After landing their first K-pop credit from a 2015 Swedish writing camp that led to the stomping single "Sniper" by veteran male outfit Shinhwa, Bonnick and Chapman developed a partnership with Korea's largest pop label SM Entertainment and have produced chart-toppers like EXO's dark, electro-pop banger "Monster," Red Velvet's deliciously funky "Dumb Dumb" single, and brought U.K. deep house to Korea via SHINee's "View" and f(x)'s "4 Walls." Their partnership was similar to The Underdogs -- the production duo consisting of Harvey Mason Jr. and Damon Thomas that has helmed records for Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake and Brown as well -- who had a similar relationship with the agency, crafting singles for BoA, Girls' Generation and EXO.
Past SM Entertainment, Diplo, Skrillex, will.i.am, R3hab, The Chainsmokers and more have also dipped into the K-pop world, crafting tracks specifically aimed at the Korean and Asian market for artists like BIGBANG (see the Diplo-produced "Knock Out"), 4Minute (the Skrillex-crafted "Hate"), BTS (their Andrew Taggart-assisted "Best of Me" cut) and more. Hours after the Stereotypes won the Song of the Year Grammy for co-producing Bruno Mars' Hot 100 No. 1 "That's What I Like," their newest production for girl group Red Velvet -- the hook-heavy R&B single "Bad Boy" -- dropped.
"I believe K-pop is much more musical," says Jonathan Yip, who makes up one-fourth of the Stereotypes. His experiences began by submitting a song titled "XYZ" for BoA's debut English album in 2009, which would later be released as an album cut on Girls' Generation's 2013 album I Got a Boy. The guys have since worked on singles like Super Junior's "Devil" and BoA's "Kiss My Lips," along with co-writing the song "Press Your Number" with Mars that was released as the title track from SHINee member Taemin's 2016 solo album. "They usually like big, dynamic transitions in the record. Most of these artists have been training all their lives to entertain at the highest level and it's only matter of time until more acts break through. BTS is doing a great job of breaking into the scene and I hope there are more artists to follow."
While Yip notes that South Korea's doesn't pay out royalties for album sales, both he and the LDN Noise guys emphasize that the country's industry -- which only joined as one of the top 10 largest markets globally this decade, according to the IFPI -- is potentially very lucrative for producers and songwriters. But the monetary incentives are only surpassed by K-pop's creative, experimental freedom and highly stylized rollouts.
"We enjoy the creative freedom to be so experimental and go against the regular format of a song -- verse, bridge, chorus -- with our music we just take it where it feels right and if that means several key changes or breaks, we do it," LDN Noise adds. "We also love seeing our work come to life with the videos, choreography, and styling; there is so much effort put into each release. As a producer, it's so rewarding seeing your songs be given that much attention to detail."