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: 2011-present
Associated Acts: B1A4, Oh My Girl, I.O.I
His sound: Lush pop melodies over dense production that favors live instrumentation and stately synth flourishes. Frequent use of key changes, often adding an additional, post-chorus refrain at the song’s climax.
Why you should love him: In honor of B1A4’s impending comeback, it’s the perfect time to spotlight their leader, and one of my absolute favorite composers working in k-pop. As well as being responsible for every B1A4 title track post-2012, Jinyoung has recently gained notoriety for composing b-sides for girl groups. He has the midas touch when it comes to pop music, and a ridiculously strong ear for melodic hooks that feel both timeless and inventive. He’s shown that he can master a wide variety of styles, but tie them all together with a representative sound that expertly fuses the anthemic with the understated. Even when they borrow from current trends, his songs have incredibly longevity.
Examples of his best work: