A picture of BTS's oldest member, Jin, in the concept photos for the group's anthology album Proof

To the Surprise of Absolutely No One, I Am Already Crying All My Tears Over Bts’s Jin’s Upcoming Solo

A solo debut? And space-themed?

Big Hit, the entertainment agency of powerhouse K-Pop group/international superstars/voices of a generation/loves of my life BTS, has clearly decided that ARMYs can’t catch a break this week and will spend the rest of October being emotional messes.

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First, it was the dreaded announcement that despite the years of arguing and discussing over whether or not their incredible international accomplishment were valid grounds for an exemption, BTS will indeed start leaving for their mandatory military service this year and won’t reunite as a group before 2025 at the very least. 

The press release was published by Big Hit on all its channels on Monday 17th, the weekend immediately after BTS’s glorious—and by now we clearly know why—performance at the 2030 Busan World Expo Concert.

Then, in a display of tonal whiplash the likes of which I hadn’t seen since I attended the Love Yourself tour and the entire stadium was all barely done sobbing over The Truth Untold when the lights turned green and the rap line jumped on stage to start that absolute banger that is Outro: Tear, the very next day we were hit with the entire schedule for Jin’s much-anticipated solo debut.

So let’s all gather our thoughts together because boy oh boy stanning these seven men truly takes its toll on one’s body (I mean that affectionately).

Jin’s Solo Debut and Enlistment

As the oldest member in BTS, Jin, whose real name is Kim Seokjin, was the only one directly mentioned in Big Hit’s press release about the group’s upcoming enlistment—he will be the first to leave for the 18 months of mandatory military service, most likely at the end of this month and as soon as he finishes the schedule for his debut.

Because oh yes, there’s going to be a debut. We all knew that the seven members of BTS were going to focus on their solo projects ever since the group announced a hiatus after the release of their anthology album Proof, true. However, ARMYs all over the world actually discovered that Jin was next on the list—after J-Hope’s debut album Jack in the Box last July—with the enlistment announcement. Did I say tonal whiplash already?

The agency followed that up with its usual message via BTS’s social channels and the app Weverse, which details the schedule Jin will follow for his debut. In the meantime, in true comeback—or debut, in this case—fashion, both BTS’s Twitter and Instagram pages have been updated to reflect the upcoming release.

The Astronaut Schedule (and Coldplay?)

Jin’s debut single will be titled “The Astronaut”—something that preemptively has me crying bawling screaming shaking because it’s not the first time Jin has had a space-themed song and I don’t think I’ll ever really recover from that masterpiece that was “Moon” on Map of the Soul: 7. The fact that Big Hit’s announcement described the song as “made with so much love towards the fans,” and that they “hope [the song] can be a gift to you all” does nothing to ease my inconsolable-ness.

Plus I had the misfortune of reading this brilliant insight by a fellow ARMY this morning and I have not known peace since:

The single will be released on October 28th at 1PM KST, which means 0AM ET on the same day. A lyric video will follow on October 31st at 0AM KST, which means 11AM ET on October 30th. Those are just the final steps of the debut schedule, though—first we have the usual array of concept photos and promotional posters, which have become a routine not just for BTS fans but for anyone who follows K-Pop.

The poster for “The Astronaut” will be released on October 20th at 0AM KST, meaning 11AM ET on October 19th. Then it’s concept photos time—the first version will drop on October 24th, once again at 0AM KST which means 11AM ET on the previous day; then the second concept photo is expected for October 25th at the same time as the first one, and the third —once again at the same time—will be released on October 26th. 

For now, Big Hit has released a short video for the single’s concept logo—as well as apparently created an entire Instagram page for the character that appears throughout the debut schedule graphic, Wootteo. 

It’s unclear whether or not Wootteo is going to have a bigger role beyond that of the cute mascot, but the members of BTS are already interacting with it, asking the exact same questions we would, like J-Hope who commented a very poignant “Who are you” under one of the eight pictures that have been posted so far.

Another thing that’s still unclear is whether or not “The Astronaut” will also have a physical release rather than a digital one—but the answer is probably positive since the official Weverse announcement included information about pre-orders opening on October 19th at 11AM KST. So it’s likely that the usual information about what inclusions might be inside the album will be released very shortly.

And as if all of this wasn’t exciting enough, there’s a rumour going around that “The Astronaut” is actually a song that has been created by Jin in collaboration with Coldplay—whom BTS have worked with already on “My Universe.” 

Several behind the scenes clips show Jin and Chris Martin looking particularly friendly in between one recording session and the other, with Chris Martin showing Jin how to play the guitar—a guitar that he eventually gifted to Jin at the end of their time together in Seoul.

News of the collaboration has been making the rounds in Asian media, even though it hasn’t technically been confirmed yet by anything on BTS’s social media channels— but it’s safe to say it has already done its job in turning the frenzy the fandom finds itself in up a notch.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go mentally prepare myself ahead of next week because I’m pretty sure the first glimpse of a concept photo will have me lying down on the floor for hours.

Update: The release of the poster for “The Astronaut” — the first step on the debut schedule — confirmed what the rumors had been saying and that the song is indeed co-written by Jin and Coldplay. Which means that we’re crying crying.

(source: Big Hit; image: Big Hit)


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Author
Benedetta Geddo
Benedetta (she/her) lives in Italy and has been writing about pop culture and entertainment since 2015. She has considered being in fandom a defining character trait since she was in middle school and wasn't old enough to read the fanfiction she was definitely reading and loves dragons, complex magic systems, unhinged female characters, tragic villains and good queer representation. You’ll find her covering everything genre fiction, especially if it’s fantasy-adjacent and even more especially if it’s about ASOIAF. In this Bangtan Sonyeondan sh*t for life.