On the surface, the world of K-Pop seems to be an industry full of lights, glamor, and fame. Yet, more and more idols are sharing the harsh reality of the industry and how not everything should be seen through rose-tinted glasses. One group that has experienced the highs and lows of K-Pop is BTS.
Recently, leader RM got real about the issues surrounding the industry and the trainee system.
BTS had their 2022 FESTA BANGTAN Dinner on YouTube to celebrate their 9th anniversary. Along with some funny anecdotes, the group got real about their future, announcing that they were taking some time away from group activities to focus on solo endeavors.
In particular, RM raised the fact that after the release of their tracks like “Butter” and “Permission to Dance,” something changed, adding, “I didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore.”
After that, the group’s leader also touched upon the issues within the K-Pop industry. RM explained that he always saw BTS as a different group compared to the others that had debuted in the industry…
According to RM, the fact that groups lose a sense of who they are and forget about the messages they want to share with fans comes from the issues within the industry.
But the problem with K-Pop and the whole idol system is that they don’t give you time to mature. You have to keep producing music and keep doing something.
RM then got honest and explained how much this mentality impacted him as an idol and his role as BTS’s leader. Despite always looking as if he’s the strongest person in the world, RM got honest about how the pace of an idol life has caused him problems.
After I get up in the morning and get makeup done, there’s no time left for growth. And it’s not just about music and work; I’ve changed as a human over the past ten years.
According to RM, it was time away that he needed to help himself grow as a person and an artist, yet it was something he couldn’t do. Although it wouldn’t have been an issue in the past, it was taking its toll after so long.
So I needed to think and have some alone time, and then those thoughts could mature into something uniquely mine. I could balance this with work before. But after ten years of living as BTS and working all our schedules, I can’t physically mature anymore.
He then shared that as the leader of BTS, he has to be aware of what the group is but it has come at the expense of understanding himself and the members in as much detail as is needed, especially when he believes his role has become narrowed.
There’s just no time for me to think I have to be aware of who I am what kind of group BTS is. I need to be aware of why I’m here, who the members are to me, the path we’re going to take as a group to go through interviews and write lyrics. But at some point, I haven’t been sure what group we are.
Considering the fame and popularity of BTS, RM was rightly praised not only for being vocal about the issues of being an idol but also for sharing his own issues. As a veteran idol, many will look up to BTS and RM and his honesty will hopefully help them feel like they’re not alone.
You can read more from the group’s FESTA dinner below.