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[TRANS/Interview] [Idol Maker] Pdogg Producer | Making Music that Considers the Stage

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(INTERVIEW) [Idol Maker] Pdogg Producer | Making Music that Considers the Stage

pd.02.jpg


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.
 
:suga2:

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1 hour ago, BIKKA said:
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.
 
:suga2:

wow, it was lengthy!
yeah, they're really deserve more credits~
they are also the ones that helped building a group called BTS from the very beginning <3

also this:

1 hour ago, BIKKA said:
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.

being a trainee is surely hard..
i'm glad that our boys persist 'til the end
:v1:

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1 hour ago, BIKKA said:

So really we just climbed this mountain and that mountain.

Also that section about training and trainee's really punched me wright in the feels.

I'm so proud of them and everything they were able to overcome. They deserve all their awards and love from the fans. 

:v1:

Thank you so much for sharing this!

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Success wasn't only Bangtan's dream but thee whole BigHit crew.

Hope that everyone who works hard for them to be where they are now get the recognition and  payment they deserve.

Edited by suga's baby face

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pdogg and slow rabbit are both precious. i love their production style and one of the things that make bangtan's music so consistently good is that they've been working with the same people since the start. and i'm sure the members have learnt a lot from them and the other producers that work at bighit.

and the bit about their trainee period is really interesting

Edited by first love

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On 12/25/2016 at 9:33 AM, BIKKA said:
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.
 

I'm soo glad I found this. Thank you for sharing it here! :) I always wanted to know more about things related to BTS and the people behind them! And I still clearly remember when Pdogg tweeted  a video showing slowrabbit cried right after BTS won Daesang at MAMA :") what a beautiful people

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Wah Pdogg, the hidden 8th member of BTS~~

Really this was super interesting to read, thank you for posting!!

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On 25/12/2016 at 12:33 PM, ʙıᴋᴋᴀ said:

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 team at Big Hit really are a family. They company have played such a big part in the lives of all of the boys, and the fact that they've grown into such grounded and mature individuals is a massive testament to this. Especially now that we see BTS using their influence and voice to try to change the world for the better, there's really no better evidence or proof of this.

Also, the fact that PDogg kept all the music the boys made over their predebut journey shows how thoughtful he is towards them. I wonder if he still has those now and if so, whether he (or the boys!) revisit them occasionally?

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