Behind some major K-pop tunes is a Singaporean songwriter hard at work. Twenty-five-year-old Gen Neo, who has been based in Seoul for the past 1 1/2 years, has composed and arranged songs for popular K-pop groups such as Super Junior-M and f(x), as well as for various Super Junior members.
"I do almost everything for the songs except for the lyrics. Unless the songs are in Mandarin, my Korean isn’t good enough to write lyrics," he tells the Straits Times, adding that his command of the Korean language is “conversational at best”.
The full interview with Neo is out in Life! on Thursday. In the meantime, here are three of his songs that you should check out:
1. Goodbye Summer performed by f(x)
This breezy little number taken off of f(x)'s second album Pink Tape (2013), which has mellow acoustic sounds in the background, is about a girl who reminisces about a summer that she once spent with her best friend, on whom she also harbours a secret crush.
2. It's You performed by Super Junior-M
This upbeat Mandarin tune is a cheery tribute to all crushes out there, who are so special that the singers cannot help but keep thinking about every single day. The lyrics were written by Super Junior-M member Zhou Mi, while Neo handled the arrangement and tune composition. The song is listed on Super Junior-M's second studio album Break Down (2013).
3. Ready 2 Love performed by Henry Lau
Here, Henry Lau of Super Junior-M sings about being, well, single and ready to love. Neo was part of the team that composed the melody. The song is featured on Lau's debut solo album Trap (2013).