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  • Writer's pictureEvelyn Soriano

RM leader of BTS released his first solo album “Indigo” and it's nothing but pure artistry

RM, also known as Kim Namjoon, released his first solo album “Indigo” on December 2, 2022. The leader of the global sensation K-pop group BTS describes his album as something he would call a diary.

RM is no stranger to writing and incorporating his style into his music. Not only has he written a great portion of BTS’s discography but had put out two solo mixtapes, “RM” (2015) and “Mono” (2018). This helped define his style as something cerebral and complex but as well defiant and wordplay heavy.

RM conceptualized the album back in 2019. Most of his songs were completed in 2021 and early 2022; having up until September of 2022 to complete sound and arrangements.

The title “Indigo” comes from the name of the natural hue color that represents his taste for natural things. This leads to understanding the many contexts of the person he is. He is known to be a museum-goer, an art collector, and a reader; those elements heighten his way of artistic expression and writing. His social media is very much reflective of those elements as he shares photographs, paintings, book quotes, etc. It’s an archive of his own.

“My whole life was an exhibition,” he told writer Lenika Cruz in The Atlantic, and with that sentiment, he left, he should make his album an exhibition of his own. This album acts as an indication of the changes in his thoughts, tastes, and tendencies. He stated, “it's a diary full of my emotions, sentiments, thoughts, and ideas.”

What is unique and striking about the album is how expressive and emotional it is and is a reflection of life itself. Described as “the last archive of my twenties” it holds to mirror a period that is seen as an exploration and a finding of one's path. This album is a great artistry of what is closely representative of true expression, growth, and defining who RM is. As he stated, "Currently, I'm 29 in Korean age, and I wanted to share my first official album before I turned 30," he told Vogue. "[This] represents my growth as a person and artist."

The album is a great fusion of R&B, Hip-Hop, Neo-soul, Folk, Electronic, and Rock music. Within the album, eight out of ten songs are collaborations, while two are without. The album features artists such as Erykah Badu and Anderson. Paak, Kim Sawol, and Tablo.

“Indigo” Tracklist:

  1. Yun (With Erykah Badu)

  2. Still Life (With Anderson . Paak)

  3. All Day (With Tablo)

  4. 건망증 (Forg_tful) (With Kim Sawol)

  5. Closer (With Paul Blanco, Mahalia)

  6. Change pt.2

  7. Lonely

  8. Hectic (With Colde)

  9. 들꽃놀이 (Wildflower) (With Youjeen)

  10. No.2 (With Park Ji Yoon)

The opening track of the album “Yun” begins with a familiarity with the 90’s boom-bap. This track delivers a nice, smooth, R&B beat. Featuring Erykah Badu, the song adds to her soulful vocals. This reflects a great start to the type of album RM presented. This song represents questions about identity, art, and purpose. The title “Yun” is named after RM’s favorite artist, Yun Hyong-Keun, and reflects the thoughts and feelings of the artist's works.

Track 02 “Still Life” is personally one of my favorites as it's joyful, funk-filled, and upbeat. Anderson is known to be a fervent BTS supporter, so in delivering this song it appeals to that. Anderson . Paak and RM are having an insane amount of fun with this song. RM stated within this song refers to the painting technique of capturing purposefully organized inanimate objects by singing “Still life, but I’m moving.”

“All Day” is the third song of the album. The collaboration with Tablo, frontman of the Korean Hip-Hop group Epik High, adds texture to the song. The song discusses the struggle of producing original work. The third track is of a cheerful beat and of a more straightforward pop element that is present and familiar in RM’s solo work.

The fourth track is an acoustic guitar ballad called “Forg_tful”. This one I’ve come to personally more as it is different and calming. RM in the song uses a raspy lower singing range. This song features Kim Sawol, a Korean singer and songwriter. The song perfectly fits RM's personality as he always asks why he forgets things so easily and wonders why he is so forgetful.

“Closer” is produced by the electronic duo HONNE, the song features Korean-Candian singer Paul Blanco and Jamaican-British singer and songwriter Mahalia. This song has a smooth beat and a dreamy and addictive vibe. “Closer” is featured to be lyrically filled to be sensual and personal to describe the desire to get physically close to a partner.

Track 06 “Change pt.2” is filled with an electronic trap beat. As this is the first song of the album with no collaboration, this song is different from the song Wale and RM produced called “Change” back in 2017. This song features a gloomy presentation as it reflects RM’s old experiences and changes. As “Change pt. 2” is not a continuation of the song “Change” the use of the title was due to the use of repetition of the lyrics within the song.

“Lonely” is a vibe in itself. Another of my personal favorites, the song is the second and final song of the album to have no collaboration. This track in the album is described as being perfect for a car ride as RM stated “I wrote “Lonely” in the hotel in Las Vegas. I really do hate hotels a lot. The reason I went around too much looking for museums was because I hate hotels. I wanted “Indigo” to have this drive song kind of feeling and this song seems to have that feel the most”.

Track 08 of “Indigo” is titled “Hectic”. Featuring a South Korean singer and songwriter, Colde. This song is about the hectic life as a superstar and the difficulties to connect with life in a more sensible and tranquil way.

The ninth song of the album “Wildflower” is personally my favorite of the entire album. Featuring rock singer Youjeen, RM depicts lyrically the dark, overwhelming, tiresome side of fame. The message in the song is conveyed well emotionally. There is a sense of vulnerability in seeing one’s true self and the fear of what others might think in seeing one's true identity. It is a beautifully made song.

The final track of the album is “No.2” collaborated with Park Jiyoon, a South Korean singer, the final song depicts having no fear of the future. A representation of telling your younger self that everything will be alright.

In listening to the whole album, I would like to say every song could be a favorite. Each song has its own unique and personal genre of music. As a fan of BTS and RM, this album was well worth listening to. Overall, it was uniquely and creatively crafted for someone to enjoy listening


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