‘Suga: Road To D-Day’: A Surprisingly Relatable Portrait Of A Superstar

The Disney+ documentary covers the creative highs and many, many lows of the BTS member’s first official solo album.

Suga BTS D-Day Documentary

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The best documentaries offer a fascinating insight into the creative process and lift the mask of celebrity to reveal the artist — and the person — underneath. That’s exactly what Suga: Road to D-Day does. The Disney+ documentary follows Suga, most famous for being 1/7th of BTS, as he works on his first official solo album, D-Day, which came out April 21. 

Over the course of three years and across multiple continents, we see Suga search for inspiration and his lost spark, making some remarkable music along the way. But, perhaps more importantly, he learns some big lessons about himself. It’s the kind of soul-searching journey anyone moving into adulthood can connect with — especially if you’re in a creative field. 

Here are some of the key takeaways from the documentary.

Creating Is Fucking Hard

Anyone who has ever tried doing anything creative will already know this. But there’s something comforting in watching one of the biggest stars in the world absolutely lose his mind trying to make something. I’m talking full pulling-hair-out-swearing-and-declaring-“I-quit”-multiple-times type existential spiral. In fact, the whole documentary is essentially about Suga’s quest to pull himself out of his “slump”, as he terms it. 

He travels for the first time on his own; meets with colleagues, friends and heroes to explore their work set-ups and processes, get advice, and just unwind; goes fishing; goes drinking; talks and talks; despairs; takes a select team to the mountains for two nights for a song camp; tries again and again and again and again; almost quits; and pushes through it. 

It’s an extremely relatable process. I mean, sure, we don’t all have the luxury of travelling the world to bounce on Steve Aoki’s studio trampoline, celebrate Christmas with Halsey, or play the piano with the late, great Ryuichi Sakamoto. But who amongst us hasn’t collapsed on the floor of their workspace, screaming about how pointless it all is? 


The scenes are juxtaposed with incredible live performances of the finished songs — the very thing Suga is struggling so much to create — which is both reassuring and inspiring. It may have been painful, but he did it. And the results made it all worthwhile. 

Creating Is A Lot Of Fun

Of course, being creative isn’t always about being trapped in the bad place. Otherwise, anyone pursuing creative professions would have to be totally insane, right? There are several moments when Suga experiences the pure joy that only creating can bring. He talks about how when he’s in the zone, he can willingly work for 12 or 13 hours at a time — and that nothing else can make him want to use his time up like that. 

Even within his struggles, it’s clear that the creative process is what really matters to him. It’s what continues to drive him — and why he’s so worried that his success is the very reason he’s feeling blocked. “There were so many stories I wanted to tell. Did I lose them because I achieved so much?”

It’s an extremely privileged position to suggest that money and professional achievements don’t bring you happiness (like, maybe living in a place without mould would make me smile a lot more, you know?), but Suga acknowledges this and reiterates the lesson regardless.

“We think about making it big, making money, buying watches and nice cars and everything. But none of those things are what makes your life fun. You might say, ‘Hey you made it big, that’s why you can say that.’ Yes, that’s why I can tell you that they’re not the fun part. But when I meet up with people and make music, that’s fun.”

The whole “it’s about the journey not the destination” might be a cliche, but it is for a reason. There’s a lot of truth in it and it’s good to be reminded of that fact. Suga is on the level where he never has to work again if he doesn’t want to — but it’s the work, the act of creating, that has meaning and joy. Not the creation itself, or whatever may come of it.

Work Shouldn’t Be All Your Fun

Like the quintessential millennial, Suga is burnt out in Road to D-Day. Because even if what you do is satisfying — even if you like your job — it still shouldn’t be your defining personality trait or all you do with your time. But for Suga, and like many of us, that’s exactly what work was as he hustled throughout his 20s to achieve his dreams. 

“I just get bored when I don’t work,” he says, adding that even when he had a month-long vacation in 2019, he worked on his mixtape D-2. The thing is, when you pour your heart and soul into work in your 20s — whether that pays off or not (especially if not) — you’re inevitably left with the question: okay, what now? What else is there?

“When I think about my 30s, I see nothing,” Suga frets. “Do I have to keep working? I don’t think I can keep this up anymore.” (A whole mood.)

Road to D-Day is as much about Suga trying to find joy and meaning in his life as it is about his work. As he travels, he’s surprised to discover how much he enjoys it — and questions why he hadn’t prioritised fun in this way in the past.

“Why am I shackling myself when no one’s telling me to?” he asks.

By the end of the documentary, you get the sense that Suga has found somewhat of a balance — or that he will at least keep striving to. That, more than anything, is what’s truly aspirational.

This review is written by Jenna Guillaume, a Sydney-based writer who loves all things TV and pop culture. She tweets @JennaGuillaume.

Main image: Suga. Credit: HYBE