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)?