Jimin can’t imagine himself happier with any job title other than musician. “I think I would have found a way to be BTS no matter what,” Jimin tells Bustle. As one-seventh of boy band BTS for more than a decade, Jimin captured hearts of the group’s fans, collectively known as ARMY, with his falsetto, dance moves, and silly antics on the band’s reality shows.
Now, like his fellow BTS members who have released solo projects in recent months, the 27-year-old is exploring his individual sound on his debut album FACE. It’s already climbing the charts, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart; the project’s second single, “Like Crazy,” peaked at No. 1 on the Hot 100 in April, marking the first time any individual BTS member or South Korean solo artist has topped the singles chart.
Over the course of seven tracks, Jimin chronicles his innermost feelings. “Alone” is a pop ballad about loneliness and isolation, while “Set Me Free Pt.2” is a bass-heavy hip-hop track incorporating a backup choir to emphasize his resolve to break free. The latter song’s darker lyrics feature a curse word so uncharacteristic of BTS’ previous music it shook Twitter to the core. It’s also a song where Jimin raps for the first time on a solo track.
Despite this being a solo endeavor, BTS stayed involved in the making of FACE. “I remember RM told me to pour all my emotions into each song. It was very helpful in making this album,” Jimin recalls of the advice he got from the BTS leader, who’s credited as a songwriter on three tracks. Jimin also enlisted Jungkook to sing trills and ad libs on “Letter,” a track included on the physical release.
Below, Jimin discusses making FACE, being inspired by j-hope, and buying his idols’ vinyls.
What was the most difficult or surprising part about making a solo album?
I realized once again that I’ve been counting on our members more than I thought and how much I appreciate them. In addition, songwriting wasn’t easy, but I enjoyed it so much that I’m grateful to them again for giving me motivation to work on this album.
What’s the lyric you love the most?
“I wanna stay in this dream” from my main track, “Like Crazy.”
You’re known to burst into laughter whenever you rap. And now with “Set Me Free Pt.2,” you intentionally wrote a track with a rap part. How are you feeling about fans hearing you rap on the track?
I tried to show various aspects of myself as an artist. I feel a bit shy and wonder how they would feel listening to my rap.
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