The global success BTS have secured over the past year with their series of English-language singles has been a blessing for the K-pop superstars. But because it has come during the global lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic it has been hard for member Jin to know when or how to celebrate.
“I can’t really get a feel for what kind of response it’s getting since I can only go to and from work right now,” Jin told Weverse magazine when asked how it felt to have their second English hit, “Butter,” ride the top of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for eight weeks. “Since all the awards shows are done remotely/have moved online, too, we can’t accept any awards in person or feel the vibe in person or anything. And I don’t use the Internet much, really. Consequently, I ended up feeling less pressure and I could enjoy the promotional period itself a little better. I’m just glad we’re doing well in the meantime.”
Jin also said he “cleared my mind” and “worked through some things” when it came to dealing with the pressure to follow up last year’s smash, “Dynamite,” which hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 singles chart and recently broke the record for most weeks spent at No. 1 on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales chart.
“I’m pretty sure I am doing better than then,” he said of the last time he spoke to the magazine in the midst of the song’s rise to the top. “I’m keeping a pretty regular routine now that I’m getting accustomed to commuting life, even though my schedule is sometimes a bit erratic. When I had to keep working without a single day off, I was sometimes really tired because I had things of my own to do after work before going to bed, but now, after cycling through this routine for a while I’m a little healthier and I’m getting a little more sleep, too.”
The singer also described feeling unsure of himself when he recorded the solo track “Abyss,” which came out in December and appeared on the Be (Deluxe Version) album. “Even I don’t know myself very well, and I was also depressed at the time, and that’s how I chose to face that part of myself,” he told the magazine. “I never had a chance to meet myself, and I just feel like I was submerged in my own ocean and came back up to walk on the beach.”
And though you wouldn’t know it from the studio version, Jin said that his light, high pitch on “Butter” was a lot harder to record than it sounds. The 28-year-old star said he felt pressure because the notes on the chorus of the song are “particularly high,” so he put all his power into singing them. “But I actually ended up putting too much power into my vocals, so I kept thinking I have to ease up and chill,” he said.
“When we were doing the first performance in particular, I forgot all of that and put power behind my vocals. I get nervous for every performance, but some make me especially nervous … Anyway, it’s also nice that I get to show off a lot in ‘Butter.’ You know I’m handsome, right? [laughs] It makes me happy that I can show off my handsome face to my heart’s content and show you everything I’m capable of. I wanted to show all of this off in a performance as quickly as possible.”
The chat also touched on Jin’s “slow’ uptake when it comes to learning new choreography and memorizing lyrics, why the band’s most recent single is always his favorite at that moment and why he’d tell the old, not confident Jin from the past to “keep his head up” if he met him. “If I gave my old self too much to think about, he might end up feeling exhausted after practice and give up,” he said. “I think it would be enough just to tell him to work hard.”