‘Swedish composers understand the sentiment of Korean’ Techang’ I can’t speak Korean, but I can make K-pop

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Ellen Berry, who lives in Stockholm, Sweden, is on the list of composers for BTS’ song ‘We are Bulletproof: the Eternal.’

Berry heard Girls’ Generation’s ‘I Got a Boy’ 9 years ago when she was a student at a popular music college and thought, ‘Well, there are all these songs because it was so unfamiliar. But now, he is one of the dozens of Swedish composers making K-pop. Berry, who produced songs for Korean idol groups such as BTS, Red Velvet, and ITZY, now says this about ‘I Got a Boy.’

“This song contains five completely different songs in one song. One of the craziest K-pop songs ever.”

Moa Kaleveker, who composes K-pop with Berry, said, “In K-pop, each member has to stand out, so we need to create several rap and dynamic points. That’s why I’m able to show off my creativity in more variety than a typical pop song.”

“The Korean I know is only two words, ‘hello’ and ‘thank you,’ but there is no problem with the work.”

Swedish composers, who dominated American pop, are now turning to Korea. The New York Times (NYT) reported on the 26th (local time) that there are dozens of composers specializing in K-pop in Stockholm alone. However, they cannot speak a word of Korean.

Swedish composers specialize in creating addictive melodies that Koreans can sing to, the New York Times analyzed. Singing Beetle CEO Jo Michel (real name Jo Min-Kyung), who collaborates with foreign composers, said, “Swedish composers seem to have an emotional understanding of Koreans. I write melodies that stimulate emotions well.” Sweden, which turned its attention abroad early due to its small domestic market, is the third-largest country in its famous music market after the United States and the United Kingdom. Many composers have talents optimized for K-pop melodies and sounds, especially electronic dance music.

The reputation of K-pop composers is also growing in Sweden. Kalebecker won the ‘International Success’ category at the ‘2021 Swedish Composition Awards’, beating the legendary Swedish producer Max Martin. Composer Ludwig Ebers, who was nominated for the category, said, “A few years ago, people who ignored the saying ‘I can’t work with American or European musicians and do frivolous things’ when I was working on K-pop, now say, ‘We should use K-pop too.’ say,” he said.

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