With the release of his single “The Astronaut” on October 28, Jin became the second member of BTS (after J-Hope) to officially release music as part of the group’s primarily solo-driven Chapter 2.
“The Astronaut” marks the culmination of Jin’s journey as an artist so far; a fitting goodbye-for-now ahead of his compulsory military service in the coming months.
Jin, who won an individual fan-voted popularity award at the Fact Music Awards recently, will be away from the spotlight for about 18 months, so it’s the perfect time to get caught up on and/or revisit his career to date…
With the self-perpetuated nickname “Worldwide Handsome,” which he started using after he basically went viral for being hot, Jin (whose full name is Kim Seok-jin) is undoubtedly very good-looking, but he’s also incredibly charming and funny.
As the eldest member of BTS, Jin plays a large part in maintaining the harmonious dynamic of the group, and is known for his charisma, his ice-breaking jokes, and his willingness to embarrass himself for the entertainment and comfort of others.
He also frequently organizes events and moments during concerts purely to show his affection for fans and to make them smile.
But while Jin often expresses his desire to only show his bright side to fans, he also isn’t afraid to be honest and vulnerable about his emotions — often using his music to explore darker feelings and themes of self-worth and mental health.
Jin didn’t originally plan to be a singer — he was actually studying acting at Konkuk University in Seoul when he was scouted off the street by Big Hit, the entertainment agency that went on to form BTS.
While the bulk of BTS songs feature all seven members of the group in some way, they also often release sub-unit songs as well as solos. On the group’s second album O!RUL8,2?, Jin took part in a track by the vocal line sub-unit (that is, the vocalists of the group — Jimin, Jungkook, and V), “Outro: Luv in Skool.”
Jin has also featured on a bunch of other sub-unit songs featuring different combinations of BTS members, including “It’s Definitely You” with V for the Hwarang K-drama soundtrack, “So Far Away” with Suga and Jungkook, “Jamais Vu” with J-Hope and Jungkook, and “Stay” with RM and Jungkook.
Jin’s first official solo release was the heart-aching ballad “Awake” for BTS’s 2016 album Wings. The song, which Jin co-wrote, seems to explore his feelings about his abilities and his place within BTS, and his determination to keep bettering himself. Its release was accompanied by a short film.
He followed that up with another emotional ballad, “Epiphany,” in 2018 for BTS’s Love Yourself album series, which told a narrative of falling in love and experiencing a toxic relationship, before finally breaking free. “Epiphany” explores the last act, focusing on learning to love yourself.
Outside of his work on BTS albums, Jin also released several solo tracks before “The Astronaut,” which were initially unofficial releases but have since been officially added to his discography. “Tonight” was the first, in 2019. It’s a moving ode he wrote to his beloved pets who have passed away.
In 2020, Jin released the heart-wrenching yet cathartic “Abyss” as a gift for his birthday. He wrote the song to explore some of his mental health struggles and the darker emotions he’d been feeling in the wake of BTS’s global success with their first English track “Dynamite.”
In 2021, he celebrated his birthday with a very different track — the silly, upbeat “Super Tuna,” which leans into Jin’s more playful side and which he wrote about one of his favorite hobbies — fishing.
Which brings us back to “The Astronaut,” the song Jin co-wrote with Coldplay. Jin has long been a fan of the British band, and connected with them when they collaborated with BTS on their song “My Universe” — another space-themed love song, which is actually referenced in the opening lines of “The Astronaut.”