New Chapters: A Breakdown of BTS Members in Their Solo Careers

We’ve had nine years with the K-Pop band BTS.

Videos by American Songwriter

Over the course of their near-decade career as a boy band, each of the band’s seven members helped to produce volumes of music, dozens of music videos, an impossibly large digital footprint, and a ride-or-die fanbase that had dubbed itself the “ARMY.” The sheer amount of content that BTS has put out is a feat that cannot go without mention.

And now, the band has pressed pause.

Exhausted from the physical and mental pressures that come with being in an internationally beloved boy band, the boys of BTS decided to pump the breaks. Now, the members of BTS are taking some time to figure out who they are without the band. And in turn, many of them are returning to their solo careers.

So, without further ado, let’s check in with the seven members of BTS and see what they’re up to now. And maybe a little bit about their individual styles, too.


RM

First up is the BTS band leader, RM.

Born Kim Nam-joon, RM’s stage name is an acronym for “Rap Monster.” RM has long been fascinated with the lyrical side of music, and in fact, before he was RM he was well known in the underground Korean hip-hop scene as rapper Runch Randa.

With experience on the rap scene and with the early years of BTS behind him, RM dropped his first solo mixtape in 2015. That mixtape was self-titled (RM), and it was followed three years later by his second solo mixtape Mono. In addition to these two solo mixtapes, RM has made several guest appearances on other artists’ tracks like the fourth official remix of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.”

All that being said, we look forward to more music from the Rap Monster—in whatever shape that will take.

Jin

Kim Seok-jin, who goes by the stage name Jin, made his BTS debut on the band’s first studio album 2 Cool 4 Skool in 2013. Since then, Jin’s solo career has consisted of several collaborations with other BTS members like V and Jungkook on projects.

More recently, though, Jin released his second official solo single in late 2020. Titled “Abyss,” the song’s lyrics dive into some of the issues that ultimately led to the band’s current status. These themes are the darker emotions of burnout and anxiety. And after “Abyss,” Jin dropped the viral track “Super Tuna” in 2021, and we’re still waiting for another from the guitar-playing tenor.

SUGA

SUGA, born Min Yoon-gi, was originally brought on as a music producer for BTS’s label Big Hit Entertainment. He was quickly connected with J-Hope and RM and began to write as well as produce for BTS.

As far as his solo career, SUGA has remained the producer extraordinaire. In 2016, he dropped a self-titled mixtape onto SoundCloud. Releasing it on SoundCloud was his own way of pushing back against some of the commercialization of art in the music industry. SUGA has helped to produce several tracks for other artists as well, including the 2019 Halsey song “Suga’s Interlude.” Adding to his producer credits, it was also recently revealed that SUGA produced the song “That That,” the lead single from Psy’s eighth studio album.

j-hope

The ever-hopeful member of the band, hence the stage name j-hope, this member of BTS was a little later in reaching his solo career. j-hope released his first solo mix tape in 2018 titled Hope World. Despite arriving at the solo career party fashionable late, j-hope was the first member of BTS to enter the Billboard Hot 100 as an individual. His song “Chicken Noodle Soup” featuring Becky G reached number 81 on the chart.

Jimin

Jimin joined BTS as both a vocalist and a dancer in 2013, and since then, has consistently ranked as one of the most popular boy band members according to Gallup Korea. Venturing into solo work, Jimin has appeared on several TV series and made several TV appearances as an MC. His most recent solo venture is the song “With You,” a duet with Ha Sung-woon, which was released in April.

V

V was a “surprise member.” No seriously, fans were first unaware of V’s addition to the BTS squad until the band performed their song “No More Dream” on the South Korean TV music channel Mnet. And also unlike several of his other band members, V is often praised for his huskier tone.

Venturing into his solo career, we get the feeling that V is just getting started.

Jung Kook

Rounding out the BTS band members is Jung Kook. For an update on the singer, check out his latest single HERE. (Hint: It was a collaborative single with an artist whose name rhymes with Pharlie Cuth.)

Photo courtesy of ABC

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