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The pros and cons of featuring foreign vs. Korean composers in the Big 3

By KpopJoA   Tuesday, February 14, 2017   67,895   3,200   90



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With K-Pop officially going global, various composers abroad have collaborated with idol stars.  Media outlet Oh My News recently took a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of working with a foreign composer as opposed to a domestic composer.


First up is SM, known for partnering with foreign composers such as Teddy Riley, LDN Noise, and DeeVine Music.  Beginning in the late 90s to early 2000s, SM songs consisted of numerous remakes of foreign songs performed by S.E.S.

In the late 2000s, idol groups like SHINee, f(x) started to work with foreign composers in order to create a more dynamic sound and voice.  With primary groups, Girls' Generation and TVXQ following suit.


One of the appealing aspects in collaborating with foreign composers is being able to catch the latest music trends, as it is critical to have a knowledgeable source in the market.  For example, girl group f(x) had experimented with a wide range of electronica music, adding a twist to the more traditional Korean style of pop music with a powerful beat.


On the flip side, with the continuous teamwork with foreign composers, this leads to a diminishing effect in working with Korean composers. With that being said, it is rare to find a Korean composer for an SM track nowadays. On the opposite end of the spectrum, both JYP and YG Entertainment focus on working with Korean composers and may feel a bit pressured at times due to the spike in foreign collaborations. However, the results speak for themselves over the years with top hits from Big Bang, Wonder Girls, 2PM, and 2NE1.

Though it is not set in stone, both sides seem to have their good and bad parts.  In the end, the real question is can the artist live up to and truly shine in working with a foreign or Korean composer?

Which sound do you prefer? The one from foreign composers (SM) or the one from domestic ones (YG, JYP)?

SEE ALSO: AKP Talks Eric Nam collaboration and more with AOBeats

  1. S.E.S
  2. 2PM
  3. 2NE1
  4. Big Bang
  5. f(x)
  6. SHINee
  7. Girls' Generation
  8. TVXQ
  9. Wonder Girls

BASHER Wednesday, February 15, 2017

it doesn't matter if the song is written or produce by a foreign or Korean writer/ composer. it all matters on how it was produce, how it was written and how it styles the music. People doesn't matter on who wrote the song or who produce basically it all matters on how the music goes on. Regarding on Sm i wish they let their artist compose and write their own songs or album, i believe that mostly or some of SM artist are good in writing/compose a song

glassessay Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Doesn't matter that much though. Foreign or not, at the end of the day it's the company who has final say on a track and not the producer, giving it that [insert company name] stamp and particular sound. Producers may be the creators but they're hired to create and provide a certain sound their clients (aka company) ask of them.

zohliie Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This is one of the most pointless articles I've read on here [and damn it, there's so many to chose from]. I have immediate family members that's are producers and one that worked form such groups as ATCQ and En Vogue. Even though I'm not a producer, I know music and composition.

It makes perfect sense to hire such composers as the Stereotypes, Teddy Riley, etc because they are composers who have composed international hits and have stacks of Grammys, AMA etc. Teddy Riley has worked with Michael JACKSON {Remember the Time, Jam, In The Closet], Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga, BoyzIIMen Amerie, Robin Thick, SWV, Tony Toni Tone, Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown -- he discovered the Neptunes [Pharrell] and no only that, his group Blackstreet broke barriers with creating the 'New Jack Swing' sound. What company would not want to hire someone with that much stars on there report card--foreign or not? All of your oppas group and the Korean producers grew up on foreign music and of course want to have that type of influence.

I feel like this article is shitting on Korean composers as if they're not good enough and shaming companies for hiring international artists.

alicehalf Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Music has no race. Do you mean by music genres when you talk about foreigners? These foreigners are music artists like any other korean music composers. I'm glad that SM let them work with koreans because it show that SM want to innovate, be open-minded and cosmopolite in music. That way music can touch everyone.

SunLightWorld Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I'm not a talented musician nor an experienced composer, i just listen to music. If i like the music then i like the music no matter who compose it. Be it an Arabic composer, Swedish or Peruvian composer, it doesn't matter for me.

JMaeMae Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I like the songs from the big 3. But in when it comes to R&B ballad or senti/sad songs, i prefer yg's songs with that genre....

ShayMin Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Where's the rest of the article?

BlingerJ95 Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Isn't this a bit outdated though? I mean I am no expert and not that well informed but it does look like me that SM is giving it's artists more freedom to compose their own songs (or with a collab).

mabnab Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Well I prefer BIGBANG and BTS music, so I think I prefer singer-songwriters' music...

fairypanda Wednesday, February 15, 2017

I really like Ice Cream Cake and Yum Yum composed by foreign composer

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