Feature

The Top 10 K-Pop Producers of 2017

Producers and composers are the fuel that keeps k-pop going, and they’re the very first album credit that I check when a new project is being teased. Last year, I counted down the top five producers, but I’m doubling that in 2017 to shine focus on some of the incredible talents that crafted this year in k-pop.

+ Make sure to check out the rest of the year-end countdowns here!


10. GLORY FACE

Glory Face is one of those reliable album track producers. Working within the poppier side of k-pop, they crafted some of my favorite b-sides of the year.

The Bias List Producer Spotlight

2017 Highlights:
Astro – You Smile, Because of You, With You, Run
Laboum – Only U
DIA – Can’t Stop
Lovelyz – A Secret Garden
Pristin – Running
Cosmic Girls – I Wish, B.B.B.Boo
Romeo – Blue
Gugudan – Street
Turbo – Hot Sugar, Manly
Weki Meki – Neverland, My World
Momoland – Freeze, Music Box
Elris – Midnight, Moonlight


9. LDN NOISE

Though not quite as active this year as they have been in the past, LDN Noise remain one of SM Entertainment’s most reliable production teams. This year they also branched out to work with other agencies, leading to Astro’s mature reinvention.

The Bias List Producer Spotlight

2017 Highlights:
EXO – Power, Forever
Red Velvet – Zoo
Astro – Crazy Sexy Cool
NCT Dream – We Young
Girl’s Day – Thirsty


8. E.ONE

E.One have refined their synthy space-age sound to tremendous effect. They still don’t get to work on nearly enough title tracks, but they were prolific on 2017 girl group albums.

The Bias List Producer Spotlight

2017 Highlights:
April – April Story, Take My Hand, Ding, Lovesick
Sonamoo – I (Knew It)
GFriend – Crush
Cosmic Girls – Miracle
Nine Muses – Hate Me
Apink – Like It
DIA – LO OK
Twice – You In My Heart, Turtle
Astro – Butterfly
Wanna One – Wanna


7. MONOTREE

Monotree were everywhere in 2017, producing more songs than anyone else on this list. They composed ONF’s incredible debut mini album, helped steer the LOONA project, and dipped their feet into the work of SM Entertainment’s a-list artists.

The Bias List Producer Spotlight

2017 Highlights:
ONF – On/Off, Difficult, If I Dream, Original, Cat’s Waltz
AOA – Lily
GOT7 – Q
LOONA – Love and Live, Valentine Girl, Love Cherry Motion
Elris – We, First, Pow Pow, You and Me, Roopretelcham
Cosmic Girls – Sugar
CLC – Call My Name
Girls’ Generation – Love Is Bitter
Pristin – We Are Pristin, Aloha, Tina
JJ Project – The Day
Super Junior – Runaway
Red Velvet – Moonlight Melody
Taemin – Day and Night


6. BUMZU

As its artists have risen to k-pop-conquering fame, Bumzu has been Pledis Entertainment’s most valuable asset. He’s driven the work of all three of the agency’s heavy hitters, crafting a trademark sound that embraces trends without feeling beholden to them.

2017 Highlights:
Seventeen – Don’t Wanna Cry, Clap, Without You, Lilili Yabbay, Trauma, Flower, Rocket, Hello, Campfire, If I, Swimming Fool, My I, Crazy In Love
Nu’est W – Where You At, Just One Day, Paradise, Good Love, With
Pristin – We Are Pristin, We Like


5. 1TAKE & TAK

One of k-pop’s most promising new production duos, 1Take and TAK’s glitchy electronic style breathed new life into 2017’s trendy output. Their burgeoning discography may be small now, but I’m excited to see where they go from here.

The Bias List Producer Spotlight

2017 Highlights:
Golden Child – What Happened
Wanna One – Wanna Be (My Baby)
Lovelyz – Twinkle
Good Day – Beyond This Moment, Fly Away


4. LUDWIG LINDELL & DANIEL CAESAR

In addition to being the composers of the gargantuan summer hit Red Flavor, Lindell and Caesar brought their punchy pop style to some of Korea’s biggest acts. They’ve proven themselves to be masters of the Big Pop Chorus, expertly melding European influences to k-pop’s idiosyncratic sound.

The Bias List Producer Spotlight

2017 Highlights:
Red Velvet – Red Flavor
Girls’ Generation – All Night
Pentagon – Pretty Pretty
Twice – 24/7
LOONA – Singing In The Rain, New
EXO-CBX – Girl Problems, Diamond Crystal
Shinhwa – Super Power


3. FLOWBLOW & HUI

The only debut on this countdown, Flow Blow and Pentagon’s Hui burst onto the scene with the mega-hit Never, and didn’t look back from that point on. They’re responsible for Wanna One’s trademark song and Pentagon’s re-emergence as a creative force.

