ALTHOUGH It used to be accepted that trainees would debut at the age of 20, in recent years, the K-pop business has welcomed young teens.
In a recent podcast interview Crossroads: Art Basel, which was hosted by Mark Spiegler, global director of the renowned art fair Art Basel, BTS leader RM (real name Kim Namjoon) shared his thoughts on the topic and how it affected him as an idol.
Now RM is 27 years old. However, according to the traditional Korean system, he is about 30 years old.
RM said on the podcast, “I’m 29 years old in Korea, so when we turn 30, it’s different. I’m still just a young man. But in the world of boy bands, being under 30 is something else in K-pop. It’s very sad, but it’s a fact.”
The thought of aging in this sector makes RM think about the future, he explained. RM stated, “I feel like, ‘Okay, is this my best time? Is this the highlight of my entire life because I’m 29 and I could live to be 100 and it’s really sad if this is my best time.”
When the group recently announced that the members would be taking a hiatus to pursue solo projects, RM said at the time that the release Oil as well as permission to dance two songs that were unique in their own way also signaled a change in the sound of BTS.
RM stated that “We didn’t know what kind of group we were anymore.”
He explained that since the idol system doesn’t allow anyone to grow up, groups tend to lose who they are. As a result, all idols must develop a routine in which they constantly release songs or do something.
He went on to say that the problems of the industry affected him as an artist. “I used to be able to combine it with work. But after ten years of living as BTS and working through all of our schedules, I can no longer physically mature.”
However, there are several talented veteran musicians such as PSY, Super Junior and Girl’s Generation who demonstrate that age doesn’t matter in the K-Pop industry.
RM also revealed his future intentions in his 30s. “I want to figure out how to exist halfway for BTS member and leader RM and possibly Namjoon Kim himself.”
He intends to open a private collection museum in Korea with a cafe and space for visitors to explore at their leisure.