Over the past nine years, BTS has touched millions of lives with their music. Many of their greatest hits wouldn’t exist without their longtime producer, Pdogg.
In a new interview, Pdogg opened up about his early days with the group and their music journey behind the scenes. Pdogg joined Big Hit Music, then Big Hit Entertainment, in 2007 after being discovered on a music community website by the agency’s founder, Bang Si Hyuk.
Pdogg began his career at Big Hit Music as a composer for 8Eight, a co-ed group, and soloist Lim Jeong Hee (also known as J-Lim). Bang Si Hyuk chose Pdogg as BTS’s main producer during the group’s formation.
It has been over a decade since I’ve focused mainly on BTS and the group’s songs and album. My role is to support the group in telling its stories and expressing its feelings through music.
Finding BTS’s signature style and sound required a good deal of experimentation on Pdogg’s part. He was tasked with making music for a group that was essentially a cross between a hip-hop crew and an idol group.
The idea of launching a hip-hop crew that can perform like an idol seemed too vague. I wasn’t a dancer and there were not many teams with that concept that I could reference, either. I got some ideas about it after checking some big-name choreographers’ videos. Of course, I had many trials and errors as well.
BTS’s music has evolved over the years, but Pdogg approaches each new release with the same tried and true method to make BTS’s songs special.
To make BTS songs special, I try to include members’ feelings, thoughts and stories, as well as the trend of the times to form a bond with the listeners not only in Korea but also outside the country.
Despite being one of the most successful producers in the world, Pdogg still battles self-doubt. “I still feel much pressure every time I am finishing new songs and projects,” he said. “As a composer, I still question myself how I could carry on my work without losing touch.”
BTS were trainees when they met Pdogg, but even back then their fierce passion for music and bulletproof work ethic stood out to him. In many ways, it was a mirror image of his own.
I had seen many artists before getting to know BTS, but I had not seen an act that really loves music this much. Every single member has a passion for music and they really work hard. Even I get motivated a lot by the group as it shows ceaseless efforts and makes great outputs.
Learn more about Pdogg here.