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Big Hit Producer Pdogg Shares What It’s Like To Create Music With BTS by E. Cha (original page) As BTS’s popularity continues to soar worldwide, Big Hit Entertainment producer Pdogg shared his thoughts on the group’s success. Pdogg, who recently won the Best Producer Award at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards, is the producer behind many of BTS’s greatest hits. Some of his most famous songs include “Fire,” “I Need U,” “Boy in Luv,” “Run,” “Dope,” “Spring Day,” and most recently, “DNA.” He has worked with the group since before their debut, and BTS has never released an album that wasn’t produced by him. BTS has recently attracted attention for managing to set new records as a K-pop group despite hailing from a relatively small agency. When asked what he thought was Big Hit’s greatest strength as a company, Pdogg replied, “I think it’s agency head Bang Shi Hyuk’s attitude towards creating music. He is a firm believer that in order to win over the public, [an artist’s] music needs to be good. So he works tirelessly [on songs] until he achieves an end result that he finds satisfying.” He went on, “Additionally, there aren’t any singers or producers at our company who don’t sincerely love music. BTS, for example, will come to the studio late at night after finishing their scheduled activities for the day, and they’ll work on their songs until morning. Even though no one asked them to do so. I think the reason that they’re so self-motivated is because they truly love music.” Pdogg also spoke about working together with BTS on their music. He explained that each song came about in a different way, but that it was typically a very collaborative process. “It varies for each song,” he commented, “but we typically create a general framework based on the members’ outlook on modern-day society or their current emotional state. Then, using that as a basis, we begin more concrete production.” He added, “There are also some instances when I set the song up first, and the members complete it by adding their contributions. Each song is different, so we don’t have a fixed system. If you compare it to a puzzle, I guess you could say that the members each create individual pieces, and I play the role of choosing the best pieces to put together a completed image.” When speaking about the group’s formation, Pdogg shared that what the agency had in mind for BTS changed as time went on. “At the beginning, we were planning to form a group of rappers,” he recalled. “But after many internal meetings, we ended up producing a hip hop idol group. We tried to create a group that could pull off cool dance performances with hip hop as a foundation. We also conceived them as a group that would tell the stories of their generation and age group.” While some of the BTS members arrived at the agency already passionate about hip hop, Pdogg reported that others became acquainted with the genre during their pre-debut training period. “There were members who already had a full understanding of hip hop, and there were others who did not,” said the producer. “So we held lessons in which they were able to naturally familiarize themselves with hip hop. We also set up times for them to listen to music together and discuss everything from old-school hip hop to the latest songs.” Of all the songs he produced for the group, Pdogg chose “I Need U” as the one that meant the most to him. “I was personally going through a very hard time when we worked on the song,” he revealed. “After [BTS’s] first full album with the song ‘Danger‘ didn’t do as well as expected, I worried a great deal about what kind of music we should produce next, and my confidence was very low. I wanted to give up, but Bang Shi Hyuk waited for me. It was at that point in time that the song ‘I Need U’ came into existence. It ended up being a song that served as the foundation for the BTS we know today, so I’m very attached to it.” Speaking about BTS’s plans for the future, the producer remarked, “‘Love Yourself: Her’ was the beginning of a new series, so we plan on continuing it.” He added, “I think [our plans] will change based on BTS’s circumstances and the members’ emotional states in the future.” BTS’s “Love Yourself: Her” has recently seen a resurgence in popularity, with the album rising on a number of global charts. The group also became the first K-pop group to break into Billboard’s Top 40this week with “MIC Drop.” Source (1)
(INTERVIEW) [Idol Maker] Pdogg Producer | Making Music that Considers the Stage The interview below is with Pdogg, who works at Big Hit Entertainment and has been producing music for BTS since their debut. This interview was given in July 2013, just after BTS' debut. The interview itself is long and interesting, but I have translated only the BTS-related parts below. CWJ: How did you become connected to the BTS project? PD: Around 2010 I was drinking with Sleepy, we're kind of close... Sleepy said there was this kid who was just an incredible performer, 17 years old, first year in high school. He asked if I wanted to listen. So I listened and it was killer. So I said to Sihyuk hyung that there was this kid, and it all kind of fell into place from there, no? The project started that way. That friend was Rap Monster, I met him first and in the middle I met Beenzino and Basick. Other than them, I also met other friends