In a recent video posted to their official YouTube channel, BTS sat down to do their annual anniversary celebration. However, this time was a bit different, as they ended up explaining that they would be putting group schedules on hiatus to do individual activities.
While that news will inevitably get the headlines, I found the other stuff they had to say regarding the concerns they’ve had recently to be most compelling. Like around 22 minutes in, the part RM talks about being in K-pop as an idol and how he’s felt a bit lost recently because the system doesn’t allow idols to grow since they’re constantly doing stuff served as great insight into what I feel is the thinking of a lot of the industry. They go on to discuss things like the way the system operates, their group direction, and the need to basically just have time to themselves to do what they want. They mostly agree with each other that they’ve felt like machines recently and lament that people (general public, I assume) don’t really know their individual colors.
Relatedly, BTS also talk about living separately now, but they stress that they believe the time apart will cause them to reunite better later, with J-Hope saying they hope people don’t look at this negatively and Suga directly saying they’re not disbanding.
Honestly, this does generally seem healthier for the group in the long run if there’s a willingness between them to keep it going at a later date, especially if they felt this way for a while now. Obviously the primary reason many K-pop companies don’t want solo activities to be a priority for idols is due to the risk that one member becomes bigger than the group, but HYBE has made that almost impossible at this point.