After years of writing about K-pop, certain age-old questions tend to pop up. I spend way too much energy thinking about them, but I guess that comes with the gig!
But, the time has come to tackle some of these questions head-on in a new Bias List feature.
Yes, we’re going to have a good old-fashioned debate! I’ll lay out a question, do my best to advocate for both sides, and let you all vote and discuss. None of these quandaries have easy (or correct) answers, but that’s what makes them so much fun to think about.
Debate: Single Producer vs. Revolving Producers
When it comes to music, you know I’m all about the producers. I mean, they’re the ones who actually compose and create the songs! These days, it’s common for idol acts to hire a vast array of producers rather than stick with one small team. But, it wasn’t always this way. Because of this shift, I’m curious how we all feel about this question:
Would you rather have idol groups stick with a single producer (or production team) across their entire discography, or would you prefer that they switch producers often?
Leave your thoughts in the comments and remember to vote in the poll. Let’s keep it civil and have a healthy debate!
In defense of a single producer:
Pairing a single producer (or production team) with an idol group is like forming a band who write all their own music. They can craft a fresh, diverse discography while couching it within an established brand that pulls everything together. The group’s music speaks with one unified voice. Both the idols and the producer can grow in tandem, pushing and evolving their sound while maintaining the elements that make them compelling.
This partnership brings a sense of trust, as the producer learns how best to use the group’s skillset. They’re able to accommodate trends in a way that feels natural. There’s a reason many of history’s most iconic pop music runs are largely crafted by a small group of collaborators. It’s all about cohesion.
In defense of revolving producers:
Variety is the spice of life, and K-pop is nothing without its ever-changing soundscape. The worst thing an idol group could do is stagnate and watch younger, edgier acts pass them by. With so many comebacks stuffed into each year, opportunity abounds for experimentation. Working with different producers for each release allows groups to explore their strengths (and weaknesses), showcasing a multitude of skills.
With so many large-configuration acts, varying concepts and ideas are essential in highlighting the full character of group. Plus, more styles/genres means more chances to appeal to a wide spectrum of fans. Single-producer groups might find their dedicated niche, but they run the risk of leaving everyone else out. Revolving producers offers something for everyone.