By Rosa Diaz
Barcelona, Spain, Mar 7 (EFE).- RM, the lead singer of K-pop supergroup BTS, would love to one day collaborate with Spanish star Rosalía – his favorite Spanish singer – but with his mandatory military service in South Korea approaching, he will not be taking on any projects in the near future.
During an interview with Efe in Barcelona, the South Korean singer admits that he is going through a “hard time on a human level”, because after 10 years non-stop with BTS, the band members’ looming military service has forced the group into a temporary break.
But Kim Nam-joon, better known by the stage name RM, wants to stay positive, and insists that the situation “can be beneficial to him as an artist,” because “some great work is born in personally chaotic moments.”
“When you are famous, staying on top is very difficult,” he admits, “but I think BTS will make it. It will come together again when we finish our military service, and we will look for new synergies between us to enter a second phase. But, in any case, nothing lasts forever.”
On Rosalía, he says that all the members of BTS “like her very much and respect her a lot” as a very famous and influential star. Asked if he would like to collaborate with her, Kim Nam-joon does not hesitate: “If she wants to, I do too.”
SECOND SOLO ALBUM IN THE PIPELINE
Soon after releasing his most personal album ‘Indigo’ at the end of last year, and in search of inspiration for a second solo album, RM traveled to Spain for the first time this week.
The boy band has yet to perform in the country, as their 2020 world tour, on which they planned to reach the few remaining corners of the world they had not set foot in, was canceled due to the pandemic.
“I chose Spain to travel with my family because I have friends who are not artists who have told me it’s a great place,” he says.
“I wanted to see artworks by (painters) Goya, Velazquez and Picasso for inspiration and I’ve been to the Prado and other museums,” he adds during his visit to Barcelona, where he was impressed by the iconic Sagrada Familia basilica by Spanish architect Gaudi. Before that, he took in the capital Madrid and the northern city of Bilbao.
“I came to Spain because of my love of its art and, if someone learns about my country’s culture through my songs, it is an honor that makes me happy,” he says.
MILITARY SERVICE TRIGGERS PERIOD OF REFLECTION
South Koreans are obligated to sign up for 18 months of military service before they turn 30 – the eldest member of BTS, Jin, has already enlisted, with the rest of the group soon to follow suit.
It has forced a temporary break on the boyband with the group at its peak that RM has taken advantage of to release his first solo album ‘Indigo’, in which he frees himself from the strict rules of combining being the main standard-bearer of K-pop and searching for his own identity.
“After 10 years as a member of BTS, I didn’t know who I was and I wanted to know,” he says. “I started out as a teenage rapper, then BTS came along and it was all very intense. Now that the group is inactive, I’ve gone back to thinking about the beginnings and the real reasons why I joined BTS.”
It is a process of reflection that has led him to contemplate the meaning of a musical career that has been dictated by trends.
BREAKING FREE FROM FADS
“K-pop and k-drama are in fashion,” he says, “so, ironically, I am at the center of the trend at a time when I feel the need to step away from that and have time to think and create with a more timeless outlook.”
The first result of this new approach is ‘Indigo’, an album full of stellar collaborations that combines elements of hip-hop, neo-soul, R&B, folk, electronic music and urban pop, a work which he insists presents a version of himself that is unrecognizable from the one that social media and worldwide fame have created.
But he has not turned his back on his time with BTS, which he is proud of for allowing millions of people around the world to discover Korean culture through his songs and for having paved the way for others to follow.EFE