RM, Jin, Suga, J-HopeJimin, V, and Jung Kook have formally been collectively as BTS since 2013, working tirelessly whereas turning into the largest band on the earth. The group not too long ago introduced that it will be embarking on a brand new chapter collectively, one which, for now, locations an emphasis on solo actions. Though particular person members have launched mixtapes or singles prior to now, none have formally launched a full-length solo album — till now.
At first look, J-Hope can appear to be essentially the most light-hearted and upbeat member of BTS, a giant smile perpetually on his face. However there’s much more than meets the attention. He is the group’s lead dancer, however he is additionally concerned within the artistic course of for each BTS album. He places excessive care into his craft, and he is not afraid to experiment.
Along with his new album, Jack within the FieldJ-Hope — born Jung Hoseok — turns introspective, exhibiting off a darker aspect to his persona, to not point out how multidimensional he’s. With “Sea,” the album’s prerelease rock/hip-hop single, he shocked audiences and even bandmate RM together with his strategy. (The album title is a play on Pandora’s field, which additionally impressed his stage identify.)
Speaking to Rolling Stone in Korean, over Zoom, the 28-year-old dove into the artistic course of and what Jack within the Fieldmeans to him and his id.
The entire world is about to listen to Jack within the Field. How are you feeling?
It is half nervousness, half pleasure. Since I am the primary one to go solo, I really feel a way of duty and there is positively some stress as nicely. Jack within the Field is stuffed solely with issues I personally needed to do, virtually to the purpose the place I fear to myself, “Did I focus an excessive amount of on solely what I needed to do?” [Laughs.] I feel that is the place half the nervousness comes from. This album is admittedly significant to me, and largely, I really feel proud and excited it is popping out.
Though BTS members have launched mixtapes and singles prior to now, you are the primary to launch a full-length solo album. How did that call come about?
Somewhat than considering of an order of who would launch first, whereas selling as BTS, I stored asking myself the query “What sort of music can I do as BTS’ J-Hope?” I’m at all times asking myself that query, steadily developing with a plan. I feel by doing that, in fact, my  mixtape Hope World got here out … and from reflecting extra, I noticed I needed to point out extra dancing, which you’ll contemplate as my most important basis. That led to the creation of [2019 solo single] “Rooster Noodle Soup,” which options extra of that. I began to assume that J-Hope wanted to point out extra sincerity in music, and that is what I centered on whereas approaching Jack within the Field. I feel timing-wise, I ended up turning into the primary as a result of I used to be continuously making ready. I did not strategy the undertaking with desirous to be first in thoughts.
How lengthy have you ever Jack within the Field been within the making? You have talked about prior to now that you just at all times have a plan, and in a latest V Dwell, you confirmed that the art work for final 12 months’s full model of “Blue Facet” was considerably of a spoiler for this album, with the jack-in-the-box illustration and the phrases “Pandora’s field.”
The jack-in-the-box idea is definitely tied closely into my stage identify, so I feel I’ve at all times had the thought in my again pocket. I’ve at all times felt the necessity to unveil music tied to jack within the field thematically for a very long time. Pandora’s field can also be an analogy for my identify. “When can I launch this?” When can I make an album that features these components?” These questions have been at all times in my head. I needed to incorporate spoilers of those themes within the art work for “Blue Facet,” and whereas discussing with the artist behind the work, I clearly acknowledged that I needed these components included. That is how systematic my strategy was as I ready the album and its tracks.
You have proven darker sides to your self in tracks like “1Verse,” from 2015. Even with Hope World, though visually it could appear colourful, the lyrics present depth. How did you determine to visually go darker and heavier with “Extra” and the complete album?
First off, how have you learnt “1verse”? [Laughs.]
I feel it is this: Whereas being a part of BTS for 10 years, I’ve skilled lots. From that standpoint, in fact there are tales I need to inform, and I noticed that it might be robust to inform a few of these tales via music with the present picture and vibe of J-Hope. I felt the necessity to present a few of my darker features… and I feel I actually needed to do one thing like this. I needed folks to understand that J-Hope is not restricted to vibrant issues. He can do these ideas and has a large spectrum. I needed to name consideration to this capacity by difficult myself. I did not assume a lot of the long run.
Simply completely centered on what I needed to do, what I needed to specific, what I needed to point out. That was the main focus, and Jack within the Field has these uncooked components. When this album is “opened,” I’m just a little apprehensive as a result of it comprises solely what I needed to do. [Smiles.] I am very curious how folks will react. However what I actually need to say is that the album is stuffed with my soul and my sincerity. In that method, it is a distinctive album, and the album may be very significant as a result of, by way of musicality, it may act as a stepping stone for J-Hope to go ahead.
With the beats, you are utilizing extra of that old-school hip-hop sound as a basis; “What If…” even samples Ol’ Soiled Bastard’s “Shimmy Shimmy Ya.” What made you need to take the album on this path?
