K-pop stars BTS released their highly anticipated album BE (Deluxe Edition) on November 20, 2020 at 12am ET. In the hours leading up to the release, they took part in a global press conference to discuss their latest project. When the seven-member boyband walked into the room for the press conference, there was one member missing. Suga was not present because he’s recovering from shoulder surgery he underwent on November 3rd.
After BTS greeted the members of the press, they wasted no time jumping into sharing the process of putting together their new album, BE.
BTS BE (Deluxe Edition) Q&A:
You’ve been busy working on the new album and promoting “Dynamite.” How have you all been doing?
RM: “We have all been very busy doing what we can do, and we had been working on this album before ‘Dynamite’ and also while promoting ‘Dynamite.’ With this album making process we show it all to the fans by live streaming through YouTube and showed our thoughts. It was our first time doing this. We always kept it (the album-making process) confidential so it feels like we made the album together with the fans.”
Jin: “We all had fun working on the album and we focused on the emotions we have right now. So, it was my chance to look back on my past and my present self. I’m hoping many people can relate to our candid stories. We worked really hard and I hope you look forward to our album.”
We learned during the “Dynamite” press conference Jimin took on the role of project manager. Can you tell us about that?
Jimin: “Actually, Suga strongly suggested I should take the role, so I did. I just gathered all the opinions of the members, organized them, and gave them to the staff. When we started the album we talked about what topics we should go with and the keywords ‘Life Goes On’ came up and RM suggested that no matter what happens everyone’s lives go on and we should show how everything is going even when everything has changed. And all the members thought it was a good idea.”
Is it true you all took on different roles for the album?
RM: “Yes, that is true. Jimin took the role of PM and I think that is a really hard job and he did an amazing job, so I want to thank him for that. Not only with the music, we had to make the album cover and we had to come up with the concept, the outfits, the music video, and all the members took part in those. And all the visual things (were) done by V. He took the role of visual director and I want to say thank you for your good job.”
V, can you talk about the visuals for this album?
V: “We really wanted to show really meaningful content to Army so that’s why I started this. It wasn’t an easy process, but I tried my best. The members and Army’s supported me a lot. We all started by taking pictures with each other when we were relaxed and when we went on a trip together, I took a Polaroid camera and took pictures when they were just hanging out and relaxing. RM came up with the idea, ‘How about we come up with the idea of our rooms for our concept photos and we decorate the rooms how we like.’
It was nerve-racking taking on the role of visual director, but our fans supported me a lot. Thank you.”
J-Hope: “Like V said, we wanted to take photos of ourselves raw and unadorned. In video clips we wanted to show BTS not on the stage, but show what they haven’t seen before – people in their 20s, people in their daily lives and going about their daily lives – so that’s what we tried to do. The process was very fun and very natural for us.”
Let’s talk about the songs on the album starting with the first track.
RM: “So the first track is the title track ‘Life Goes On.’ You can tell from the title what the song is going to be about. This is what we wanted to say through this album that no matter what happens, despite what happens, that life goes on. That is the topic and that is the motive. ‘Dynamite’ and this song, BTS always wants to talk about what can we say now, what can we do now. We met ‘Dynamite’ and it was the right time for that song in the summer. We wanted to create a song that wasn’t sad, but a fun disco, more energetic and vibrant. But that was ‘Dynamite.’ ‘Life Goes On’ is different. It is a little bit more wavy. It is very sincere but also a little soft and esthetic. Our way of providing healing and consolation that life continues to go on.”
Jimin: “The second track is ‘Fly To My Room.’ I’m sure when the tracklist was released you thought it was a very unique name and concept. It is a unit song with me, Suga, J-Hope and V. I think you will find it very unique. It’s about the situation where we can’t travel or go around freely and how the idea of traveling will change in the feature. But this song is not a sad song or a melancholy song; it’s about traveling in my room. I hope you can enjoy it.”
V: “I participated in the third track which is ‘Blue & Grey.’ It is an acoustic pop ballad. It is about expressing sadness and depression which is usually expressed blue and gray and that was the motivation for the lyrics. The song might be a little bit darker, but the guitar sound is soft and very warm, and it really brought out warm emotions in the album so I hope you can look forward to it.”
Jin: “’Telepathy’ is a retro pop song that is a very fun song. It is a song that was created by Suga who is unfortunately not here. Because of COVID-19 we are not able to meet our fans and wanted to melt down these emotions in the lyrics and when we are with our fans, the moments we share with our fans are when are the happiest.”
J-Hope: “The next track is ‘Dis-ease.’ I took part a lot in writing the lyrics of this song. I think it is a very impactful name, especially in these times. When we took a break, it was not a complete break, it was matched with uncertainty and uncomfortable, so I wanted to compare this to a disease of our own profession. BTS is good at overcoming difficulty, I think, so we always wanted to share this message of hope and about the future, a bright future, and wanted to melt that down into this song as well.”
Jungkook: “The seventh song is ‘Stay’ and I participated in making this song. It is a unit song with me, RM, and Jin. This is the first time we have done this unit and I think that it created a song with a unique color.
‘Stay’ is kind of a song that is fun, but emotional. We are far apart physically but we always stay together. That’s the message we wanted to put into this song.”
RM: “We also have a skit in our album, and it has been a while since we have put one in our album. It is something we have done since our debut. When we record a skit, we have a theme or motive for it. This time around we had a hard time doing that. So, this time around we turned on the mic and put in our emotions and reactions when we heard the news we hit number one on the Hot 100 charts for Billboard. So, when you listen to it you will be able to hear the emotions we were feeling live and unedited.”
We have to talk about the music video for ‘Life Goes On’ and its director, Jungkook.
Jungkook: “If you call me ‘director,’ I think I will feel embarrassed. I like taking videos just in general, so I was sort of tasked with taking the music video and creating it and I tried to do my best. What I wanted to emphasize is the reality, sincerity, and authenticity. We also talked amongst ourselves of our personal sides that we wanted to show, and I asked the members what they wanted to show of themselves and I tried to reflect these opinions within the video.
We wanted to show this sort of sensibility, this emotional side. Our tour was canceled due to COVID-19 and we were unable to meet with our fans. I wanted to express this regret and how unfortunate I feel that this situation is. I tried to do my best; it was exciting and amazing to know that some of my videos are in this music video.”
What is the message you want to send to fans around the world with BE?
Jin: “For everybody this year everything has stopped for everyone in the world because of COVID-19. It is very confusing for everyone and everyone is feeling emptiness. We feel frustrated and sad. All of these feelings (are) what we wanted to contain in an honest way in this album. And I hope this can resonate with people and many people will be able to say, ‘Yes, that’s how I feel,’ as well and draw consolation and try to consult the people around you.
Of course, it doesn’t contain songs that are just sad and melancholy. We interpreted this emotion in a unique and fun way. I hope you can all love this album. It seems that the world has stopped but life does go on. I hope we can find small joys and happiness in our lives.”
Can you talk about your upcoming performance on the 2020 American Music Awards?
Jimin: “Yes. We will be performing ‘Life Goes On’ for the first time. But not just performing, we are also nominated for two categories which is an amazing honor.”
(The interview wrapped up with a mention of the upcoming November 25th Grammy nominations announcement, with the moderator expressing hope they’ll earn a nomination.)
RM: “If I say that I’m not nervous at all that would be a lie. Every time we have an interview we are always asked about our goals or our next target. We often mention this (Grammys) amongst other things, so we are extremely nervous. We are waiting for the 25th as well. It would be amazing if we are nominated but if we’re not…that’s sort of how we are waiting for it. I think it will be announced early in the morning and we will probably be awake and waiting for that. I hope there will amazing news waiting for us all.”
- BTS to Perform “Life Goes On” during the American Music Awards
- BTS Talk About “Dynamite,” Setting a Billboard Record, and Their Goals