Sometimes, when we wake up in the morning after a night of drinking, we have regret as we remember our actions from the night before. But, sometimes, when you’re a talented songwriter like BTS‘s J-Hope, you wake up to discover that you may have just written a hit song.
Although he has a reputation for being the group’s “vitamins” due to his cheery personality, he revealed he has an inner darkness, and sometimes it comes out in his songwriting. He also shared that recently he has spent more time in self-reflection, thinking about his inner “shadows.” Like most artists, he decided to use his art, which would be songwriting, as an outlet to express his innermost feelings. Although most of his solo mixtape Hope World is “bright,” some songs, such as the extended version of “Blue Side,” display a darker side.
The amount of willpower I found during this time has been tremendous. I figured I’d better use all those feelings entirely and all at once, that those are emotions and songs that could probably only ever be written at this time anyway, so I put all those emotions down like a diary, and ‘Dis-ease’ was born. With ‘Dis-ease’ as a starting point, I thought I could include stuff like my inner darkness, and that’s why I was able to release ‘Blue Side.’
Interviewer Myungseok Kang commented on one line specifically from “Blue Side:” “Now I just want to burn blue to death.” He said, “It seems here, too, something of your shadow was revealed.” J-Hope explained the meaning and significance of the line.
If you’re burning to death, it’d be very hot. But the parts I called blue are a place I consciously escape to … avoid things. It’s a place I escape to that I could safely live in and be swallowed up by, but I don’t want to do that. So I think I tried to show that I want to stir up my passion for the things I wanted to do even if I’m burning blue to death.
He revealed that, however, he did not quite remember how he came up with the lyrics. He explained that not only was it a long time ago (he started working on it in 2015), he was also drunk at the time!
To be honest with you, I don’t know how I came up with those lyrics exactly. I wrote that part a really long time ago when we were on tour overseas. I’m not a big drinker, but those were the first lyrics I ever released that I wrote while drinking. (laughs)
He confessed that, while he doesn’t often drink, when he does happen to drink, then writes, he usually wakes up and regrets them. Thankfully, he felt differently about “Blue Side.”
When I write lyrics when I’m drinking I often regret them when I see them in the morning, but when I take a look at them again after some time, I can tell they’re lyrics that I could only ever write with the feelings I get at that time. When I release that kind of song, I get some kind of feeling. And when I give myself feedback about my own music, a version of myself who’s different from the way I was before I made the music emerges.
So, perhaps, in J-Hope’s case, drinking and songwriting can sometimes mix.
Read more about J-Hope’s music creation process below:
Listen to “Blue Side” below: