Feature

K-Pop Producer Spotlight: Melanie Fontana

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.


MELANIE FONTANA

Years active: 2011-present

Associated Acts: BTS, TXT, Produce 101/I.O.I, Hyolyn, Everglow

Her sound: Trendy pop melodies and groovy instrumentals with an emphasis on bright synths. Prominent use of EDM elements, often fused to a more traditional pop structure.

Why you should love her: Along with her husband, Michel “Lindgren” Schulz, Fontana is slowly taking over the K-pop industry. She’s become a favorite of Big Hit Entertainment, composing 2019 singles by both BTS and TXT. In between, she’s crafted quirky tracks for a number of girl groups, melding international sensibilities with K-pop’s adventurous nature. Her songwriting prowess only seems to be growing as the years go on, so she’s definitely one to watch. Plus, it’s always good to have more female composers working behind the scenes!

Examples of her best work:

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7 thoughts on “K-Pop Producer Spotlight: Melanie Fontana

  1. Well, she definitely earned a high-five from me for “Bon Bon Chocolat”.

    ——————-

    I remember when FIESTAR’s “Apple Pie” dropped. I was waiting for fans to come pouring out of the woodwork to slam “Apple Pie” for having some faint similar elements with I.O.I.’s “Crush”; which had released a few weeks earlier. Of course it would have similarities since this hubby/wifey duo had waved a creative wand over both tracks.

    It’s sad that FIESTAR’s “Apple Pie” (one of my fave songs by them) was to end up being their swan song (they disbanded two years later without any following releases). A scoop of bitter truth adds an à la Mode melancholia to this dish with the fact that they never nabbed a single music show win in the 5 years and 9 months that they were together.

    ——————-

    Some of her other works that enrich my music library:

    Hyolyn – One Step (Feat. Jay Park) – One of my favorite songs by her.
    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqums9eXYVQ

    RaNia – Breathe Heavy: A wonderfully moody track. While not official, they are considered disbanded; if so, this is their swan song. Hmm, I’m sensing a pattern…
    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wouwhG7TlIk

    MelodyDay – Kiss On The Lips: I really love this song. Melody Day is another group that disbanded after 4 years and 10 months without ever earning a music show win. While they did release a single after this (Restless), “Kiss On The Lips” is their penultimate swan song. The plot thickens…
    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEhDA13d4lQ

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    • Oh! Someone else who appreciates Breathe Heavy? No one ever talks about that song, but it’s really just great. It’s too bad that Rania had the songs to make it, but never quite did, which is a shame. The “Breathe Heavy” and “Beep Beep Beep” duo is as good a final cry as any, I suppose…

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  2. “Apple Pie” *and* a Red Light album track – well that earns anyone points in my book for sure, though I don’t find her entire track record nearly as consistent.

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  3. Pingback: Buried Treasure: Ailee – Want It | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  4. Not my cup of tea. I feel like the hooks aren’t strong enough, and the melodies not hummable enough. Pleasant. I feel like the songs are always elevated by the performance surrounding the song, rather than the song being solid in and of itself. An echo chamber of what is currently vogue in pop, but not an original voice.
    My humble opinion.

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    • For example, “Boy With Luv” is a solid pop song. Great choice by Big Hit to continue the foray in the US. But it is so mainstream, that it has no edge. The elevation comes because it is BTS doing the performance with the hyper cute and stylized and coordinated dance. It is popular because it is popular.

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