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What Makes A K-Pop Hit, According To TWICE & Stray Kids’ Songwriter Members


Nayeon says luck plays into it too.

In a recent interview with The Recording Academy, K-Pop sensations TWICE and Stray Kids opened up about their unique perspectives on what constitutes a “hit” song in an industry as dynamic as K-Pop. Nayeon from TWICE, and Han and Felix from Stray Kids, all accomplished singer-songwriters within their respective bands, offered a tantalizing glimpse into the minds that have crafted some of the biggest K-Pop hits of recent years.

Stray Kids | JYP Entertainment

Nayeon, renowned for her distinct vocal color and songwriting prowess, believes that luck plays a substantial part in a song’s success. According to her, a K-Pop hit cannot stand alone on the strength of its melody or lyrics. Instead, it must be backed by an enticing concept, dynamic choreography, and engaging additional content. These elements, she insists, are what truly make a song stand out in the competitive K-Pop scene.

‘Luck’ plays an important role when making a hit.

— TWICE’s Nayeon

However, she also mentions that while the mechanics of hit-making may not change drastically with time, the attitudes and minds of the creators do. As artists mature and evolve, their perspectives, tastes, and creative processes evolve too, which ultimately influence the music they create.

Han from Stray Kids shares a different perspective. In his opinion, a song’s success does not necessarily lie in following the latest trends but in providing listeners with a unique, consistent sound. The secret behind Stray Kids’ continual success, according to Han, is their ability to create music that feels familiar yet fresh. They carve out their niche by staying true to their musical identity, thus creating a strong connection with their fans.

Trends change very quickly these days, so while I do believe that there are certain sounds that are trending, I don’t necessarily believe that trends are what make a good song.

— Stray Kids’ Han

Felix, also from Stray Kids, adds another dimension to the conversation. He admits that they haven’t yet figured out the definitive formula for a K-Pop hit. However, he proudly states that they have a distinctive way of making their music, emphasizing their understanding and expression of their “colors” – a term often used in K-Pop to describe a group’s unique charm, musical identity, and appeal.

I don’t believe we’ve found the key elements to make a hit yet, but we do have our own way of making our own music.

— Stray Kids’ Felix

What emerges from this fascinating discussion is the realization that creating a K-Pop hit is a multi-faceted process. The factors that contribute to a song’s success are as varied as the artists who create them. Whether it’s a sprinkle of luck, a captivating concept, a consistent musical identity, or a distinct color, each element plays its part in the intricate tapestry of K-Pop music.

TWICE | JYP Entertainment

In the end, perhaps what truly defines a K-Pop hit is its ability to resonate with its audience, regardless of trends or formulas. It’s the authentic expression of the artist’s individuality and creativity that not only defines a hit but also makes K-Pop the global phenomenon it is today. As TWICE and Stray Kids continue to make music, fans around the world eagerly anticipate the next big K-Pop hit from these talented musicians.

Source: The Recording Academy


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