K-pop sensation BTS said Thursday that releasing their first English language song “Dynamite” wasn’t initially “part of the plan,” but that the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic moved them to put out a new track “as soon as possible” that could energize and excite fans.

The group confirmed that their next album is still set to drop later this year, although there is not yet specific release date.

“The release of ‘Dynamite’ wasn’t in our plans at all,” said RM at an online press conference, but when the band encountered the song while preparing the new album, something clicked. “As soon as we heard it, we thought it was really fun and exciting, a fun and cheery song that wasn’t that serious. It just made us feel good when we heard it,” he explained. “We really wanted to share this energy with the fans as soon as possible.”

He called the song a “new challenge for us.” Although RM is fluent in English, most of the other BTS members are not.

COVID-19 derailed a number of the group’s plans, including those for a world tour. Although the pandemic’s circumstances have left them at times feeling “powerless” and “frustrated,” said RM, they tried to channel that energy into the new track. “We call this our own recharge project.”

Jimin echoed the sentiment. “Everyone in the world is going through tough times right now. Nobody expected this,” he said. The group sees ‘Dynamite’ as “a breakthrough to help us overcome the emptiness” of being unable to perform.

When asked why BTS decided to sing entirely in English, V mentioned only musical considerations. “When we were recording the guide version, we felt the English version fit the melody a little bit better,” he explained.

As the clock on the east coast of the U.S. ticked closer to the song’s midnight release, more than 2.2 million fans from around the world tuned into Big Hit Entertainment’s Youtube channel to witness its premiere. The live chat was a blur of purple hearts and heart-eyed emojis while comments sped past in a dizzying array of languages: Arabic, Vietnamese, Spanish, and more.

Suga described “Dynamite” as “disco pop with a fun and cheery vibe” that “sends a message of happiness and confidence.”

“It’s dedicated to all the people who feel like they’ve fallen down while running a marathon,” he said. “Even if you’re going through tough times, let’s do what we can in our places, and find freedom and happiness through dance and music.”

When asked about their hopes and aspirations for the song’s climb up the Billboard Hot 100, he said they would try to focus more on reach and impact than rankings.

“For ‘Dynamite,’ our goal is a little bit different and a little bit special. We built this song to give strength to the people who listen to it. Our goal is to have as many people as possible hear it and get a little bit of reassurance and healing from it.”

Jin concurred. “No matter what the chart is, no matter what the rank is… it’s always an honor. It means many people have listened to and like our song. Any time we see that report card, we’re always thankful.”

Fans eager for more from BTS can look forward to “Break the Silence,” a documentary following the group on its stadium tour set to release on Sept. 10.

The boys will also be performing live for the first time at this year’s MTV Music Awards coming up on Aug. 30. “We really wanted to be on it. It’s our first try — we are nervous and also very excited,” said RM of the upcoming milestone.

It will also likely be a welcome relief. Being suddenly unable to perform live has felt “like we were running this whole time, then have tripped and fallen,” said Suga.

“We felt and realized that we really belong on the stage. Singing and dancing is really when BTS can be BTS.”