I had a friend send me a BBC online article telling me that BTS was on an extended hiatus. He was checking to see if I was okay with them being out of the limelight and I chuckled hard. First of all (as I have said on this blog many times), I am an unapologetic BTS fan. I knew about this break before this article was even published (the power of Twitter). Also, hearing that BTS are going to be on break fills my heart with so much joy and I will happily explain why.
This will be BTS’s first official break since when they first debuted. They debuted in 2013. That was six years ago! Can you imagine not being given an official break in six years??? Think about all the things you would have missed out on. Milestones in the lives of your friends, the freedom to go on holiday as you please or even being able to relax with your family. All those basic life luxuries go out of the window when you are not given a break from work. Most of us would riot in the streets if we were not given our contracted annual leave days.
Now, this is not to say that BTS has not had a moment’s rest in 6 years however, the ‘official’ part of the statement means that their break cannot go interrupted. That means if there is an award show (the VMAs cough cough), tv appearances or any other type of engagement, BTS is not obligated to turn up because (say it with me now) they are on holiday.
I feel like I keep having to explain to people that the Korean music industry operates very differently to the Western music industry. In the West, you can have artists like Beyoncé or Rihanna who have a 3-year gap between albums and no one except slightly disgruntled fans will complain. In those same 3 years, a South Korean group can have 4 comebacks, two solo mixtapes from certain members and have a subunit album. This is while doing variety shows, performing at multiple awards shows and mentally preparing to go to the army (if you are a man).
Some of these idols are burnt out and suffering from health conditions like Shindong from Super Junior and Kihyun from Monsta X. It should come as no surprise that BTS’s fanbase is ecstatic that the guys are going to be extending their break. If I had my way, BTS would be out of commission for a year. However, I know that with the growing popularity of the group and the looming decision of whether the guys will be going to the military or not, I know that a year break is unlikely to happen. So, I will take what I can get.
Let’s be honest, ARMY has been overfed this year. In the space of the 8 months, BTS released their new album ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’, went on a sold-out stadium world tour, did several tv appearances in South Korea, the USA, and the UK. They released BTS World (an app game) which came with its own soundtrack that featured songs with the group, Charli XCX, Zara Larson and Juice WRLD.
Just last week Bring the Soul: the movie came out in cinemas across the world and V gave us a surprise music video for his solo song ‘Winter Bear’. I haven’t even mentioned anything about their Muster Anniversary show or RUN BTS the variety show. The point I’m trying to make this that BTS has produced enough content to the last the fandom well over a year.
BTS deserve to eat, sleep and be merry. And if any of you see them on road, walk the other way and mind your business. They’ll be back in October.