J-Hope just released his debut album, Jack in the Box, and says this marks a new chapter.

With BTS currently on an extended break, the K-pop artist spoke to Variety about how he plans to establish himself as an independent artist while juggling his responsibilities to his bandmates.

“I’m the first one to release a solo album. I do feel the weight on my shoulders. And I do want to start off successfully for all of our team members as well,” he admitted. “I don’t want to risk or undermine our reputation as a team with BTS. However, overall, I’m very confident and content with the album. I really poured everything into this album and conveyed the messages that I wanted to convey.”

J-Hope also revealed why he wanted “More” to be the first track released off his solo work. The song is moodier and infuses a mixture of rap and hip hop elements, which complements the “overall flow or style” of his upcoming work.

“I wanted to express a little bit of a darker side of me, as J-Hope, as an individual. This song is very powerful,” he explained. “This album is full of this type of particular style, and it definitely reveals a little darker side of me, a different aspect of myself.”

J-Hope also assuages fans’ concerns that BTS’ hiatus is indefinite — much like when One Direction split apart so its members could pursue solo ventures. “We’re not on hiatus. The team is going to remain active,” he assured. 

The pause, he said, is to allow everyone to hone their craft at their own pace so that when it is time to reassemble, BTS “will have a greater synergistic effect as a team.”

Jack in the Box is out now.

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