BTS‘s Jimin shared that collaborating with solo singer-songwriter, and former HOTSHOT and Wanna One member Ha Sung Woon was extra meaningful to him.
In an interview with Weverse Magazine following the release of BTS’s anthology album Proof, Jimin revealed his personal struggles during the past couple of years, the direction in which he wants to take his solo music, and his experience collaborating with IRL best friend Ha Sung Woon.
After the release of Jimin and Ha Sung Woon‘s record-breaking collaborative OST for tvN K-Drama Our Blues, “With You,” Jimin held a live broadcast. During it, he told ARMYs, “Starting with this, I’m going to try many things.” So, interviewer Myungseok Kang asked him, “Are you currently working on new material?” This prompted Jimin to reveal that he plans to explore a mature, explicit, and raw side of himself in his new music.
Later, Myungseok Kang and Jimin talked more about his collaboration with Ha Sung Woon. Kang asked, “Was it a conscious decision to collaborate with someone with whom you have a well-known friendship?” Jimin replied, “Yes.”
Jimin and Ha Sung Woon have been publicly close friends for years. Yet, many fans may not realize just how far back they go. So, Jimin detailed their close bond.
He was the first friend I made when I moved to Seoul. He’s the first non-school friend I ever made if you don’t include the other BTS members. We used to say, ‘Someday, when we both make it big, it would be something special if we made a song together and sent it out into the world.’ That was the meaning behind it: something I wanted to do someday.
So, “With You” actually came to be due to a promise long ago. The friends have been talking about it for seven years!
Myungseok Kang: I guess you could say it all started from a promise made long ago.
Jimin: Right. We’d been talking about that for seven years, practically. We would show each other our songs or anything else we worked on whenever we made something. We kept that up and said, “Let’s try making some music together,” and then we really did. It was fun.
Myungseok Kang then asked if any of this influenced the tone with which Jimin chose to sing the song. He noted, “You tried singing in a completely different voice than usual.”
You’re right. It gave me a lot of practice because it was really hard right from the beginning, so I had to redo it over and over. I kept saying, ‘I’ll try that again from the top,’ and changing a bunch of stuff, but it was a lot of practice, and it was a song for a soundtrack, so I tried really, really hard to give it a simpler sound than anything I usually did before.
Myungseok Kang added, “It’s closer to your speaking voice than your singing voice. It seems like you must have tried a lot of different things in detail while recording, looking at the way your voice overlaps with SUNG WOON’s in the chorus or how the emotion in the melody is reminiscent of the first self-written song you ever released, ‘Promise,’ even though you didn’t write any of the music this time.” Jimin revealed that they “tried so many different things.”
We called each other all the time, and I’m really grateful for the producer who worked with us because I was actually all finished recording, and I kept saying I wanted to try it again from the beginning when we were all finished recording, and I would say, ‘I’ll try it one more time,’ and I could tell that was a lot of hard work for them. It made me feel a lot of different things and it was an important learning experience. I think there were many moments that made me feel that way while we were working on it.
“With You” is certainly an emotional track. It is for an emotionally heavy K-Drama, after all. Still, it is personal for Jimin too. So, Myungseok Kang asked, “Would you say that ‘With You’ was a way for you to try and find the emotions that you wanted to express?” Jimin compared it to “Promise,” both emotional songs of his.
I took an MBTI test recently and it said I’m extroverted, but when I made ‘Promise’ I was really introverted and feeling depressed. I think ‘Promise’ was a chance for me to look at myself. I managed to come out of my shell a little thanks to that song. The first version of ‘With You’ we recorded was very emotional and there was a long process involved in relieving that emotion. ‘I’ll soften up a bit. … I’ll try it a little softer. … Ah, right—a little bit softer now. … I’ll just try it nice and simple.’ Like that. I wanted to show sadness and a desperate longing expressed in a simple style.