On June 14, just four days after dropping their anthology album “Proof,” BTS (방탄소년단) announced that they would be taking a break from group activities.
Since then, group activities have been minimal, but not completely halted. They took home seven awards (six for the group, one for Jin), including the Grand Prize (Daesang) at the Fact Music Awards on Oct. 8. They also released a two-part special of their variety show, “Run BTS!” (2015–), on Aug. 16 and Aug. 23 where they proved their group telepathy and decade-long connection. Several “Bangtan Bombs” live streams and social media posts reveal the group is still together and supporting one another.
In addition to these few group activities, the seven members have also been pursuing solo work. j-hope released his first official solo album “Jack in the Box” on July 15. He then went on to perform the album’s old-school, hip-hop style tracks alongside some of his older “HOPE WORLD” (2018) releases and “Chicken Noodle Soup” at Lollapalooza 2022. j-hope’s Lollapalooza performance made waves, cementing him as the first South Korean artist to headline any major music festival in the United States and breaking attendance records for the show. He also recently collaborated with K-Hip Hop artist Crush on the bouncy and exciting track, “Rush Hour” (2022).
RM recently joined bj wnjn, Mudd the Student and Omega Sapien of K-Alt group Balming Tiger on the track “Sexy Nukim” (2022) a groovy, hip-hop style release. Jungkook collaborated with American artist Charlie Puth on his track “Left and Right” (2022).
Perhaps most anticipated was BTS’ collaboration with American producer benny blanco and rapper Snoop Dogg on “Bad Decisions.”
All of the members have mentioned that they are working on their official solo albums, with “Jack in the Box” simply being the first to be released out of the seven. While there is no official timeline yet as to when they will be dropping the music, one or more of the members are anticipated to drop their albums before the end of the year.
Beyond music, the members have also dipped into other fields of the arts: magazines, galleries, museums and even game design.
V broke a record for Vogue Korea, recording the highest sales index in its history after surpassing 1 million preorders for the October issue’s cover page. He also attended the CELINE Paris fashion show this summer alongside BLACKPINK’s Lisa and South Korean actor and close friend of V, Park Bogum.
Jin recently worked alongside one of his favorite gaming companies, MapleStory, in providing new ideas and challenges for the gaming format and players. RM, who has recently expressed interest in art collections and Korean art history, spoke on the Art Basel Podcast where he discussed his journey of becoming an art collector and plans to open his own art gallery in South Korea. RM also constantly shares his museum trips and pictures of the art he views on his official Instagram page and story.
And even beyond working on music and solo projects, the members also seem to do things they truly enjoy these past few months: RM has been traveling around the world, SUGA has been showing up at NBA games and Jin has been gaming on live streams.
So, what are the Bangtan Boys up to? Making music, creating art, exploring their passions and most importantly, taking a break after a decade of running with all their might toward their dreams.