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: 2013-present (k-pop only)
Associated Acts: Super Junior, Taemin, Shinee, EXO, BoA, f(x), Girls’ Generation
Their sound: Smooth hip-hop/soul melodies over groove-focused production that often focuses on a heavily repeated instrumental riff. A classic, throwback vibe without sounding overly retro.
Why you should love them: The Stereotypes are far from a k-pop exclusive production team. They’ve been crafting hits for western artists since 2003 and are most well-known for that work. But starting in 2013 (and almost exclusively with SM Entertainment‘s roster), the guys have been enlisted to create some of the best k-pop tracks of the past few years. Their music strikes a nice balance between edgy and classic, taking influences from the past and melding them with today’s trends. For k-pop specifically, they bring a taste of a westernized urban sound without completely overpowering an artist’s Korean roots.
Examples of their best work:
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