BTS‘s leader RM recently got together with Pharrell for Rolling Stone‘s “Musicians on Musicians interview, where they discussed making music, RM’s solo album, and more. They asked each other questions about their career journeys and making music and discovered new things about each other.
Here are six surprising revelations RM shared about himself with Pharrell, which gives more insights into his thoughts and feelings about himself and his artistry.
1. There is a pain when RM writes music for himself.
Throughout his career in writing and producing music, RM shared that he’s more comfortable writing lyrics or melodies for other artists than himself. He said writing music for himself involves a certain amount of pain.
When it comes to me, it’s complex….it comes with the pain to confess. But it’s still the most important part for me.
Pharrell agreed with him, saying the pain is like “paint” for writing the lyrics. For example, he mentioned that when writing powerful verses, do the words hurt or feel good enough? Injecting one’s pain in writing the verses strengthens the song’s message.
2. He translated Pharrell’s song “Take It Off” into Korean and recorded it.
RM craved to be as well-rounded as Pharrell, who had no difficulty switching roles in his creative process. Pharrell could rap, sing in falsetto, or sing the hook of another artist’s song. RM especially liked Pharrell’s “Take It Off” to the point of translating it to Korean and recording it during his pre-BTS days. He wanted to understand Pharrell’s process in determining what role he would play in a song, impressing Pharrell for asking excellent questions that the media never asked him.
Pharrell explains that he gives a song what he feels it needs, channeling it as best as he can to guide the artist he wrote for, someone he thinks is better than him, to sing or perform the song in a certain way. But Pharrell does it so well that he ends up doing the parts of the song himself, as requested by the artist.
3. During his first performance, RM forgot the song’s lyrics.
RM was only fifteen years old during his first performance, with ten people as his audience. He forgot most of the song’s lyrics he was performing and concluded he was not the type who would become a star but was more of someone who just enjoyed writing songs.
To this day, he still gets nervous before every performance despite knowing it will be the same setlist and program flow. His nerves hit him from the time they travel on a plane, to the rehearsals, way up to the first three songs they perform. It gets better for him only after they take off their in-ears and hear the fans’ screaming appreciatively for their performance. He shared his feelings about sometimes being overwhelmed with it all.
I really get nervous. And I really sometimes get depressed, but…I even get swallowed by all the energies, but I’m trying. I try to deal with it because I’m a human (sic) I love the music; I love their love. I think love is really happening when we give (to) somebody, not when we take.
4. He gives his best effort as payback for fans’ efforts.
RM said he’s aware of fans’ efforts — the hardships of buying concert tickets and traveling for that one night to see them perform. He gives his best as payback for fans’ efforts.
From everywhere, they just come for just that one night. It fills me…like I have to pay back. I have to give them…I have to offer them the best night in their lives.
5. His solo album is almost done.
RM shared that 90 percent of the work for his album is done. He considered mixtapes he released previously as experiments and the upcoming album as his official first solo work.
6. He is baffled by the impact BTS has on social media
RM shared that the world of K-Pop is intense, especially the social media aspect. He shared that BTS being influential social figures resulting from social media exposure was unintentional, and he still gets baffled by their impact, especially when they were given an opportunity to address the UN and meet President Biden.
Watch the full interview here: