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After Seven Years, BTS Starts Again with ‘Map of the Soul: 7’

BTS Global Press Conference 'MAP OF THE SOUL _ 7' 1-42-30 screenshot
Credit: Big Hit Entertainment

BTS has made a comeback after 10 months.

On February 24, a global press conference was held at 2 p.m to commemorate the release of BTS’ fourth full-length album, Map Of The Soul: 7 (hereinafter referred as 7). The event was originally scheduled to take place at COEX in southern Seoul, but it was replaced by an online live broadcast due to concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus known as COVID-19.

7 is an album that looks back on the seven years since BTS’s debut as a group of seven members and a team. Jin said, “All the paths we walked and all our past feelings have been candidly revealed in the album. We wanted to reveal our inner-selves that we’ve been hiding and at the same time make you understand that this too is our story.”

RM said, “We had a long vacation from August to September last year. I wanted to show the quality and the diversity in our music for this comeback in 10 months. Therefore, we combined the “shadow” of wounds and trials with “ego” of taking it as fate and going forward. This album is a completion of our soul, strength and effort.”

J-Hope also said, “This is our story,” and expressed his wish that “it would be a meaningful album for our fans as it contains a lot of emotions and feelings for our fans.”

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Credit: Big Hit Entertainment

The title track “ON” sings BTS’s pledge to accept a given path as fate and continue to move forward. Suga said, “It’s a song with powerful energy. During the past seven years, there were times when we lost our ways and every time, out inner shadow got bigger. Now I think we’ve figured out our balance. This album shows that we will face our wounds or trials head-on and fight them no matter what.“

The Map Of The Soul series tells the honest story of BTS, who began their journey to find their true selves. When asked if they have already decided to continue the series since 10 months ago, RM answered, “There was a big stream that we decided, but the details are revised over a few months. We continued to have meeting with the team, including producer Bang Si Hyuk, to complete these details.”

Director Bong Joon-ho made headlines when he said that BTS’s influence is 3,000 times more than his at the Golden Globes. To that Suga said, “I’m really embarrassed. I don’t know if we even have such kind of influence and I believe we still have a long way to go. I think he said it out of a hope that more great artists will be produced in Korea.”

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Credit: Big Hit Entertainment

Upon its release, 7 topped iTunes Top Album chart in 91 countries around the world and sold as many as 2.65 million copies on its first day of release alone. This is the all-time high records for BTS. On why BTS is loved, RM answered, “I think it’s because people in our generation around the world feel and empathize with our concerns. I think the fact that we release these parts into our performances and music came as something fresh or attractive to other people.“ He also added, ”I believe that the artists who best represent the time are loved in that era.“

“When I think about how far we have come, I give all the credit to ARMY,” Jungkook said. “I want ARMY to listen what we’ve worked on and recorded live at the concert in April.”

There were many questions about BTS’s next move. Some expected BTS to top Billboard 200, to which all the members answered, “Getting invited to Grammys two years in a row, topping the Billboard 200, everything is possible because of our fans. They are the one who makes us shine,” hoping to spend 2020 with ARMY. V and Jungkook added, “Many fans are looking forward to the tour that starts in April, and so are we.“

RM commented that he wrote the dark songs, including “Black Swan,” crying alone in a studio. “It reminded me of the old days. It seems like I’m still fighting. There is a fear of being weak or admitting to having these fears,” he confessed. He also expressed his love for the rest of the members by promising to stay together in the future just like they have been for the past seven years.

They also spoke frankly about joining the army. Jin, the eldest member, said, “I think a lot of people are curious about our enlistments. But nothings has been firmly decided yet. It’s a cautious subject. I believe joining the army is a natural duty. We will respond promptly if we get a call from the country.”

BTS will embark on a journey to the world again this year. After the concert in Seoul, they will travel to the U.S. and hold concerts in Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Dallas, Orlando, Atlanta, New Jersey and Washington D.C. starting on April 25. Soon after, they will be on stage in Toronto, Canada. Afterwards, they will move along Chicago, Fukuoka and land in Europe. V said, “I hope the world tour goes well. I pray that no one get hurt during the tour and have a happy ending.”

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