|Hybe's music producer, Pdogg, the creative force behind K-pop supergroup BTS' chart-topping hits, is seen in this photo provided by Hybe Entertainment. Yonhap|
Music producer Pdogg, the creative force behind BTS' chart-topping hits, is confident about the group's ability to continue captivating fans with their profound messages even when they return as a whole group in the future.
"When the members regroup, (most) members will be in their 30s. Please anticipate the perspectives on the world that these members will bring in the second chapter of their career," Pdogg said during a recent interview with Yonhap News Agency to mark the group's 10th anniversary.
The K-pop septet announced a year ago they would be taking a hiatus to pursue solo projects out of the group. Their agency later said BTS can be reunited as a full group in 2025 after all the members complete their mandatory military service.
Pdogg showed strong conviction that the members will each work on improving their weaknesses and continue to grow during the team's hiatus.
As an integral part of BTS' success story, the producer, whose original Korean name is Kang Hyo-won, has produced an array of the group's most successful tracks, starting with their debut song, "No More Dream," and culminating with last year's highly acclaimed release, "Yet To Come."
He was awarded the top prize of the Korean Music Copyright Association's annual copyright awards for five consecutive years since 2019 for making the highest earnings from song royalties, in tandem with BTS' meteoric rise to global stardom.
Pdogg expressed his affection for the group, calling them his "musical companions."
"I'm in a sort of mutually complementary relationship with them of conveying their messages to the public through my role as a producer."
Throughout the interview, Pdogg described BTS as a group that frankly expresses their own narratives and candidly reflects the times.
"This approach probably has contributed to forging a connection with people across the globe," he said of the secret behind the group's resounding success.
|K-pop group BTS / Courtesy of BigHit Music|
Reflecting on the past decade, Pdogg singled out two significant milestones. The first was the band's historic 2019 Wembley Stadium concert in Britain, which made it the first Korean act to perform there.
He recalled the electrifying experience of witnessing the unceasing singalongs from the enraptured audience, leaving him and the band with a resounding sense of achievement and pride.
However, he also candidly shared the most challenging moment, which he identified as the year before dropping "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life" album series.
"The time around when we worked on the first full-length album before the 'The Most Beautiful Moment in Life' series was the most challenging," he recalled. "The band faced uncertainties in appealing to their dedicated fan base in the competitive idol music market."
BTS, which made their debut as a hip-hop idol group in 2013, initially focused on conveying messages from rebellious teenagers. Their early songs had a distinct flavor, setting them apart from the familiar chart-topping hits.
While BTS successfully left an indelible mark on K-pop fans with their impactful messages, as Pdogg mentioned, their ascent to the top echelons of the industry took place much later.
It was with the release of the "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life" album series that they truly soared. And BTS eventually cemented their status as a global phenomenon with the "Love Yourself" and "Map of the Soul" series.
Of particular significance was "I Need U," the lead track of the first installment of the "The Most Beautiful Moment in Life" series, which not only earned BTS their inaugural win in a TV music charting program but also marked the starting point of the BTS sensation." It signaled a turning point, as the group began to delve into more mature emotions, transcending anger and rebellion to explore themes of love and despair.
"From that point onward, the members gradually turned into young adults in their early 20s, leaving behind school-centric narratives. They recognized the need to evolve musically by channeling the emotions unique to their peers. It was imperative to incorporate the growth narratives of the members, leading BTS to expand their musical horizons beyond the confines of hip-hop," he said.
BTS has since churned out a string of familiar chart-topping hits, such as "Fire," "Blood Sweat Tears," "Spring Day," "DNA," "Fake Love" and "Idol."
|K-pop group BTS / Courtesy of BigHit Music|
"Rather than focusing solely on mainstream appeal, we aimed to align with the prevailing trends of the time while focusing on captivating stage performances," Pdogg said.
As the members progressed into their mid-20s and experienced further success, their messages became increasingly sophisticated.
BTS later became the first K-pop act to top the Billboard 200 albums chart with "Love Yourself: Tear" in 2018. Two years later, it once again made history by topping the coveted Hot 100 songs chart with "Dynamite."
Pdogg said with a smile that the only thought that came up to his mind upon hearing the news of the band's first Billboard No. 1 was: "What should we do next? This is a big deal."
He said the tremendous success of "Dynamite," an upbeat English-language disco-pop tune, broadened the horizons of the band's music.
"While they started as a hip-hop idol group, they have now made their mark as a global pop band, leaving an indelible impression on music fans worldwide."
BTS members have engaged in solo projects since the release of the anthology album "Proof" last year. Pdogg has recently composed some of the members' solo tracks.
"I felt that solo projects are helpful to the artist's development," he said.
While the members might want to take a rest ahead of their enlistment, their musical enthusiasm is even stronger, he said, adding he finds this aspect admirable.
"Around the time of our debut in 2013, RM and Suga were the members with clear individual colors, while the others felt rather incomplete. However, their identities became clearer as they engaged in music activities and they each found their own colors. This why I highly think of the team BTS," he said. (Yonhap)