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.
Years active: 2015-present
Associated Acts: Shinee, Shinhwa, EXO, Red Velvet, NCT, f(x), Taeyeon
Their sound: Favors deep house and elements of western dance music. Often combines trendy styles with throwback genre influences. Beat-driven, with complex, internationally-minded arrangements.
Why you should love them: SM has long been known to outsource their songwriting and production, and London based LDN Noise has all but taken over their 2015-16 discography. Though I sometimes complain that some of their input is too informed by what’s popular in western music, I respect the fact that they aren’t afraid to reference aspects of retro funk and dance music. And looking at their work so far, they’ve actually proven themselves far more versatile in sound than many give them credit for. Beyond that, they have been directly responsible for some of the very best k-pop tracks of the last year, crafting some truly legendary comebacks.
Examples of their best work: