Just two days after the release of their anthology album Proof, BTS has announced that the group will be going on an indefinite hiatus. The grammy-nominated K-Pop supergroup has been dominating charts worldwide for years now and have been working almost non-stop since the release of their album Wings. In past instances, an indefinite hiatus has almost always meant disbandment. However, for BTS, due to the huge amount of success they have managed to amass, can this really be the end of the group and why has such a decision been made so suddenly?
The short answer is no. BTS are not breaking up. After mentioning the elusive split in their 9th anniversary celebration video, Twitter exploded with ARMYs across the globe expressing their fears for the future. As a group that has helped so many fans through difficult times, it is no surprise that many were sent into a state of panic during the tearful message.
Quite soon after the announcement, BTS’ label Big Hit Entertainment was quick to clarify what was meant by the hiatus: ‘BTS are not taking a hiatus. Members will be focusing more on solo projects at this time’. Already we have seen solo projects from the rap line members RM, Suga, and J-Hope. Therefore, the hiatus provides us with the exciting possibility that we will get solo albums from the vocalists of the group Jimin, Jungkook, V, and Jin. By expressing his interest in acting and becoming more involved in variety shows, the announcement may also be teasing Jin’s debut in the world of TV and film. Rather than being a future filled with uncertainty for the group’s future, this break seems to lay out a multitude of possibilities for the members.
However, it still forces us to ask the question of why now? Proof being released as a 9th anniversary celebration never made sense before this announcement with many fans suggesting it would have been more suited to their 10th anniversary. The lead single ‘Yet To Come’ offers ARMY with a track filled with nostalgia and a sense of the end of an era. The music video is packed with references to their previous works since their debut in 2013 and almost feels like a goodbye.
Founder of Big Hit Entertainment and Hybe Corporation, Bang Sihyuk, may be using BTS’ hiatus to focus on the success of his labels’ newer groups. After merging a variety of labels such as Pledis, Source, and Belift, Hybe has acquired a copious amount of groups that seem to be on their way to gaining a similar level of success to BTS. Boy groups TOMORROW X TOGETHER and ENHYPEN have already been able to amass huge fan bases with the hiatus offering their respective companies the opportunity to grow into the gap left by BTS.
The hiatus may also be due to the group’s faltering creativity. Working tirelessly for years without a break will inevitably take a toll on the members’ creative direction and production process. When talking about the decision to go on a group hiatus, leader RM mentions his personal loss of direction: ‘For me, it was like the group BTS was within my grasp until ‘On’ and ‘Dynamite,’ but after ‘Butter’ and ‘Permission to Dance,’ I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore’. J-Hope goes on to say that change for the group is essential for BTS to start their second chapter.
Whether or not you are inviting this group hiatus with open arms, this is definitely not the last we will see of BTS. A well deserved break for the members may help to give rise to a variety of other projects that feel more personal. Personally, I cannot wait to see the individual characteristics of the members shine through in their future projects allowing the public to see who BTS really are.
Words by Amy Britton
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