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.
BRAVE BROTHERS / BRAVE SOUND
Years active: 2005-present
Associated Acts: Teen Top, After School, U-Kiss, Sistar, Bigbang, AOA, Hello Venus, Brave Girls, Bigstar, Electroboyz
His sound: Heavily influenced by 80’s pop, with strong use of simple, repetitive riffs and refrains. Synth/electro based instrumentation, often paired with autotune and vocoder for a highly processed effect.
Why you should love him: One of k-pop’s most prolific producers, Brave Brothers has crafted the sound of many superstars while retaining his own, highly-recognizable style. Though his songs have often been criticized as sounding all the same, his hook-heavy style has proven to be incredibly durable and timeless. There’s a reason why so many groups have come to him in search of a surefire hit. His songs are deceptively simple on first listen, filled with wordless refrains that instantly lodge themselves in listeners’ brains. But under the surface, his productions are often filled with dense instrumentation and background vocals, resulting in a big singalong sound that has become a vital part of k-pop.
Examples of his best work: