All the BTS fans out there got a real treat recently when RM revealed all kinds of juicy stories about the group’s new album on his “Behind” VLIVE. All the facts about BTS' Map Of The Soul: Persona that RM revealed will make your listening experience that much more exciting.
Map of the Soul: Persona is already breaking records thanks to its first single “Boy With Luv.” According to Billboard, the album reached the top spot on the Billboard 200 and is their third to do so in under a year. Additionally, the video for “Boy With Luv” broke all kinds of world records. Billboard recently reported that “Boy With Luv” broke the following Guinness World Records: “most viewed YouTube video in 24 hours,” “most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours,” and “most viewed YouTube music video in 24 hours by a K-pop group.” So, BTS and ARMYs are making history as we speak. And that is more than enough to merit a behind-the-scenes look at the album, which RM so graciously gave fans in his April 23 VLIVE.
During his livestream, RM revealed all kinds of details, including who wrote the songs on Map Of The Soul: Persona, what his thoughts are on the theme of the album, and what it was like to work with Halsey. So, here are 10 facts RM revealed about Map Of The Soul: Persona during his VLIVE:
The word “persona” has a specific meaning for RM and he explained it during his VLive.
“To me, persona is the social self. It represents our social mask. A mask could be either good or bad. It is what we present to the outside world as we lead our social and economic life. My persona would be RM then, right?" he said.
He then went on to explain why the group chose “persona” as the theme for the album.
“So, why did we choose persona? It’s not like I had this entire thing planned from the start. But in my opinion, the theme of 'Love Yourself' became too grand … 'Love Yourself' is a really grand theme that involves a lot of interpretations and requires lots of thoughts and soul-searching,” RM explained.
After “Love Yourself,” fans started asking what “grand” message BTS would send next. RM said that he and the rest of BTS decided to do some introspection to consider what their next move was.
“We decided it was time to know and find ourselves. Instead of grand things, maybe it’s time to talk about the smaller things,” he said.
And, of course, all of that soul-searching led to Map of the Soul: Persona.
The album’s first single “Boy With Luv” actually has the alternate title of “A Poem for the Small Things.” Apparently, RM didn’t think “Boy With Luv” was sufficient for the message he wanted to send. Here's how he explained it:
The working title was “Boy With Luv.” It was “Boy With Luv” from the start. We were divided in our opinions on the title. I pushed for this as I thought it would be cool in the long run. “A Poem for the Small Things” sounded nice because I thought “Boy With Luv” wasn’t enough to convince people. “Boy With Luv,” though it’s completely not true, I thought some might think it’s meaningless.
Clearly, RM put a lot of love and thought into this album.
Although RM spent quite a bit of time talking about the process of pulling “Boy With Luv” together lyrically, he did mention that Halsey’s work on the song made it that much more special.
“It became really refreshing when we added Halsey’s voice,” he said. “I listened to it on a drive, and it sounded really great.”
In his VLive, RM explained that he revised the lyrics to “Persona” quite a few times and really wanted it to make an impact on fans.
“It was my first solo intro in five years, so I really felt so much pressure. I changed the lyrics a few times. ‘mono.’ had a chill and calm feeling, so I really wanted the more wild style that I’ve always liked. When we were filming the music video, I kept fixing it on set,” he said.
As everyone knows by now, Ed Sheeran penned “Make It Right.” But before giving the boys full reign over the song, he had a specific request for how they would use it.
RM explained, “As a songwriter, Ed Sheeran asked us to keep in the part that goes ‘I could make it better, I could hold you tighter.’ Now that it’s out, I think it was a good choice to do it in English.”
At one point during the VLIVE, RM talked a little bit about what the track list for Map of the Soul: Persona as a whole means. Apparently, the order for the songs has a specific meaning that relates to the “persona” theme. Here’s how RM explained it:
A person begins to worry in ‘Persona’ and realizes that they should focus on the trivial things and love. After they talk about the trivial things and love, they realize that we’re a miniature universe [‘Mikrokosmos’] made up of all these trivial things coming together. However, although they’re in this miniature universe, they don’t find themselves welcomed there, so they realize in the end, ‘My home isn’t my home. My home is the miniature universe where you exist, the one that is you,’ so they come back. That’s what I think it’s about.
Since RM wrote most of the lyrics on the album, each song is really personal to him. “Jamais Vu” is especially close to his heart and makes him emotional to this day.
“This is the saddest song on the album,” RM explained. “I was so emotional when I heard the guide version. Since it’s a unit song it doesn’t include my voice, but since I wrote the lyrics I get sad whenever I hear it.”
When writing the lyrics, he thought about a game of death and loss.
“I thought about a game in which if you die then you lose your belongings like your equipment and have to start over again. I tried to include the sense of loss and emptiness that I felt when playing a game,” he said.
In RM’s personal opinion, the last song on the album “Dionysus” is actually about transformation.
“The one who was wandering to find himself with ‘Persona’ became ‘Dionysus.’ I personally believe that the person realized he is Dionysus,” he said to viewers during the video.
So, it seems like RM had a pretty complete vision for how he wanted to end the album, which is amazing!