Why BTS’ RM Doesn’t Consider ‘Mono’ His First Solo Album

RM collaborated with Lil Nas X for an “Old Town Road” remix and released his mixtape mono. In 2022, this BTS member is releasing his first solo album — Indigo. 

What does RM mean in BTS?

RM of BTS performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2019 Presented by Capital One at the Forum
RM of BTS performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2019 Presented by Capital One at the Forum | Rich Fury/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Formerly Rap Monster, the rapper adopted RM as his stage name, saying it more closely aligned with his personality. Although he hinted that the letters could stand for “Real Me,” the exact meaning of Kim Namjoon’s stage name is open to interpretation.

Under this stage name, the artist releases solo music and appears in the chart-topping K-pop group BTS. He’s a rapper, songwriter, and dancer, confirming that his first solo album, Indigo, will debut in 2022.

RM confirmed that his full-length album, ‘Indigo’ will premiere in 2022

Fans finally got confirmation regarding RM’s newest album. While doing a “Musicians on Musicians” interview with Rolling Stone, RM explained to Pharrell that his next solo project is “90 percent” done.

“I’ve released some mixtapes as one of the members of the band, but it was just an experiment,” he said. “I think this time it’s maybe my official first solo album. But it’s been, like, 10 years since we had our debut as a team. K-pop is all about the band and the groups.” 

In addition to his role as BTS’ leader, RM functions as a songwriter for the group. He’s one of the masterminds behind “Boy With Luv,” “Life Goes On,” “Yet To Come,” and other hits performed by all seven members. 

“And as I told you, I personally started my career as a rapper and as a poet,” RM noted. “So that was a tricky part actually, because K-pop is like a mix. It’s the mix of American pop music, other visuals, Korea, and social media and stuff. It’s really intense and really hectic. So it has some pros and cons of its own.”

The mixtape RM mentioned, mono, premiered in 2018. The seven-song collection remains available on most major streaming platforms, snagging millions of streams from ARMYs. Indigo by RM premieres on Dec. 2, 2022.

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The BTS members pursued solo projects, including RM, J-Hope, and Jungkook

Mono aside, RM released solo music, including the 2021 single “Bicycle.” (As the only BTS member without a license, the artist often mentions his love of biking and admiring nature — which later became the verb “Namjooning.”)

In 2019, RM collaborated on the “Seoul Town Road” remix of Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road.” He performed this song at the Grammy Awards with the other BTS members, becoming the first K-pop group to take the Grammy stage. 

With BTS taking a step back from group endeavors, some members took the opportunity to create solo music. That includes Jungkook, featured in Charlie Puth’s “Left and Right.” Jin performed “The Astronaut” at a Coldplay concert. J-Hope headlined Lollapalooza Chicago, becoming the first Korean artist to do so.