A Former SM Trainee Is Becoming One Of K-Pop’s Most Loved Songwriters

She recently revealed she was a trainee before becoming a producer.

Did you know that one of the main producers behind Red Velvet‘s smash hit “Psycho” entered the industry as a trainee for SM Entertainment? EJAE, whose full name is Kim Eun Jae, recently revealed some insights about the K-Pop industry, as well as her own life, during an interview with Roland.

EJAE | @ejae_k/Instagram

EJAE shared that she has spent half of her life in the United States and half in South Korea. During the time she spent in Seoul, EJAE joined SM Entertainment as a trainee. She built a good relationship with the company, having now worked on several songs released by the company’s biggest stars. Two stand-out tracks are Red Velvet’s “Psycho,” which became a massive hit in South Korea and internationally, and Taeyeon‘s “Sorrow.”

“Psycho” may be considered EJAE’s breakthrough as a K-Pop producer. The song was met with massive success, reaching #1 on multiple streaming platforms in South Korea. Three years later, the Red Velvet track still holds the record for most streams on Spotify US among SM artists, and it even is eligible for an RIAA gold certification with 500,000 units sold in the States.

Ever since then, EJAE has worked with countless other K-Pop artists. Notably, she worked on NMIXX‘s controversial debut song “O.O” together with The Hub. Kim has also produced for TWICE‘s b-side “LAST WALTZ,” CHUNG HA‘s “Bad Girl,” and EXID‘s “Woo You.”

Having worked with so many different artists, the popular K-Pop produces has soon turned into a fan favorite. Many fans start looking forward to their group’s comebacks even more when they spot EJAE’s name in the tracklist teaser. Her experience is the reason Roland chose to get her insight on several questions they had on how the gears of the K-Pop industry work.

When asked if she ever thought K-Pop would reach these levels of success and recognition, EJAE answered honestly with a no. She went on to explain that, in her opinion, one of the biggest factors that made this happen is social media.

It allows the world to connect so quickly. K-pop, which was already an internet sensation, naturally became a sensation worldwide.


EJAE | @ejae_k/Instagram

The producer also touched on the topic of foreign producers. She expressed that, while having foreigners write songs for K-Pop artists has always been a thing, it has recently been growing more than ever. EJAE even said the growth has been so big, it’s becoming an issue for Korean writers.

It’s becoming an issue for writers in Korea to get songs cut because of foreign competition. I’ve noticed a mindset that music from foreign writers is better. So, a lot of the hit writers for K-pop are non-Korean or straight-up non-Asian.


EJAE | @ejae_k/Instagram

EJAE finished the interview with some advice for aspiring writers. As someone who blew up due to sheer talent in producing and writing songs that were met with incredible success, her words are definitely something aspirants would want to listen to. She encouraged any writers that are new to this line of work to keep pitching their work to different labels.

Hitting up K-pop writers or producers via social media is a great way to get in the door.


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