In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, BTS‘s J-Hope revealed how he balances his consistently hopeful image with the natural ups and downs of life’s emotional roller coaster.

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| Hong Jang Hyun/Rolling Stone

J-Hope began by discussing how his outlook has changed from the days of only showing his bright side. As an artist, he tries to show his more complex emotions through his music.

Things are really different from how it used to be. I just try to show who I really am. I think that’s the most comfortable for me. Everybody has, you know, different sides from what they show. Of course, I do have a burden and a pressure as an artist. I just take them in for what they are. I just try to express that I’m going to overcome these difficulties.

— J-Hope

He admits that not only himself but all of the BTS members have become more natural throughout the years and comfortable with showing the ups and downs of real-life emotions.

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| Hong Jang Hyun/Rolling Stone

Before we tried to only show [the fans] the good side, the bright side of us. As my name is J-Hope, I only tried to show the bright side of our group and myself. But as the time passes by, one cannot feel the same way forever so I also felt other emotions. I tried to express those emotions through music or dialogue, to express them in a very beautiful way.

— J-Hope

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| Hong Jang Hyun/Rolling Stone

He reveals that for both BTS and their fans, it becomes a win-win situation: The members can find solace in expressing their true emotions while fans can deeply resonate with the realistic themes.

If I express those things, I think that also gives me a sense of consolation as well. We have been communicating with our fans ever since we became artists, but now I think it’s become more natural and comfortable.

— J-Hope

J-Hope’s song “Ego” embodies this sentiment, detailing the unsure and scared feelings that can arise when pursuing your dream but ultimately finding inner strength and accepting the path you’ve chosen.

It’s really about self-reflection, reflecting on who I am, my ego, as the name implies. It’s about the life of Jung Hoseok [J-Hope’s real name] as an individual, and the life of J-Hope. And the conclusion that I draw from this inner reflection is that I believe in myself and I believe who I am, and this is my identity. And then these are the challenges that I have faced, and I’ll continue to face these challenges and do new things by relying on who I am.

— J-Hope

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| @BTS_bighit/Twitter

J-Hope puts his emotions into his lyrics, allowing fans to feel an even deeper connection with him as an artist. With this healthy mindset, even the BTS members look to him for support. Check out why they think he should be the “president of the world” below!

BTS Thinks J-Hope Should Be The President Of The World — And Honestly, We Agree