BTS’s Jungkook has been teasing his solo mixtape for quite some time now, and fans can only hope the much-anticipated record finally comes in 2022. As fans know, BTS members like to keep their creative juices flowing by exploring their individual music tastes. The group members RM, Suga, and J-Hope have already branched out and dropped solo mixtapes, while the rest of the members often experiment with solo singles here and there. Fan theories have long swirled over the past three years about when Jungkook will drop his inaugural solo project. The K-pop star has shared glimpses into his long-awaited body of work fans call JJK1 (an abbreviation of his full name, Jeon Jungkook).
Will 2022 be the year our collective enduring patience is rewarded? Read ahead to find everything you need to know about Jungkook’s mixtape as we wait for an official announcement with bated breath!
The History of Jungkook’s Mixtape
Following the release of BTS’s 2018 album, Love Yourself: Tear, the K-pop group was asked when fans can expect more solo projects. (J-Hope had just released Hope World that March.) Jungkook responded by saying that he would be releasing his mixtape next. That was enough to send ARMY into a frenzy, and they’ve been on the lookout for any clues on social media and interviews ever since.
In April 2019, Jungkook updated fans on the progress of his mixtape during a press conference for Map of the Soul: Persona. “I said last year that I was going to release a mixtape. I want to sincerely apologize to our fans. I’m not at the level of skill yet, where I can release a mixtape on my own. I’ll practice more and try harder,” the singer said, according to Soompi.
In Nov. 2019, the group got together for an “Ask Anything Chat” session during which Jungkook revealed that he is still working on his mixtape and had finished recording the tracklist. He then added that he would be “doing it all over again,” as he wasn’t satisfied with the result. “Instead of calling it mixtape, I will release a song that will be followed by more songs in a short time frame one by one,” he said of his plan.
Songs Jungkook Has Teased From the Mixtape
For his 22nd birthday on Sept. 1, 2019, Jungkook surprised fans with a snippet of an unreleased original English solo track titled “Decalcomania.” The song still hasn’t been officially released to date, leading fans to believe it might be featured on his first-ever mixtape. (He has since deleted the track, however, to fans’ dismay.)
요거는…기대해주세용 ㅎㅎ pic.twitter.com/AWIFVQqeep
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) August 31, 2019
On June 5, 2020, as part of BTS’s annual Festa — a week-long celebration of the day marking the group’s debut anniversary (June 13, 2013) — Jungkook released his solo song titled “Still With You.” The song was made available on SoundCloud for free as a gift to fans for their unwavering support. As Jungkook stated previously, he’d likely follow an album rollout rather than a compilation drop, so the song could be part of his future mixtape.
Interestingly enough, the world has already heard two songs originally meant to be on JJK1. Jungkook originally wrote and composed both upbeat dance-pop tracks “Stay,” from BTS’s album BE, and “Your Eyes Tell,” off Map of the Soul 7 ~ The Journey ~, with his mixtape in mind. Speaking with Weverse Magazine in November 2020, Jungkook discussed how “Stay” ended up on a BTS album instead. “We planned to put a different song on the album, but after V heard it, he said, ‘This song that Jung Kook wrote is really good,’ and then the other members all listened, said it was better than the other one, and somehow (laughs) ‘Stay’ made it into the album,” he said.
How Many Music Videos Will Jungkook’s Mixtape Have?
During BTS’s BE-hind Story, released on Feb. 27, 2021, the members of the band candidly invited ARMY into the process of making their album BE by interviewing one another. In a heartfelt chat with J-Hope, Jungkook let the viewers in on his vision for his solo project and its visuals. “There are three main tracks in total, and they all have a music video of its own,” Jungkook said of his mixtape. “And they each have its own choreography but in different styles,” he said. Three music videos? Yes, we can’t wait any longer!
Why Has Jungkook’s Mixtape Taken So Long?
Also in his Weverse Magazine interview, Jungkook opened up about why his mixtape still hadn’t dropped despite it being in the works for three years. Turns out, the Covid-19 lockdown served as an unlikely catalyst for him to move full steam ahead with finishing his solo effort, but with some changes. “I could just make it about myself, and then it would be like, I started as a trainee when I was 13, I worked hard, and found success. But anyone could do that,” he said about the narrative concept of the mixtape.
What Jungkook wants is to put out a body of work that stands the test of time, and that’s why it’s taken longer to wrap up the album. “So I keep thinking I want to make up my own original, complex story and write the songs from there. Billie Eilish’s debut album left a big mark on me when it came out, in that respect,” he said. “And it’d be nice to have a cohesive flow to the tracklist, but even if it’s all jumbled up, that’s fine, too, as long as the good songs keep on coming. That’s sort of what I’m thinking. So these days, rather than focusing on the album’s story as a whole, I’m just going to write whatever it is I want to say in each song. If I get that feeling right after listening to a track, I’ll try and make it. And I’m going to try to make it a little bit light-hearted.”
When Will Jungkook Drop His Mixtape?
Jungkook has never officially announced the release date for his solo project, but a verified new artist page on Spotify that launched on Jan. 6 had ARMY speculating its release was imminent. In addition, the bio on the account read “Coming soon,” which further fueled speculation.
6/7 SPOTIFY ACCOUNTS !!! pic.twitter.com/XztGwz9VHL
— ⟭⟬♡ (@BTSupdate_7) January 6, 2022
Unfortunately, in a matter of hours, the verified checkmark on the page was removed, suggesting the account had been faked by a troll.
There’s news guys… the account is no longer verified and everything was removed from it.. the account is fake! 😑😔 pic.twitter.com/Ld3FzMYjkt
— BTS On Spotify⁷ 🎆 (@Bts_OnSpotify) January 7, 2022
In other words, there’s still no indication that Jungkook has any timeline set for the release of his mixtape.
Whenever Jungkook decides to release his mixtape, it’s sure to be jam-packed with poignant and relatable lyrics like the ones that have made us all fall in love with him. Until that day arrives, we’ll be preparing ourselves mentally!
Image Source: Getty / Theo Wargo for The Recording Academy