BTS recently got candid with Rolling Stone India about the philosophy of their music, the experiences that inspired their upcoming record ‘BE’ and the ever-evolving definition of success.
We’ve summarized the questions for SUGA as well as his answers below.
Q: Outside of all your charting success, what would you consider a significant turning point in your evolution as artists, whether solo or as a team?
SUGA: When we began touring and performing in front of live audiences all over the world, we felt that we had evolved one step further in our journey as artists.
There’s a saying about BTS in the fandom: ‘You come into our lives when we need you the most.’ It’s certainly true for me when I found your music. What is your take on this collective opinion and the fact that you have saved many lives with the music and content you contribute to the world?
SUGA: Hearing our fans saying that we changed their lives changes our lives in turn. We got to know about the weight that our words and music carry, and we’re truly thankful for that. We’ve realized that despite our love for music, the most important thing about this job is to have people who listen to you. We thank our fans for listening to our messages and music.
Q: Let’s talk a little bit about each of your solo endeavors and interests as well. SUGA, as a producer and a songwriter, you have made music for various artists. How do you distinguish music you have written as the artist and producer SUGA for BTS, as Agust D for Agust D and as the producer SUGA for other artists like Epik High, Suran, Heize and IU? Is there a distinction in your approach to the music?
SUGA: The focus of those three roles is different, so there is definitely a distinction in my approach. I focus on the harmony of BTS as a team member, on the unpolished rawness of music as Agust D, and on the popularity in the mass market as a producer for other artists.
Q: Earlier this year I wrote a piece called ‘The Philosophy of Agust D,’ about what we as fans perceive Agust D to be to us and what he means to our generation and society. What is Agust D to you? Is he a vessel of catharsis, a messiah for the people or perhaps something completely different?
SUGA: It’s just one of the many sides of me. It might even be a more accurate depiction of who I really am. I don’t think too deep into it since it’s just one of the many methods I use to freely express my thoughts.
Q: I particularly loved “People” from D-2 because it was about the impermanence of humanity, especially in the way we change as human beings as we transition through various experiences. Is there something that’s changed or evolved about you as a person in the last few years that you are particularly proud of?
SUGA: We all change, but some people say that change is bad by saying we should hold on to our original intentions, etc. It’s our nature to change, and I believe that change is good if it is positive. I’m glad I’ve learned to think this way.
Q: You’ve mentioned you’re working on developing your singing skills and learning the guitar. What inspired you to do so and how is it going these days?
SUGA: It just crossed my mind that I wanted to be like the Nineties folk musicians whom I’ve been listening to. I’m not trying to limit myself to a specific genre. I simply want to be able to sing while playing guitar when I get older. That’s all.