As BTS gears up to release their second English-language single, “Butter,” on May 21, producers who have previously worked with them revealed what it was like to work towards the production of a song in an interview with Rolling Stone.
In 2017, the group started reaching out to Western songwriters and producers to join their creative process. Since then, their head producer, Pdogg, has been working with creators around the world to pick the best melodies for any given song, turning the entire song-creating process into a collaborative effort.
For instance, August Rigo, a Filipino Canadian songwriter, has worked on their 2020 singles “Black Swan” and “On.” He talked briefly about the process and that BTS and Pdogg are meticulous in their work–they make sure it’s perfect, even if it takes months.
It’ll come back and they’ll say, ‘We love these two parts that you did. Then we have this verse, and we have this section that we’re not quite sure of.’ So it’s like piecing a puzzle together in collaboration with BTS. . . . It wasn’t like, two days and it was done. No, it was two, three months, maybe six or seven revisions.
The way BTS find collaborators and producers isn’t always straightforward, which makes it all the more authentic and unique.
Brasstracks, a production duo from Brooklyn who have worked with Chance the Rapper and Mark Ronson, heard one of their songs playing in a behind-the-scenes video of the group. They tweeted the group to thank them, not thinking much of it–and ended up hearing from Big Hit Entertainment.
The next thing we knew there was an email, saying, ‘Hey, we’re doing this and we’re looking for this’ and ‘BTS is into your work. I just think they have their ears to the ground in a way they don’t get their flowers for. Because we’re not huge producers. They didn’t get Timbaland.
–Ivan Jackson, one half of Brasstracks.
Brasstracks then went on to send the company a beat, which, after a bridge added by Pdogg and another producer, Ghstloop, turned into the BTS track “Dis-ease.”
It was a really awesome case of collaboration.
–Brasstracks’ Ivan Jackson
The group’s first English-language single, “Dynamite,” also came along differently. The U.K.-based songwriters David Stewart and Jessica Agombar, the creative forces behind the smash hit, were handpicked by Big Hit Entertainment.
Big Hit Entertainment had announced that the group were looking to produce their first English-language track and the duo jumped at the opportunity. Their submission was chosen from all the submissions–much to their surprise. The duo previously opened up about the process in a separate interview with GQ.
With “Dynamite,” we did the Beatles’ method, which is to start with the chorus. That way, you’re instantly hooked in. Before you’ve even got to a verse, you’ve already heard half the chorus anyway. It’s kind of designed to seep into your brain straightaway.
–David Stewart for GQ
It’s obvious that BTS and Pdogg only want the absolute best–as they should!
For more from BTS’s interview, find out what V told Rolling Stone about being BTS’s hidden member, Jin’s thoughts on his military exemption, how Suga thinks fans might react to BTS being in romantic relationships, or his thoughts on mental health here: