Fans across the U.S.
are getting ready to “Go Crazy” this weekend with K-Pop boy band 2PM as they embark on their first tour of the States.
Kicking things off on the East Coast this Friday with a performance at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey before making stops at the Chicago-area Rosemont Theater, the Verizon Theatre outside Dallas, and the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, the Go Crazy World Tour is in support of the group’s latest album of the same name.
Led by the single “Go Crazy,” produced in conjunction with LA-based entertainment company Artisans Music , the album marks 2PM’s fourth full-length Korean studio release, and their seventh overall.
Since their debut in 2008, 2PM’s title tracks have all been produced by Jin Young Park, founder and CEO of their record label, JYP Entertainment.
Although Park’s work is still seen in other tracks on the album , for “Go Crazy,” the group tried a different strategy.
With member Jun.K joining forces with Artisans’s Music Director and former K-Pop star Glen Choi , 2PM successfully ventured into the world of EDM (electronic dance music) with the disco house-inspired lead single.
Choi, who also goes by the stage name dj nüre (pronounced ‘newer’), is no stranger to the Korean music scene.
He got his start in 1996 at age 16 as a member of K-Pop duo IDOL alongside Lee Sae-sung and the pair took home that year’s Best New Artist Award.
While the group disbanded the following year, Choi’s music career was far from over.
After returning to the U.S., his musical horizons expanded.
As a producer he has worked with artists on both sides of the Pacific and counts among his credits “ Ending Page ” and “ Step ” by girl group f(x), Kim Hyun Joong’s Japanese single “ Tonight ,” and “ Dear Boy ” by 2PM label-mates the Wonder Girls.
He has also produced for Yoo Seung Woo , Evo Nine , Candy Mafia , and Baby Bash and is credited as Executive Producer for Keno’s “ Let’s Get Together ” and two Roscoe Umali tracks, “ U Girl ” and “ Live It Up! ” Outside of the studio, Choi is keeping his performance skills fresh as a DJ, and while he has no immediate plans to make a comeback in Korea, as he says, “absolutely anything is possible.” As K-Pop continues to spread around the world, Korean artists are making bigger and bolder leaps into the U.S.
Creating “music that can overcome any boundaries” is essential to launching successful career crossovers, he says.
Creative thinking and a willingness to “test the limits by doing something different” are qualities Choi looks for in the artists he produces – and judging by the playfully funky “Go Crazy,” Jun.K and the other 2PM members certainly fit the bill.
See what other insights Glen Choi had about the creation of 2PM’s imaginative new single in his interview with KpopStarz below.
Artisans is a diverse group – what brought you together and what was a memorable project? Artisans Music is a collective of artists, producers, writers, engineers and basically anyone who’s involved in music, even music video directors! Regarding the 2PM project, I’ve been working with Fingazz, an incredibly talented producer and artist, over the past several years on music in the U.S.
Once I began receiving production requests from Korea, we tried it out and it hasn’t stopped since.
We linked with Danny Majic from a writing trip to Denver and his skills were instantly revealed.
As a singer-songwriter, Dustin Tavella is working with Fingazz on his solo project and he added the extra sauce to the composition.
What do you think is the role of a producer in the studio? Does the involvement of the artists you’re working with, as lyricists or composers, change the production process? The producer definitely needs to view all components of getting the record past the finish line.
Not only do they need to coordinate with the artist, composers, lyricists and the label, but they must be able to view the final outcome of the record.
The song must be turned in to a product.
Hence the term ‘producer.’ As a senior/sunbae in the Korean music industry, are there still artists you keep in touch with or young idols you mentor? I definitely had a connection with anyone from our 90’s era and recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with the guys from H.O.T and Sech Kies.
You can check out the recent appearance I had on their TV show .
As for young idols, Jun.K has been the one whom I’ve been able to connect with since he co-produced the record with us.
Lately, a lot of first generation K-Pop idols have been releasing new music.
Do you have any plans to make a comeback as a singer again in Korea? I don’t have plans yet, but as I’ve learned in life, absolutely anything is possible! What was the influence and creative process behind “Go Crazy”? Was it an organic development, or an idea that was sitting on the shelf for the right moment/group for some time? It definitely was an organic process and Jun.K had some kind of idea going on in his mind about this.
