What do MAMAMOO Hwasa‘s “Maria,” BLACKPINK Lisa‘s “Money,” and Chung Ha‘s “Stay Tonight” have in common, apart from being smash hit songs by powerful women in K-Pop? Well, all these tracks are built on samples from a single producer named KSHMR.
Niles Hollowell-Dhar, better known by his stage name KSHMR, is an Indian American producer who is arguably one of the pillar figures of K-Pop music today. But you won’t find his name in the credits, even though it’s highly probable that you have heard his music on multiple of your favorite K-Pop Songs.
The reason is simple. KSHMR doesn’t directly produce for K-Pop artists. But he is one of the most heavily sampled producers in K-Pop. Producers can buy an instrumental loop from him, and then they are free to use it however they like. Since the loop is purchased, labels don’t need to credit him on the song.
Born in California, KSHMR started his career as a hip-hop producer duo, The Cataracs, with his high school friend David Singer-Vine. But it wasn’t until 2014 that he started producing electro house music under the pseudonym of KSHMR. Apart from being a producer, he is also a DJ, songwriter, and musician. “Kashmir,” “Dead Man’s Hand,” and “Karate” are some of his most acclaimed works. As a producer, he has worked with artists across the world, including American pop star Selena Gomez, K-Pop’s very own Eric Nam, and Indian rapper DIVINE.
In K-Pop, the list of artists who have KSHMR samples in their songs is way too long to go over at once. Some of these most notable tracks include BLACKPINK’s “How You Like That,” MAMAMOO’s “HIP,” Dreamcatcher‘s “Piri,” ATEEZ‘s “Say My Name,” SEVENTEEN‘s “Thanks,” Red Velvet‘s “Rainbow Halo,” and LOONA‘s “Paint The Town.”
Given his repertoire, if KSHMR decides to become a full-fledged K-Pop producer, the song will break the charts for sure!