RM discusses how he got past his early reservations about being a K-Pop idol.
In a recent interview with Hypebeast, RM of BTS talked about the release of his solo album and how he developed his own musical style.
Part of that trip involved figuring out who he was apart from the group he had spent the previous ten years with while yet having an appreciation for his beginnings as the group’s leader.
Indigo, RM‘s eagerly anticipated full-length album, was released on December 2.
After releasing two mixtapes prior to Indigo, he finally released a full-length album.
The album, which features a host of A-list musicians, details RM‘s turbulent final decade of adolescence.
Through his solo album, he also examines his dual identities as Kim Namjoon and as the manager of BTS‘s RM, one of the biggest musical ensembles in the world.
This album’s release was a crucial step in his quest to define and establish his personal identity.
“RM” commented “Naturally, [BTS] plays a major role in my life. However, it only partially captures who I am as a human, therefore I had to put out this album to establish myself as a distinct entity.”
Despite his enormous success as the frontman of BTS, he acknowledged that his choice to join a boy band occasionally haunts him.
Under the stage name Runch Randa, he started out as an underground rapper and hip-hop artist.
In an interview with Hypebeast, he talks about the artists he started his underground career with and how he worried that they would treat him differently as he started to think of himself as more of a pop idol than a hip-hop artist.
RM said “Throughout my experience with BTS, I became more and more estranged from that world and troubled by the idea that the individuals I admired and who shared my taste in music did not care about me. I frequently questioned whether I made the correct choice when I joined a boy band. In the Korean hip-hop scene at the time, BTS was viewed as a complete outsider. I felt anxious about that.”
RM acknowledged that “good music is good music” over time and cited Western artists like Post Malone, Drake, and Lil Uzi Vert as those that encouraged him to view music broadly with their genre-defying chart-topping releases.
“I chose to stop worrying about the route less traveled, and started reflecting more on the inevitable of what I’ve become, as well as accepting the best version of myself,” RM continued. “This allowed me to make this album where I am entirely genuine to myself.“
In the song “Wild Flower” by RM featuring Youjeen and the music video, he further explores his individuality with BTS.
He previously said that the lovely traditional Korean fireworks, Nakhwa Nori, were in the video to signify a spectacular and swiftly dissipating “firework,” which was intended to depict BTS, while the flower field he stood in signified his wish to live a quiet life like a wildflower.
RM stressed that while he used the analogy of the “flashy and fast vanishing firecracker,” he wasn’t underestimating the group’s accomplishments.
Furthermore, RM added, “I’m a part of BTS, so I’m not trying to minimize what we do. I’m really grateful for everything I learned and experienced while working with this team. If it weren’t for my activities with BTS, I would not have been able to work on my solo album in this favorable climate and bring all of my plans to fruition.”
RM has also made progress in his quest to distinguish himself from Kim Namjoon, saying that it was “greedy” of him to attempt to be both.
After addressing the more profound issues of his youth with Indigo, RM has started working on a new project.