Explained: Why K-pop group BTS is taking a break to work on solo projects

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South Korean pop group BTS Tuesday announced that they were taking a break to pursue solo projects. Speaking at the annual FESTA dinner, the band members discussed their path moving forward. A video of the dinner was posted on the group’s YouTube channel ‘BANGTANTV’.

During their discussions, the word “hiatus” was used in the translated English subtitles for approximately 1 hour-long video, which led to immediate speculation about what this would entail. A few hours later, the video subtitles had been edited, switching the word “hiatus” with “we are taking a temporary break”.But the South Korean entertainment company representing the group put out a statement disputing the use of the word “hiatus”. “To be clear, they are not on hiatus but will take time to explore some solo projects at this time and remain active in various different formats,” the company said.

A statement from Hybe, the South Korean entertainment company behind BTS, said they’ll still be working on projects as a group, as well as individually. “BTS are not taking a hiatus. Members will be focusing more on solo projects at this time,” the statement said. The clarification from the entertainment company came around 3:00 am Korea time, with some analysts indicating that the company may have been concerned about the impact of the group’s announcement on stocks once the market opened a few hours later.

The concerns were not unfounded, and the company’s clarification did little to help the Korean entertainment company lost $1.7 billion of market value in the first hour of trading Wednesday, just hours after the announcement, Bloomberg reported.The group had been celebrating their ninth anniversary during the dinner, and had released a three-disc anthology album ‘Proof’ last week. The group’s members discussed a wide range of issues in the video, where some of the members appeared to be very emotional. One of the issues that the members discussed were the challenges that they had faced in developing as individual artistes within the system of the Korean entertainment industry. “The problem with K-pop and the whole idol system is that it doesn’t give you time to mature. You have to keep producing music and keep doing something,” RM had said.