Rolling Stone recently talked to BTS‘s J-Hope about his mixtape Hope World as well as what fans will be able to expect from him in the future.

Hope World was written for years leading up to its release in 2018. Taking place for much of BTS’s latest global success, J-Hope revealed he views those nostalgic times as an innocent “calm before the storm.”

You know, looking back, I think it was really pure, innocent, and beautiful that I could do such music at those times. When I work on music right now, I have an opportunity to go back to those emotions and think, “Oh, those were the days.” I think it really has a good influence on my music that I work on now.

— J-Hope

Through Hope World, he was able to establish himself and his sound as an artist.

Through the mixtape I learned a lot, and I think it really shaped the direction that I want to go in as an artist, as a musician. I’m really just grateful that so many people loved my mixtape. I am planning to keep on working on music and to try to show people a [style of] music unique to J-Hope.

— J-Hope

Though nothing is set in stone in terms of music in the future, he gave fans a sneak peek by revealing they can expect a more mature sound from his next release.

Right now, the goal is to get inspired and make good music. Nothing is decided yet, so I’m just going to keep working on music. I think my style of music will not greatly change, but I think it will be more mature. I will try to contain stories that I really want to tell in the second mixtape.

— J-Hope

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| Hong Jang Hyun/Rolling Stone

Recently, he released the full version of “Blue Side” from Hope World and discussed how looking back on his previous music inspires him.

It wasn’t a full version at that time, so I always had the thought of going back to that song and completing it. I always had that in mind. I think it was like two weeks or one month ago that I finally came to think that “Oh, I want to finish this song.” As I mentioned earlier, I really look back onto the emotions that I have when I worked on the mixtape.

— J-Hope

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| Hong Jang Hyun/Rolling Stone

Check out more from J-Hope’s interview with Rolling Stone below.

BTS’s J-Hope Reveals How He Balances His Bright Image With The Complex Realities Of Life