A former BIGHIT Music trainee (then BigHit Entertainment) spoke to VICE Asia about his trainee days with BTS. Kim Jihoon opened up about his experiences from 2011 to 2012 before he was cut from the group as well as his thoughts on their success at present.
He met up with fellow former trainee Hwang Jihwan in the restaurant that they used to frequent especially with RM. It was filled with BTS merch ranging from posters of the members to BT21 plushies and even tissue holders with their faces on them.
This wasn’t a new sight for Jihoon and Jihwan considering that BTS’s endorsements, songs, magazine shoots, and more are often featured around South Korea.
Every time Jihoon sees the faces of BTS, he feels “strange” considering their history together. Though time has altered their appearances and the members are now huge celebrities, he is still reminded of how they were like a decade ago.
It is still strange to me to see them now. They still look like the guys I knew 10 years ago.
His memories of BTS’s younger selves are still prevalent and fresh in his mind.
Even now, they don’t look cool to me. They just seem cute.
According to Jihoon, BTS is not a record-breaking group of superstars to him but the people he spent the most treasured period of his life with.
To me, they still just feel like my old friends.
As he mentioned earlier in the video, he has nothing but love for his BTS friends and he hopes to see them again one day.
I just regret not being able to hang out with them…my biggest goal is to throw a massive party with everyone from my training days. That time was the happiest memory of my whole life.
— Kim Jihoon
Check out the full video below to learn more about Jihoon’s experiences with BTS as trainees and his thoughts on them today.