from the underground, but they had other things going on so it didn't work out. At that time, the direction that BTS would go in wasn't fixed in detail, it was just like, "let's make a team with the basis of hip hop." Between 2010 and 2011 we had nationwide auditions and Suga came in, and it developed that way. At first we wanted to make a hip hop group rather than an idol group. CWJ: What was the reason for that plan arising? Because you wanted to do hip hop? PD: No. Rather than that it was just like, we can't bury kids like these. The friends Rap Monster had around him were all born in 94 and 95. But they all did really well. I was like "wow, there are kids who can do this well," and then I found out that he was even friendly with Block B's Zico. It was like that. I saw all these talented kids and said as much to Sihyuk hyung. At first we called them the Bangtan Crew. Then after they gradually started to change direction towards idoldom, we re-organized them, and dance and performance aspects started to come in, and we re-organized the kids who were having a hard time again. CWJ: Whenever a new team comes out, there's some worry about what market they'll aim for. In the case of BTS, it seems like people talked about "do they have marketability as major hip hop?" PD: Is that so? I don't know about Sihyuk hyung, but for me, when I think about BTS I think primarily about how they have so much talent, and how I want Big Hit to contribute to that talent to make a kind of musical synergy. Also, from 2010 to recently the trend was electronica, but from the beginning of last year, there seems to be a reason why music with a hip-hop base has suddenly popped up. When I see artists like A$AP Rocky or Kendrick Lamar, or rookies like Logic, I strongly feel that hip hop is returning, in particular that the music of the 90's is coming back. It was the same when I first heard The Game around 2006. As soon as I heard it I was like 'wah, this is exactly the gangster style I wanted.' Particularly Kendrick Lamar, he raps well and makes music that really modernly releases a feeling of the late 90s to early 2000s. It's nuts. I think this must be a generation that wants hip hop. [ ... ] CWJ: Then is it a very different feeling, being in charge of main producing for BTS? PD: I just introduced the kids to Sihyuk hyung, but I think he entrusted more to me than just that. That time was difficult for me, musically. I was thinking, "What do I have to do in this company?" It was a period of being lost, but while we worked on the BTS project, Sihyuk hyung opened up this path for me. CWJ: In that case, I'm curious about what kind of process a single idol group undergoes in order to debut, in detail. PD: First of all, we went through about 30 trainees. Also, although it'll never be released, there are a lot of things that we worked on together. We worked on songs and did recordings and saw each other's reactions that way. That period lasted for about 3 years, and the ones who remained afterwards were Suga, Rap Monster, and J-Hope. I have all the things these three made still on my computer. The kids made an average of at least one song per week, and there were also times when they had assignments. When there were a lot of people we'd split them into teams and have some of them work with foreign pop and some of them work with hip hop. Like, reinterpreting things in a hip hop manner. And when we felt that the number of people was good, we'd re-organize the members. We'd also split up the kids who were good at performance and the ones who weren't. Through that process, they took a direction in earnest for more than a year, and I thought a lot as well. We also had a ton of meetings. After checking everything from the kids' fashion to their condition, their rap, their singing level, we started working in earnest from November or December of last year. From that time a lot of talk came up. They operated their own blog, and the kids found a direction by choosing the songs or cover songs to upload there, but for me, the thing that was most difficult was having to make music that would be accepted by the general public. In the Korean major music scene, hip hop is just telling love stories through rap. Or having swag like YG's style. But honestly, ultimately if you want to be like that you have to do well and have a lot of money and you have to have something to brag about, and we have nothing. Honestly it's not something that people will acknowledge. CWJ: If you go out into the field, people make comparisons. PD: Well, there's that, and other limitations. First of all, for the debut single, if we wanted all seven members' voices to come out, each rapper had to have 16 lines, but we couldn't do anything other than share around eight lines. Within that, it's difficult to make lines that people are able to sing along with. So at first, we tried to make soft music that would be generally accepted, and then we tried music that sounded like YG style, without discriminating. So really we just climbed this mountain and that mountain. original post: here trans by tongue technology ~ I really like reading this type of stuff related to bangtan. I'm really glad people like him and slow rabbit work with them. BTS music wouldn't be so amazing if it wouldn't be for him and the other producers who work at BigHit and help BTS to make their albums. They truly deserve more credit and respect.