In k-pop, there are many producers; some better than others. Some also leave more of a lasting impression than others, whether it’s good or bad. Today I will discuss some memorable producers, and what category they fall in for me. This is not a blatant attack on the music they produce, per se, but more an opinion on the producers themselves.
THE GOOD: Sweetune
This pair is known for their combination of new and old sounds. The way I think of them, it’s a combination of new pop, with pop of the 80s and 90s. Their music consists of heavy synths and guitar riffs. Comprised of Han Jaeho and Kim Seung Soo, they have produced multiple hit tracks for KARA (such as “Pandora” and “Mister”), INFINITE (such as “Be Mine” and “Paradise”), and Nine Muses (such as “Ticket” and “News”). Most recently, Sweetune worked with Boyfriend on their comeback title track, “Janus.” Their songs capture the essence and image of the groups, instead of the groups trying to fit the image of the song. This is why they create massive hits and why they are touted as some of the movers of the k-pop industry.
THE BAD: Brave Brothers
If it is not the constant need to have his name within a song, it is the fact he produces better music for other artists than he does for those within his own label. You don’t have to go very far to hear either “Brave” or “Brave Sound” within a song. That’s incredibly annoying, and honestly, isn’t it a bit conceited that you put your name in the song? Why not just have your credit given in the track details, like other producers? Then there’s the whole self-plagiarizing thing. When “To You” by Teen Top came out, people instantly made the connection with “Alone,” even before knowing Brave Brothers produced the song as a prequel track. Come on, at least have some distinction between your songs. If that was not enough, there’s the fact that Brave Brothers seems to care about giving the good songs to other artists, and less about making sure his own artists get quality songs. I can not be the only one who thinks that Brave Brothers neglects his own artists and does not promote them properly. Teen Top got “To You,” and SISTAR got “Alone,” but BIGSTAR got “Hot Boy.” It is not like his artists are not talented, because they are talented. It’s just that Brave Brothers seems to have not put forth the effort needed to make Brave Girls, Electroboyz, and BIGSTAR into the successful artists that they have the talent to be. Brave Brothers needs to prioritize his own artists and stop with the self-publicizing.
THE WTH?!: JYP
The whisper. Need I say more? The whisper has become almost synonymous with any music that comes from Park Jin Young. I do have concerns that sometimes his style of production is more suited for him, than for the artists within JYP Entertainment. This is not to say that JYP’s music is not good, because it is good. However, the retro, Michael Jackson-esque sound is not for everyone. But seriously, I just can not stand that dang whisper. What the heck, JYP? What the heck?!