Breaking out on your own from one of the most successful pop groups on the planet must surely come with untold trepidation and anxiety about whether your fanbase will follow you down a new path. But for BTS‘ Jimin, releasing his solo single “Set Me Free Pt. 2” amounts to a kind of liberation (or, as he puts it, a “new starting point”), as well as a chance to establish an identity apart from the global superstar septet.
“When this song was made, I felt really attached to it,” he told Consequence of Sound about his first solo project. “I went to the U.S. myself for the choir recording, and listening to it right next to them was truly amazing. I remember it as a really good memory.”
The song — which features majestic choir backing, a booming hip-hop beat and urgent Auto-Tuned vocals — is slated to appear on Jimin’s upcoming solo album, FACE, which is due out on March 24. And though it is tagged as a sequel, any ARMY member can tell you that there is, in fact, no original “Set Me Free” in Jimin’s discography. The singer explained to CoS that the title is a wink a song on bandmate Suga’s 2020 D-2 mixtape from alter ego Agust D.
“There isn’t a connection, and we weren’t trying to divide part one or part two,” he said. “But since it turns out my song talks about freedom and moving forward, and SUGA’s song talks about some of the stories that come before, I thought it would be good to come after that.”
Asked to break down the message of the track — which he described as having a light/dark, black/white energy — Jimin said he focused on the concepts of “determination, passion, and overcoming” and that the title is about him, well, setting himself free. “So I thought it was important that I be the one to set myself free — not someone else,” he said. “In the end, I’m the one who has to set myself free.”
As the latest member of the group to break out during the band’s yearslong pause to allow all seven to focus on their solo careers (as well as attend mandatory South Korean army service), Jimin said all his bandmates were nervous before dropping their albums and singles, but luckily, “their results were absolutely great.”
He’s nervous too, but mostly he just wants to make the other guys proud. “I don’t want to be an embarrassment to my members,” he said. “I want to be a proud member of BTS.” He doesn’t appear to have much to worry about, as “Set Me Free Pt. 2” was announced with a flashy, choreography-heavy video directed by Oui Kim.
As for what fans can expect from FACE, Jimin promised that the album talks about how he can look back on his past and, “how I overcame… If people understand the emotions I’m trying to express, I’ll consider the album a success.”
Watch “Set Me Free Pt. 2” below.