While recent news about BTS’ mandatory military enlistment have left ARMY—BTS fans—with mixed feelings of heartbreak, pride, trust and support, the group’s eldest member Jin (born Kim Seok-jin) has given everyone a soothing and poignant “see-you-again-soon” gift: his official solo debut.
Jin’s “The Astronaut,” released on Oct. 28 is the start of Jin’s venture as a solo artist and a new path for him as he prepares for his enlistment, which HYBE, their agency, announced on Oct. 17.
The song, which he co-wrote with Coldplay front man Chris Martin, admires a special loved one with a skyward gaze, which “Mr. Worldwide Handsome”—a nickname he gave himself—sings with his signature calming and gentle voice.
“When I’m with you, there is no one else / I get heaven to myself.” Jin’s metaphor of the galaxies isn’t new, as he has already alluded to the cosmic universe, often imagining himself as a heavenly body revolving around the planet. In fact, his “Map of the Soul: 7” solo song “Moon” has him framing himself as the titular satellite, with the group’s beloved ARMY, of course, as the Earth the Moon floats around.
Their other collaboration with Coldplay, “My Universe” from the British band’s recent “Music of the Spheres” album, also references the vastness of outer space in encapsulating his—and the rest of BTS’—love and gratitude for ARMY.
While “The Astronaut” marks Jin’s solo debut, he has already released 6 solo tracks under his name, three as part of the groups’ studio albums and another three as special releases on the band’s Soundcloud. Jin has also woven his steady, soothing and emotion-filled vocals in his songs like “Awake” (from the 2016 group album, “Wings”), “Epiphany” (from the 2018 album, “Love Yourself: Answer”), “Moon” (from their 2020 album, “Map of the Soul: 7”), “Tonight” (a special release for their 2019 Festa, their annual celebration for the group anniversary) and “Abyss” (a special release for his birthday in 2020).
His most recent special release “Super Tuna,” shows a bright and fun side of his vocals. It was rereleased on Oct. 20 and made available on major music platforms in Korea and the rest of the world. Because of this rerelease, and the news of “The Astronaut,” three of these tracks, along with two K-drama OSTs he participated in, made it to Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales for the week ending on Nov. 5. “Super Tuna,” “Abyss,” and “Tonight” entered the chart at No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3 respectively.
Meanwhile, Jin and co-member V’s duet “It’s Definitely You” (from the OST of V’s drama “Hwarang“) re-entered the chart at No. 9, while Jin’s solo ballad “Yours” (from the OST of the drama “Jirisan“) took No. 12.
The first official solo single by the 29-year-old has sold more than 700,000 copies on the first day of its release, his agency said, quoting data from a local market tracker. Jin’s “The Astronaut” has also topped iTunes’ top songs chart in 97 countries around the world.
On Oct. 20, Bighit Music announced that Jin would be a special guest for the Oct. 28 (Oct. 29 Manila time) show of Coldplay’s “Music of the Spheres tour in Buenos Aires for the first live performance of “The Astronaut.” The tweet also included a message exchange between Jin and Martin. “Thank you so much for working so closely on this song with me, and listening to my opinions every step of the way. I feel super honored to have worked with you, my superstar, my bro,” Jin wrote.
Jin flew to Argentina on Oct. 24, and many ARMYs awaited his arrival, even trending a punny hashtag: “Welcome to Arjintina.”
The friendship between Jin and Coldplay was very evident as Jin ran to share a brotherly hug with Martin after performing his song. Martin also shared the story behind their collaboration. “About six months ago, one of BTS’ members called me up and said, ‘I have to leave the band in December for two years to join the army in Korea, because that’s the rules there.'”
The British band front man added that Jin wanted to work on a song that bids ARMYs a temporary farewell and tells them of his love and gratitude.
All the activities that are part of “The Astronaut” promotions will be Jin’s final line-up of activities prior to his enlistment. This includes several content releases, and the “rare” variety show guestings. The lyric video was posted on the HYBE Labels’ YouTube account on Nov. 6.
Watch “The Astronaut” music video on the official HYBE Labels YouTube account. The official track can also be streamed on all available music platforms.