“My Time”, Jungkook’s solo from BTS’s latest album Map of the Soul: 7, was an unwavering success. Peaking at #84 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, it became the group’s highest-charting solo to date in the US. But how did the smash hit come to fruition, and how much was Jungkook’s own influence?The producers of the song told all.
Alongside Jungkook and RM, the prime songwriters who worked on “My Time” were Sleep Deez, Jayrah Gibson, Printz Board, Richelle Alleyne, and Big Hit Entertainment’s Pdogg.
Printz Board revealed that “My Time” has been in the works since 2019. BTS wanted an R&B song for Map of the Soul: 7, which inspired Sleep Deez to combine the soulful elements of the genre with a modern finish that would sound great on the radio alongside artists like Drake.
The song started out as a simple 12-bar piece created by Sleep Deez. Then, topliner Richelle Alleyne added a vocal element. Though the final track was, of course, sung by Jungkook, the producers kept a sample of Alleyne’s voice in the beat of the song.
Next, Printz Board rearranged the instrumental. He was quick to point out that the K-Pop industry allows for much more musicality and experimentation than US music does.
If we think something would be cool even though it doesn’t completely make sense, it can work in K-pop. Whereas in the US, you’d be told, ‘You’ve colored outside the lines’ or ‘This is too musical.’
— Printz Board
Sleep Deez continued to work on “My Time”. To give the song an “eerie” feel in the beginning, he added his own samples with heavy processing to bring a new texture into the mix. At around midnight one night, he had an epiphany for the song’s iconic bridge and called over Jayrah Gibson to work on it through the early hours. Jayrah Gibson has worked on numerous hit K-Pop songs for EXO, TXT, MONSTA X, and more—but he said working with BTS was the real dream come true.
This is the new wave of youth that are advocating for love, inner peace, embracing your inner faults and just accepting yourself for who you are.
— Jayrah Gibson
After all that, the song was finally sent over to Big Hit Entertainment. There, Jungkook, RM, and Pdogg all added rewrites to make “My Time” their own. The dramatic guitar towards the end of the song came from Pdogg, but Sleep Deez says Jungkook’s concept is what really elevated the track.
Jungkook was relating to his experience, growing up fast and in the spotlight, always feeling like he’s in a different time zone. I thought it was a great way to make the record personal.
— Sleep Deez
Jayrah Gibson agreed that the lyrics are something everyone can personally relate to. He praised BTS for letting fans “realize that it’s okay being who you are”.
He makes you feel like it’s everybody’s time. The person who was homeless, like I was back in the day, the person who’s been trying to sing for a long time and be an artist or a songwriter or a person who wants to be an educator in school or anything.
— Jayrah Gibson