The man behind hits by prominent artists like Justin Timberlake and Madonna has some advice for K-pop artists–go global.
Nate “Danja” Hills spoke at a conference in Seoul on Tuesday about the necessity for K-pop to mature as a genre in order to become more popular globally. Danja suggested that K-pop producers and songwriters incorporate other Asian sounds, such as those heard in Bollywood films, as well as include more R&B and hip-hop elements.
“We have to make it worldly,” said Danja. “Maybe that is how to get the K-pop sound worldwide.”
The music producer spoke at the 4th Seoul International Music Fair, known as MU:CON, during a panel entitled The Future of Music Production.
According to Danja, K-pop needs “anything that triggered a somewhat different culture.”
Danja is most well known as a producer of some of the most popular pop songs in recent years, including Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack,” Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous,” Madonna’s “4 Minutes” collaboration with Timbaland and Timberlake, and many others.
He has also worked with Britney Spears, Katharine Mcphee, Mariah Carey, Keri Hilson, P!nk, Jamie Foxx, Jessee McCartney, Diddy, JoJo, M.I.A, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, and many other top musicians.
Danja is one of numerous international music professionals to suggest in recent days that K-pop needs a facelift in order to remain relevant internationally.
During a similar panel held at the the Asia Music Network program in September, both the CEO of Korea’s FNC Entertainment, Han Seung Ho, and Billboard’s Tokyo bureau chief, Rob Schwartz, spoke about the necessity of K-pop to diversify and mature to include more genres of music.
Tamar Herman is a multi-media journalist and the co-founder of KultScene. She is a freelance writer and copy editor, and has written for MTV Iggy and Noisey.