, Tablo of South Korean hip-hop trio Epik High and British singer-songwriter Mahalia.

"While working on a song, there are songs that I feel like I have to complete alone, while there are songs that can have more completeness and vitality when someone's color is applied together," RM said. "This time, there were lots of songs that I wanted to add someone else's unique frequency, narrative and sentiment, so I got to work with various musicians. I learned a lot while working with them."

BTS rapper RM is seen in a concept photo for his solo debut album "Indigo," released on Dec. 2, 2022. This photo was provided by the band's agency, Big Hit Music. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

For the album's cover and concept photos, he used "Blue," an artwork by late Korean painter Yoon Hyung-geun, known to be one of his respected and favorite artists.

The 28-year-old singer is well known for his interest and deep knowledge in art.

In October, he received an appreciation plaque from South Korea's Cultural Heritage Administration for donating a total of 200 million won (US$153,751) over the past two years to the Overseas Korean Cultural Heritage Foundation for its project to preserve and restore overseas Korean cultural heritage.

He lent his voice to the audio guide for a Korean modern art exhibition that opened in September at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in collaboration with South Korea's National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Most recently, he was the only K-pop artist chosen as one of 35 "innovators" in the art scene by American art news outlet Artnet.com.

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