Origins is a recurring series giving artists a space to break down everything that went into their latest release. Today, Jimin of BTS digs into his new single, “Set Me Free Pt.2,” ahead of his debut solo album, FACE.
When asked about the music video for “Set Me Free Pt.2,” Jimin smiles in a way that can only be described as mischievous. The dancer, vocalist, and BTS member is chatting with Consequence over Zoom in a conversation designed specifically around the dynamic pre-release single for his upcoming solo project, FACE, due out March 24th.
Clad in an oversized bomber jacket and trusty bucket hat at HYBE’s office in Seoul, Jimin displays the kind of range in conversation that many think of when watching him perform onstage — he’s playful, cheerful, and talkative; he’s also equally thoughtful and earnest in reflections about his work. “When this song was made, I felt really attached to it,” he recalls. “I went to the US myself for the choir recording, and listening to it right next to them was truly amazing. I remember it as a really good memory.”
This album marks Jimin’s first solo project — like his fellow members of BTS, he has plenty of individual tracks within the band’s sprawling discography, but the release of FACE will see Jimin taking center stage in a different way. He phrases it as “a new starting point.”
When the track list for the album was revealed, many noticed that this pre-release single was designated as “Pt.2” despite the fact that Jimin doesn’t have any existing songs to his name titled “Set Me Free.” He confirms that it’s a nod to a track on bandmate SUGA’s second Agust D mixtape, D-2. “There isn’t a connection, and we weren’t trying to divide part one or part two,” he explains. “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.”
Dedicated fans — and anyone who has been lucky enough to see BTS live — recognize Jimin as a one-of-a-kind talent. His background in contemporary dance and ballet shaped him into a hypnotic stage presence. His unique vocals stop people in their tracks. He’s the next member of the band to release solo material, work he didn’t take lightly. “You know, the members felt very nervous before releasing their solo albums, but compared to those feelings, their results were absolutely great,” he shares. “I don’t want to be an embarrassment to my members. I want to be a proud member of BTS.”
“Set Me Free Pt.2” is a song that announces Jimin’s solo arrival in a major way — big horns, the aforementioned choir, assertive lyrics, and a serious beat. As with every other decision around the record, the choice to lead with this single (the album’s closer) was intentional. “This album talks about how I look back on myself and how I overcame… If people understand the emotions I’m trying to express, I’ll consider the album a success,” he says.
Listen to “Set Me Free Pt.2” and read Jimin’s Origins breakdown of the key points behind the track below.
First, we tried to focus on the performance and express the really intense vibe of the song. The key point was freedom — and actually, we were drinking at the time. This is the last track on the album; the last of the emotions. It’s very intense, so I wanted to announce a “Jimin solo” in an impactful way.
We tried to express the grand scale of the song and [the ideas of] determination, passion, and overcoming. “Set me free” means setting myself free, so I thought it was important that I be the one to set myself free — not someone else. In the end, I’m the one who has to set myself free.
Performances of “ON” by BTS
There is a song called “ON” by BTS. I think you can feel the same vibe watching the “ON” performance as you will watching this performance. You’ll feel that feeling once again.
Light and Dark
I would say the song has the energy of a light in the darkness. I wanted to express that kind of picture everyone has in their head — a ray of light coming into the darkness is the only thing you can see. If I had to say specific colors, I’d say black and white.