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.
HWANG HYUN (MONOTREE)
Years active: 2011-present
His sound: Bright, retro synths and daring arrangements that often feature shifts in tempo and style. An overall robust production style, layering elements on top of each other for a larger-than-life sound.
Why you should love him: I’ve already featured Monotree on this segment, but Hwang Hyun deserves a post all his own. He’s my favorite talent within the production group, and his work only seems to be getting better and more adventurous as time goes on. He’s composed boy group ONF’s entire singles run, splitting the rest of his time equally between second-gen legends and newer rookie groups. His arranging skills are second-to-none, with an inventive touch that forgoes trends in favor of classic synth textures and big pop melodies. Basically, if you know that Hwang Hyun is behind a song, you know it will be great.
Examples of his best work: