What do BTS, TWICE, and iKON all have in common? They’ve all worked with Filipino musicians.
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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in the K-pop industry? For most of us, being part of the process that makes the magic, that’s a dream. But for these following Filipinos, that’s their day job.
It’s no secret that Filipinos love K-pop, but some of the genre’s biggest hits were crafted by Filipinos, too. Over the years, a handful of Filipino musicians can take pride in the fact that they’ve had a hand in writing songs that were used by some of the biggest K-pop acts in the world.
So, the next time you’re jamming to your K-pop tunes, check the credits to see if a Filipino helped pen the track. Scroll down for the lucky few Filipinos who are responsible for major K-pop songs and comebacks.
While August Rigo may not be a household name just yet, he’s a familiar presence in the music industry. In the early 2010s, the Filipino-Canadian worked with Justin Bieber and One Direction as he co-wrote, among others, U Smile and Gotta Be You. His foray into K-pop though came in 2013 when he got in contact with producers and he’s been making tracks for K-pop stars since. Some of the artists he has written for include NCT Dream, SHINee’s Key, and EXO’s Baekhyun.
The Toronto-based musician’s biggest work though came when he helped write and produce BTS’ Black Swan and On. And the fact that he made those tracks without knowing they would become singles makes it even better. Aside from working with global stars, August has also lent his talents to other Filipino artists, such as producing Leanne & Naara’s Anticipation.
Filipino iKONICs were exuberant when iKON made their long-awaited comeback with last year’s But You. But Filipino fans could also cheer on the fact that a Filipino helped write the track. Maribelle Anes, who goes by the stage name Vetta Borne (an homage to her grandmother), is credited on But You.
The Australia-based Filipina turned to her heartbreak as inspiration for the track and made the demo in just a day. She then sent it off to YG where iKON and their producers worked their magic on it. While this may be the musician’s biggest K-pop song to date, Vetta is also credited for Irene and Seulgi’s Feel Good. And yes, she is an iKONIC and her bias is Bobby. Working with your bias? That’s goals right there.
TWICE didn’t disappoint with MOONLIGHT SUNRISE, their second English single since The Feels. And if you’re looking for someone to thank for this bop, you can send your praises to Filipino-American musician Nina Nelson. The California-based Fil-Am is part of a girl group called Citizen Queen, so it only felt right that the 24-year-old helped pen a track for another girl group.
Together with her groupmate Kedi Dalley, who both are K-pop fans, they made the song without knowing it was going to TWICE. It was only when they connected with noted Korean producer Earattack that the song started to make the rounds before it landed with JYPE. This is the group’s first big songwriting break and we hope Nina and her members get to pen more K-pop songs in the future.
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