And while he didn’t go into detail as to why they combined the two, he reassured fans that at the end of the day, what matters most to BTS is quality, not quantity. “It took really long, but we put the quality and as much effort as it was going to take.”
With extra time dedicated to the creative process, the group produced some of their most dynamic work to date, including new unit songs (Jimin and V’s “Friends” is a highlight) and solo tracks. “The way we write our solo songs is that we take the emotions that we feel and put them in the lyrics,” vocalist V said, translated to English. “And we try to put them in the songs.”
One of those new songs is the new single “ON,” which youngest member Jungkook revealed to the Fresh Out Live audience is a new spin on their 2013 song “N.O.”
“The name of the track wasn’t ‘ON’ in the beginning, but we came together and we had a meeting trying to decide what we wanted the title track to be and what we wanted to call it,” he said. “Because this was a reboot, we wanted to take our old song ‘N.O’ and turn into ‘ON,’ so I just threw that out, and we really liked it, talked about ‘bring the pain on,’ and we put that into the lyrics — and that’s how we came up with the title track.”
Since the new record is a reflection of their work thus far, members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook also took the time to reflect on how their music has changed in the seven years since BTS debuted. “I think we have grown as artists,” Suga said, “and as musical trends change, we’ve also tried to follow the trends.” That’s especially apparent on new tracks “Louder Than Bombs” — co-written by Troye Sivan — and rap line cypher “UGH!”
As for what fans (a.k.a. ARMY) can expect from the group’s forthcoming Map of the Soul tour, kicking off in April in Seoul. “We will work hard to prepare a great show for you guys,” vocalist and dancer Jimin said.
Of course, BTS didn’t leave the Fresh Out Live studio without a sweet message for their loyal ARMY. “We’ve been together for seven years now, we want you to know that you are special,” rapper J-Hope said.
“Like I said before,” he concluded, “you know for sure that liking BTS was the best decision ever.”