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: 1999-present
Associated Acts: f(x), Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, Shinee, BoA
His sound: Beat-driven dance pop with a stuttery, electric guitar-fueled appeal. Experimental at times, particularly when it comes to his solo work. Heavy emphasis on repetition and pattern.
Why you should love him: Hitchhiker started his musical career as part of late 90’s group Roller Coaster, but quickly became one of SM’s most prominent producers. For me, his name attached to a song indicates that we’re in for something incredibly adventurous and slightly weird. Though his list of title tracks isn’t as long as some producers’ catalogs, it’s a remarkably consistent collection — including some of k-pop’s very best. His tracks often put emphasis on beats and production, but he’s no slouch in the melody department, either. And… he helped craft Infinite’s debut. That alone is enough to love him!
Examples of their best work: