Edited by Yoon
Translated by Eungee Joh
There is an increasing need for qualifications and skills for idol trainees to make their debut as a group. Qualities like singing, dancing, acting as well as a willingness to cooperate or even a good sense of humor can play a big part in achieving their future goals and aspirations. Among all the skills that are needed, being able to produce and write their own music is one of the crucial skill sets that can bring the potential k-pop stars fame and money. That is because labels find it necessary to recruit members with producing talents so that the company themselves do not have to look through thousands of reference songs to give to their groups in production. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at four of the most talented idol singers who are taking part in producing their group’s songs.
BIGBANG – G-Dragon
G-Dragon is the first idol member producer that broke the prejudice against k-pop bands that there is little to no involvement of the members in making what they perform. The group attracted great attention early in their career with their debut single, “We Belong Together.” However, the song that brought them to stardom was “Lies” from their famous mini-album Always. It was a daring attempt to release an EP back then because the concept itself was very new to the market. In addition, BIGBANG was literally the first group that selected a self-written song as their title track. However, despite things that could be risk factors, the group saw a huge success through “Lies,” a track that met with artistic standards and public’s needs. Following their first big smash, G-Dragon produced numerous other hits such as “Tonight,” “FANTASTIC BABY,” “LOSER,” “Bang Bang Bang.” He was greatly recognized for his producing ability and released more diverse creations through his solo album. He was even invited to Infinite Challenge as a music producer and is now considered the first and most successful k-pop idol songwriter of all time.
Songs that are worth checking out: BIGBANG’s “Café,” “BAD BOY” and G-DRAGON’s “Who You?”
SEVENTEEN – Woozi
SEVENTEEN debuted with a tough name to live up to as a “self-producing” idol group. With almost all members being actively involved in putting an album together, Woozi played a key role in producing their albums, with Hoshi designing the choreography and other members coming up with their own rap parts. The group has a distinct selling point that sets them apart from the other groups. The biggest strength of SEVENTEEN’s music is that the song is dynamic as it’s written for a 13-member group, with each subdivided part having a clean and unique melody. Woozi designed each album with different concepts but with a common underlying theme that SEVENTEEN shares. He came up with many different songs of a variety of genres within a limited framework, ranging from fresh pop music like “Adore U,” “Mansae,” “Pretty U,” to soulful ballads like “Don’t Wanna Cry,” “Home,” “Ready To Love,” to bubbly dance music like “BOOM BOOM,” “CLAP,” and “HOME;RUN.” Aside from what he wrote for his own group, he wrote “A-TEEN” for the popular drama A-TEEN and “DOWN POUR” for project girl group I.O.I.
Songs that are worth checking out: SEVENTEEN’s “SIMPLE,” “Thinkin’ about you” and I.O.I’s “DOWN POUR”
PENTAGON – Hui
Hui is the main vocalist of Pentagon and the lead dancer who participates in writing and producing a majority of the group’s songs. When “Never” from Produce 101 season 2 became a huge hit, Mnet asked him to work on Wanna One’s debut song, “Energetic.” The songs he made for other groups turned out hugely successful one after another and drew attention to the parental group he belongs to. He wrote songs like “Shine,” which climbed up the charts, and “Spring Snow,” which went viral after they performed on Road to Kingdom. Hui’s distinctive style in music shows how he boldly uses various musical instruments with a simple and catchy melody and unique sound. He has an excellent ability to compose tracks that would draw listeners right in and that would draw out feelings from deep inside.
Songs that are worth checking out: Wanna One’s “Energetic,” Pentagon’s “Spring Snow” and “Daisy”
(G)I-DLE – Soyeon
Soyeon is the most aspiring young K-pop producer of her generation. She took part in naming and planning (G)I-DLE and composing songs for her group’s first album. She selected a Moombahton dance-pop called “LATATA” as her group’s first title track and brought a huge success to the act despite her label’s concerns. She later worked on “Han” and “Uh-Oh” and released a song called “LION” on Mnet’s program Queendom, which was nominated for Korean Popular Music Award in the Best Pop Song category. After taking a somewhat lengthy break, she dropped a song named “TOMBOY,” which also did exponentially well in sales. The song is dance-pop music with strong “locking” and pop sounds that have recently become popular again. Although it isn’t easy to write a hit song five years into the idol industry, she created a meaningful result with this new brilliant track. Soyeon is an extremely talented artist who creates stunning music just like what her group’s name stands for. ((G)I-DLE stands for ”I NEVER DIE.’)
Songs that are worth checking out: (G)I-DLE’s “What’s Your Name,” “Maybe” and Jeon So Yeon’s “BEAM BEAM”
Editor Yoon: I love music, especially K-POP, and I dream of becoming an A&R person, lyricist, artist, etc. I will cover various articles, including song reviews, artist reviews, and K-pop market analysis.