Sakina Mustansir, Hyderabad, Telangana
BTS member Park Ji-min, better known as Jimin, released ‘Promise‘ (약속) on December 31, 2018, on SoundCloud. Composed along with Slow Rabbit, it is an acoustic song with soft music, complemented by the angelic voice of Jimin. This is one of those songs that genuinely suits him and brings out the softness in his voice in a special way. Add to it the guitar that makes it such a relaxing song. Jimin had previously mentioned that he thought of naming his song ‘Promise’ during their 2018 concert at Citi Field in Queens, New York. He was planning to work on this song after their concert tour, but the leader of BTS, Kim Nam-joon, also known as RM, suggested him to start right away.
“I intended for it to be a dark song when I started,” Jimin admitted in his Naver Vlive broadcast on January 20, 2019. When he was writing this song, the initial idea was to scold himself as it had non-comforting lyrics, but after deciding the title of the song as ‘Promise’, he modified the lyrics and melodies to make this song as a sort of a note to himself, the vulnerable side of him, that reminds him to value himself and realise his worth. In his solo track ‘Lie‘ from the Wings album, Jimin had accused himself for being hard on himself. The lyrics revealed that his self-criticism was so strong that he started living in a lie about not being good enough.
‘Promise’, on the other hand, is the opposite of ‘Lie’. This song is about Jimin wanting himself to promise that he will not insult himself anymore, and even if he feels lonely, he will not disregard himself and will try to become his own light of positivity. In the song, ‘I’ is the Jimin of BTS, a bright public figure, and ‘You’, is the hidden version of himself, a vulnerable individual. Jimin revealed in his Vlive that, it was Nam-joon who suggested him to change the word from ‘I’ to ‘You’ while talking to himself in the song, which he gladly incorporated, and added new depths to the song.
Jimin is talking to ‘You’ who is causing himself a lot of pain, thinking that he is not good enough by considering himself worthless. He says that eventually both are hurting because, ‘You’ is also a part of myself, in the lyrics ‘You’re hurting too, cause you’re mine.’ He wants to impress and bring joy to the vulnerable version of himself that keeps hiding away and denying the fact that he is acceptable. In this song, Jimin admits the fact that he is not unhinged anymore and was just assuming to be one. Jimin tells his other version to promise that he will love himself and will bring a smile on his face.
Through this song, it seems that Jimin has grown apart from the phase of conflicts with himself that was shown in ‘Lie.’ Instead of saying that the star Jimin should save the vulnerable Jimin, he says that the vulnerable Jimin should also try to become his own light, as the lyrics go ‘I want you to be your light baby, You should be your light.‘ He encourages ‘You’ to be honest about his feelings and accept himself to relish the good. In ‘Promise’, Jimin decides to overcome his dark phase and is inviting himself for settlement.
In the end, Jimin tells his fans, the ARMY, to cross their pinkies with him and make a promise that they will also not abandon themselves when they feel lonely. They will overcome that phase and try to accept themselves.
This song is meaningful for me because it taught me to never let my smile fade away thinking that I’m not good enough. I shouldn’t give up when I stumble and fall. Instead, I should stand up on my feet and make myself proud again. Have you heard this beautiful song? If not, watch the video and let us know your thoughts.