K-Pop Producer Spotlight: Thomas Troelsen

If there’s anything I’ve learned from covering pop music for over a decade, it’s that songwriters and collaborators are just as important as the artists themselves. Though they often work behind the scenes, this feature is a chance to shine the light on some of k-pop’s most innovative and accomplished producers and composers.


Thomas Troelsen

Years active: 2003-present

Associated Acts: Shinee, Super Junior, f(x), TVXQ, Girls’ Generation

His sound: 80’s inspired, with an emphasis on funky, retro synths and ample syncopation. Has a definite penchant for Michael Jackson and a bright, classic pop style.

Why you should love him: An example of SM Entertainment’s recruitment of foreign producers, Thomas Troelsen is based in Denmark and has a sizable list of production credits for Western artists, including his own bands, Superheroes and Private. In fact, I was a fan of his work before I was even into k-pop. Troelsen has given Shinee some of their most enduring classics, and his gift for melody always ensures a solid track. If you miss the time when pop music was fun and funky, Troelsen is your man. From what I can tell, SM has cut ties with him (his last work in the k-pop genre was back in 2014), but I am longing for a comeback, as his unique sound is very much needed.

Examples of his best work:


21 thoughts on “K-Pop Producer Spotlight: Thomas Troelsen

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  16. Jesus Christ. After my comment on Boyfriend the other day, I went on to find out some more about Sweetune and got pulled into the producer rabbit hole. Once there I learned that between this guy and Teddy Park they wrote like 80% of my K-pop all time favorites. I also realized I’m quite the YG fan.

    (Also that Melanie Fontana is a mixed bag of the best TXT and some of the worst BTS while the best BTS title track ever, Blood Sweat and Tears, was produced by the guy that made my favorite Oneus, Mamamoo and that huge Onewe track earlier this year, Kim Dohoon. And Bang Chan makes better b-sides than title tracks. Oh, and a guy called Adrian McKinnon has made a bunch of great SM tracks over the years, and so on and so forth and I don’t even know why I’m telling you this…)

    Overall, quite a fruitful quest. But after much soul-searching, I still can’t seem to see what’s so great about Sherlock.

    Anyways, is there any other producer/s in particular that humble me should check, Your Worthiness?


    • Always follow the producers 😉

      My holy trinity is:

      Yoo Young-Jin

      Some newer ones to check out:

      1Take & TAK
      Black Eyed Pilseung
      Coach & Sendo

      And then there are the classics:
      Brave Brothers
      Duble Sidekick
      Shinsadong Tiger

      I’ve got a few favorite J-pop producers as well:

      Daisuke Asakura (my all-time fav)
      Tommy Clint
      Takuya Watanabe

      I’m sure you’re already aware since you commented on this post, but my “Producer Spotlight” feature is a great place to go to get a taste of most of these producers (and many, many more):

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. And sorry. I must be looking like an idiot here, because it seems I don’t understand songwriting credits all that much. 😕

        Turns out Kim Dohoon is one of RBW’s goddanged CEOs and Oneus’ discography seems to be more the work of a member of Monotree, but at least he definitely worked on LIT, which is my favorite Oneus single, IMO.

        (After TXT’s 2020 and before TOO take their first dip, I think Oneus is one of exactly two rookies that I still find consistently good, in case you were wondering. And Verivery for some b-sides.)


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