When he heard a beat I sent him, that got the juices going and from there, we started developing it non-stop for months.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in the studio with 2PM? What were some of the most difficult moments? Was there ever a moment where the project was in peril? The biggest challenge was constantly thinking about the outcome of this song since it was a slightly different direction than their fans are used to.
The analyzing can cause strain on the creative process but that comes with the territory of trying something new and I admire their ability to do so.
Jun.K was also part of the production team for the song.
How was it working with him individually? How does he differ from when he performs the song to when he helps in the creation of the song? It was such a great experience working with Jun.K because he knew where he wanted to go with the song and his playfulness shows every time he performs it.
All the members really look like they’re enjoying themselves! What did you want to add or bring to 2PM’s sound? Of course the high energy was a must! Also, if you listen to the track, each member has such a distinctive delivery that they all get to own the song.
In the past, Park Jin Young (JYP) has always played an active role in the production of 2PM songs.
The Go Crazy album also features Korean renditions of his Japanese tracks “Beautiful” and “I’m Your Man.” What were the biggest challenges of creating a lead single that was not produced by JYP, even though his work is reflected elsewhere in the album? JY is like a big brother, sunbae, and we were both performing artists in the 90’s so we have that old school connection.
There was definite pressure to live up to his legacy and deliver a top notch record that the fans can appreciate globally.
K-Pop’s influence is expanding worldwide, so now when you produce for Korean artists, you’re making a product for a global audience.
Has that changed your creative process? What do you try to include or keep in mind for your audiences around the world? Now that K-Pop is starting to be on a global scale, the number one aspect always is to create music that can overcome any boundaries.
Since our writers are from the U.S., I’m the element that can swing the record to still relate the Korean fans.
Do you think there was one key moment when you started realizing you could produce more with U.S.
fans in mind? If so, what was it? Or, is it more that the U.S.
fan base has been slowly and steadily growing? I always felt the need to think differently and change the status quo, even when I was a teenage artist.
I had many creative ideas that were not allowed to be exercised due to label restraints, so the one moment would have been then.
I’m very excited to see how K-Pop enters the US market.
It could be tomorrow but it also could take a very long time.
UK and American soul music seems to have a huge influence on the sound of K-Pop these days.
In what direction do you think/hope the genre will travel in 2015? Music and other trends go in cycles and I’m seeing the Korean underground hip-hop movement gain a lot of audiences along with acoustic music, like folk and jazz.
As a DJ, I would like to see more club friendly records come out.
You speak a little bit about working with younger K-Pop stars.
What are some of the advantages of working with a fresh, new star? What about the drawbacks? When working with a new artist, we are at the foundation of the artist’s career so we have the creative universe at our fingertips.
It’s always fun to create from scratch.
A drawback could be that if it doesn’t go well, I bear a big responsibility, so that could suck.
Do you think that the industry is carried by younger stars, more so than when you first started in K-Pop? Why is that? When I first started, there were no teenagers, so absolutely it is youth driven.
I don’t think they can get any younger! What advice would you give to a young person trying to get started as a producer in K-Pop? Would you give different advice to a young person trying to start a career in the U.S.
entertainment industry? My advice would be to study the music and particularly the history.
There’s a certain melodic element that has carried through from the 80’s til now.
Memorable melodies along with knowing your music technology, since it is always advancing, is a must.
Since I work in both U.S.
and Asian entertainment, the fundamentals are same.
The people and some cultural differences are the wild cards.
“Go Crazy” has been a big hit online.
What role does social media play in your projects? When you’re producing, are you thinking about how the song will be perceived and spread through platforms like YouTube and Twitter? Social media is a way of life now and it’s an absolute necessity to broadcast on all mediums now that audiences can highly customize their consumption of media.
While we’re producing, the common goal is that the song has to be fire! Do you have any upcoming projects with other Korean artists? Any stateside projects in the works we should anticipate? I do have several projects coming up but I can’t speak about them until they are released! What other K-Pop artists would like to work with in the future? Why? I would like to work with any artist and label that would like to experiment with music that test the limits by doing something different.
That is my preferred artist.
Any final thoughts for our readers? How can they keep up-to-date with your latest projects? When I found out about KpopStarz, it was such a cool community! You guys have a big force within the fans so thanks for supporting us! I try to stay up-to-date on all social media but the best are Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram .