“We’ve acknowledged just about every other for so lengthy,” J-Hope just lately explained to BTS’ youngest member, Jung Kook, 23. “And I really like how you have not altered at all.” Extra than any other member, Jung Kook grew up in BTS he was only 15 when the team debuted in 2013, and he’d been famed for yrs by the time he graduated higher school, with the other customers attending the ceremony. With formidable singing and dancing abilities, he’s always been a born pop star, with numerous companies making an attempt to recruit him as early as 2011. Because then, he’s more than fulfilled his assure, actively playing a key position on BTS’ greatest tunes, like “Dynamite.” In a discussion from his label’s Seoul headquarters, exactly where he wore a plain white sweatshirt with a matching white mask and a black bucket hat, he discussed making “Dynamite,” his vocal evolution, his Ariana Grande fandom, and much more.

(In celebration of BTS’ look on the protect of Rolling Stone, we’re publishing person digital handles with every single member of the band examine again in the course of the next 4 days for more.)

On the modern Let’s BTS Tv set specific, I believed it was really gorgeous when you ended up amazed with the films of Military singing alongside to “Life Goes On,” and it looked like you had been moved as properly. Did it remind you of how a great deal you skipped looking at lovers in individual?
I’m a person that truly loves to be onstage and definitely beloved hearing from our supporters, so when our tour received canceled in March very last calendar year, it was a bit of a shock and it was type of tricky to just take in. The roar of crowds and of Military is a little something we cherished. And when we do Tv set courses or promotions, it gets our heart racing and helps make us long for it a lot more and much more. And as you explained, on Let’s BTS with the “Life Goes On” performance, when we read Army taking portion by means of the web, that reminded us of the precise roar of the crowd. It manufactured me pass up it even far more.

How has it affected you to basically increase up inside of BTS?
I started off my trainee decades when I was escalating up, and a person factor I imagine is a actual blessing for me is I obtained to meet up with these great, awesome, excellent 6 users. I assume I matured into a actually very good man or woman that can be cherished by a good deal of people. I’m truly grateful for the fact that other customers, the older associates, have offered me a good deal of opinions, optimistic or destructive. I’m genuinely grateful to have fulfilled them.

Do you ever ponder about what you may have missed from ordinary everyday living?
It’s legitimate I could not devote a whole lot of times at university, but I imagine I gained more than I dropped. I in some cases felt envious of all my friends hanging out or heading on a trip. It’s possible individuals are the matters that I skipped. But once again, I feel I gained extra than I’ve lost.

Was this past year possibly a prospect to live a lot more generally for you?
Just because we didn’t have a lot of perform in comparison to right before, or just because we couldn’t go outside the house, it actually didn’t suggest we had everyday existence. We continue to had to be cautious of our behavior. And just since we could not go on tours, it did not imply we could prevent enhancing. So I experimented with to learn new factors and I consider I used a rather occupied time inside of. But I did have some time to definitely rearrange my emotions, and I feel I grew up as a human being as well.

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Jung Kook of BTS, photographed in Seoul on April 6th, 2021

Photograph by Hong Jang Hyun for Rolling Stone. Fashion route by Alex Badia. Coat, top, and trousers by Fendi.

People today simply call you “golden” because you’re fantastic at so lots of factors. But as you have claimed in advance of, that comes with a large amount of pressure, doesn’t it?
Persons say that I excel, that I’m an all-rounder. Of system I excel in some areas, but I never feel it always will help to bask in all those abilities and items. You can only strengthen in a specific location when you seriously practice, when you definitely test, when you deep-dive into it. So I definitely really do not want to assume myself as an all-rounder. I just want to retain making an attempt and working hard. And of class I do feel force, but all those pressures can also drag me to get the job done tricky and do very best at what I do.

You had provides from several agencies, but you chose Big Hit since of RM. What did you see in him?
I just can’t obviously keep in mind what occurred at the time, but I just just imagined that RM was definitely amazing. At that time, I definitely did not know a great deal about staying a singer. But when I saw him rap, I just believed he was definitely, definitely cool and brilliant. And I imagine maybe it was fate that drew me to him.

I talked about this with J-Hope as effectively, but it’s very appealing to glance at the early style of BTS, both equally the clothes and the audio, and see how it developed. What do you imagine when you seem back again at those early tracks and movies?
When we initially debuted, we had kind of intense makeup, with our eyeliner and things, and dim outfits, intense-looking outfits. At that time, our business was rather small and we could not put a good deal of price range into the outfits. But now we commit a lot of time and we maintain a ton of conferences to opt for the outfits and the design that would go effectively with the music and the album. So I assume the visual component is really crucial. The music, the dance — each person facet is seriously important.

Can you share some reminiscences of recording “Dynamite”?
I considered I was having these traces out accurately and announcing them perfectly, but as we had been recording and training, I understood there were even now items I needed to operate on. My pronunciation was not that good. My tongue just wasn’t loose plenty of to seriously get these English words out! But the extra we practiced, the extra we sang, the track became far more common, and turned much more purely natural. So it was a good studying practical experience for me.

The track “Euphoria” is one particular of your ideal moments. I know it is already a few years ago, but what do you keep in mind about placing that one particular jointly?
I specially like “Euphoria” among lots of BTS tracks due to the fact it has a voice which is between a pretty younger boy and a quite mature person. And that is why I experienced a challenging time recording it. I had to translate these emotions into the recording, and I went into it contemplating that I have misplaced my original voice and I really did not know how to sing. And I think those thoughts I felt translated perfectly into the recording. Following listening to the total point, I was like, “Wow, I actually did a superior occupation.”

What other artists have offered you some thing to aspire to?
If there is one particular instant that really stayed with me, it was when we went on a single of our overseas excursions, and I had a possibility to go to an Ariana Grande concert. I was genuinely amazed by her stage existence. She’s a very modest person, and the volume of her singing and what she was in a position to do was actually shifting, really outstanding. And it just seemed like one thing I wanted to emulate and learn from. It designed me want to establish and keep on to improve.

In normal, I have tried out to hear to a great deal of diverse music. To actually obtain the voice that I have right now, I listened to random audio and just experimented with to sing along and understand how other artists sing.

The other guys have explained that when you ended up young, when you very first started out, you were a small bit shy and introverted. What do you keep in mind about that?
[Laughs] During the training several years, I’d hold out until eventually the other guys experienced fallen asleep so I could wash up by myself in the middle of the evening. But I consider time truly solves every thing. If you shell out these types of a lengthy time with the similar men and women, it truly influences your personalities. The other associates experienced a lot of impact on me, and I could just truly feel comfy mainly because they are this sort of fantastic people today. And they encouraged me to open up up to them and experienced into a excellent person.

Out of all these decades so considerably, what has been the most head-blowing second?
Topping the [U.S.] charts, staying nominated for the Grammys, finding all those awards, ended up of class excellent honors and good activities. But the ideal moment in my lifestyle, from when I was born till I die, is seeing Army from the phase. And that will under no circumstances adjust.