K-Pop songwriter Jo Yoon Kyung recently sat down with the YouTube channel OK Pop!! to talk about her experiences writing songs for some of the biggest names in the industry including Red Velvet and EXO.
As part of the episode, host Choi Kwang Ho compiled the top five tracks with the most streams on the Circle Chart (formerly known as Gaon Chart) and discussed each with the songwriter. The fifth and fourth-place songs were both by Red Velvet (“Queendom” and “Ice Cream Cake” respectively and Jo Yoon Kyung gave a little insight into writing both songs.
When the third-place song was announced to be “Love Shot”, Choi Kwang Ho asks how it felt to receive EXO’s demo. Jo Yoon Kyung replied that she felt that she must do well because it is EXO! She also said that she enjoys writing for SM Entertainment artists and “always tries to walk along that path.”
Joo Yoon Kyung elaborates a bit later on that there is an SM style of lyrics that she learned about when she attended a song camp hosted by the label. According to her, SM staff instructed the songwriters to write “bigger messages” that would be able to reach larger audiences. She gave the example of a lyric from “Love Shot” that was meant to send the message of embracing “hatred and discrimination with love.”
There was a songwriting camp once, and they said if it’s an artist who topped their career and wishes to reach the bigger world, you need to be able convey a bigger message. That is the direction the company pursues.
— Joo Yoon Kyung
When working with other labels, Joo Yoon Kyung says she tries to reflect on that and put “healthy and beneficial social messages” in the lyrics that she writes.
As a songwriter for some of K-Pop’s biggest groups, it is beautiful to see the consideration Yoo Yoon Kyung puts into her lyrics!
Check out the full interview below!