The Bias List Producer Spotlight

2017 Highlights:
Produce 101 – Never
Wanna One – Energetic
Pentagon – Like This, Runaway, Stay
Monsta X – Deja Vu
JBJ – Say My Name


2. SWEETUNE

Good old reliable Sweetune were in this same position last year. Thanks to their work with Snuper, I’d argue that they had an even better year in 2017. I’d still like to see them work with some of k-pop’s a-list acts again, because right now they’re consistently churning out some of the industry’s most under-appreciated gems.

The Bias List Producer Spotlight

2017 Highlights:
Snuper – Back:Hug, Star of Stars, Dear, Hide and Seek, My Girl’s Fox
100% – Sketch U, One Day, Interpretation, Gorgeous, Meet Me Yesterday
Lovelyz – Emotion, The
Top Secret – She, Mind Control, Something Special, It’s Good, Up and Down
Weki Meki – iTeen Girls Special


1. RYAN S. JHUN

Ryan S. Jhun has been composing fantastic material for years now, but his star power really blew up in 2017. He started strong with the incredible My First and Last, and was responsible for 2017’s biggest viral hit Pick Me. In between, his 80’s-tinged pop was always a treat, offering shots of pure pop melody during a year more focused on trendy instrumentals.

The Bias List Producer Spotlight

2017 Highlights:
NCT Dream – My First and Last
Melody Day – Kiss on the Lips
VAV – Venus (Dance With Me), ABC (Middle of the Night), She’s Mine
Produce 101 – Pick Me, Super Hot
Girl’s Day – I’ll Be Yours, Thirsty, Kumbaya, Truth
EXO – Touch It
Shannon – Hello
Rainz – Juliette, All Night Kinda Night

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “The Top 10 K-Pop Producers of 2017

  1. Pingback: K-POP Best of 2017 Masterpost | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  2. Essay incoming (I feel strongly about my kpop producers!):

    I love how Sweetune made like 2.76 songs this year and they still end up at #2 on this countdown. Not that I disagree! As much as I love almost everything that Sweetune puts out, I really miss their more metal-influenced work – such as with groups like Kara. Trop-house Sweetune is somehow great, but heavy metal Sweetune will always reign supreme! I’m surprised you didn’t spotlight “The” from Lovelyz’s R U Ready? album, because imo it’s easily one of the top 3 b-sides of the year – the breezy, descending-harmony-tastic pop-rock song that we haven’t gotten from nearly any group this year.

    I, however, am extremely triggered that the Iggy/Yongbae dream team didn’t make this list. I, too, am salty that they gave Gfriend two (better than) Apink knockoffs , but what about their work on Astro’s albums?? Fingertip?!

    I can’t really get behind Ryan S. Jhun, LDN Noise, and Ludwig Lindell/Daniel Caeser. They’ve all had one or two really good tracks this year, but most of their stuff (and this is very much just my personal preference) is really just extremely-polished dull electropop.

    E.one really deserves the spotlight you’re giving him though, because he’s been composing great tracks all year long! I’ll have to be adding him to my list of composers to watch closely.

    Like

    • I strongly considered adding Iggy/Youngbae to the list, but I felt that compared to last year the entirety of their output was markedly weaker. I loved Gfriend’s Fingertip, Astro’s Dreams Come True and P.O.P’s Catch You (as well as SF9’s O Sole Mio, which Youngbae worked on), but overall they just released too many ballads and mid-tempos for my taste. I guess my bar for them is extremely high.

      Even so, they deserve a very strong honorable mention. I am definitely still aboard the Iggy/Youngbae train!

      Like

      • Fair point. I usually just ignore filler ballads and stuff because you know the companies were like “give us a longer-than-average-song to pad out the album’s running time so we can get away with calling it a ‘full-length'”. Don’t get me wrong, they’re usually throwaways, but, well, they gotta get that commission money somehow.

        Like

  3. Something bad happened to someone I care about…I would just like to find a way to get her a call or email…I don’t know you guys…but I know Kpop is her world…it would mean everything to her…if we could surprise her..it would be sweet…it’s probably wrong but, I really need to make her smile…leave a voicemail 306 230 2722…or let me know how to contact someone
    …I’m trying to pick up a strong girl that has been though to much…she deserves to at least get a hello..after the bad parts of life she’s seen..she deserves better

    Like

  4. Pingback: QRIMOLE – January 2018 | KPOPALYPSE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s