If you hear the music, you will know, however that sound is my foundational base. The music I listened to when dancing [dances]the vibe that I had … that is what I categorical within the music, and that is what acquired included in Jack within the Field, going again to what I needed to do, what I am able to, as my base. I feel via that, it is grow to be extra honest, extra J-Hope-esque, whereas visually, I will present one thing very completely different. I feel the album comprises components which can be enjoyable and fascinating each visually and aurally. I feel for followers, there are positively components that they’re going to discover very J-Hope-esque.
When “Extra” got here out, some folks have been shocked. “J-Hope? J-Hope is doing music like this? Rock? Emo? Hip-hop? Emo-rock?” However I feel when you hearken to the album, you will begin to notice there is a clear motive why J-Hope selected music like this, why he selected this monitor, why he selected this line.
Jack within the Box options two title tracks, “Extra” and “Arson.” [In the Korean music industry, “title track” is often used to describe the lead track of an album, regardless of whether the track shares a title with the album.] You talked about that you just have been shocked when “Extra” was chosen as one among them. How did you determine on “Arson” because the second title monitor?
As quickly as I heard it, I felt prefer it was meant to be. I put every thing I’m able to convey and simply most of my… my vitality into this music. I selected it as a result of I felt just like the music’s type exhibits the zenith of J-Hope’s feelings. “Arson” is a music that seems like a turning level and crossroads. It has the fireplace, the eagerness that I needed this album to own. The music can also be final on the monitor record. One of many causes for that is that I discovered that this music properly packages up my ideas behind why I created this album. The monitor acts as a interval on the finish of a sentence, and clearly straightens out what I needed to specific with this album.
You had shared that the members of BTS have been all with you when “Extra” was launched. Have the members heard the complete album? Have they got any favorites?
The primary individual I shared the album with… it is at all times the identical for me. I at all times share with RM first. I might have additionally shared it with Suga, however he likes to be very respectful of the method. He advised me, “I will hearken to it when it comes out.” He at all times says that to me. There is a little bit of shock and motivation that comes after listening to that. “When it will get launched, I will look it up and hearken to it then.” So I let RM hear it first… and after that was Jung Kook. For the opposite members, I confirmed them the title songs, however not the complete album.
When RM heard the album, he stated, “Wow, I did not assume you’d do music like this. I’ve a little bit of a mind freeze.” [Smiles.] “And it is so you. The truth that you introduced this music presently.… I actually respect it, and I really like that it is so you.” He gave me that suggestions.
For Jung Kook, it was actually humorous. After listening to the album, he all of a sudden went to his studio. [Laughs]. I feel he felt the motivation to begin. I really like that one among our best motivators is each other. I like that myself. When one among my members is doing a sure sort of music or engaged on an album, I see their individuality and shade, and assume to myself, “I’ve my very own shade, too.” I need to reveal mine, too.” We affect one another positively and are good motivators to one another.
When “Extra” got here out, we have been all collectively for work. [Smiles.] They have been very shocked by the sturdy visible path, that J-Hope did such a music.… They have been shocked.
And naturally, congratulations on Lollapalooza. You are the primary South Korean artist to headline a significant US competition, which is big information! How did you react if you heard about it?
It is such an enormous honor to be invited to such a giant competition, and to be a headliner, too. In the event you’ve heard “Extra,” and if you hearken to it Jack within the Field, you will notice clearly why I stated OK to Lollapalooza and selected to take part. I actually need to present my musicality, and I needed to point out J-Hope’s reside [show] to a giant viewers. Whereas training, I am used to performing as BTS’ J-Hope, one among seven. Now that I am making an attempt to fill an hourlong setlist alone, I am realizing that it’s robust. [Smiles.] I really feel the necessity to actually focus and be detail-oriented as I examine issues off. That is the headspace I’m in as I put together as of late.
It may appear haughty or like a reckless problem, however even that, it simply will depend on the way you need to understand it. There’s lots to be taught, and I am stepping as much as the problem. I might love to provide some spoilers, however I feel it will be greatest to be there in individual to see. I’ll present musicality the way in which I did with Jack within the Fieldhowever not solely that, there will even be components of the J-Hope picture expressed.… That’s my not-so-spoiler-like spoiler.
You have stated that you just be taught one thing new and mature with every album. What did you be taught with Jack within the Field?
I feel it is just a little early for me to say. I prefer to hearken to it steadily. When one thing comes out, I prefer to hearken to it constantly and steadily collect suggestions. With this album, I’ve requested many individuals for suggestions. There’s plenty of issues I begin to notice from getting the suggestions. I am doing a listening occasion with artists and business folks to benefit from the music collectively. One of many causes for that is to point out them “J-Hope is doing such a music. What do you consider it?” To get that suggestions and take it in, and to enhance.
I feel, proper now, it is too early to say what I’ve discovered. I feel on the finish of July or possibly early August, I will have a clearer image of what my learnings are. That is now the beginning. That is the start of every thing I needed to problem myself with and present with Jack within the Fieldso I feel going ahead, there shall be extra for me to course of.