Since October 31st Monbebe have been fighting day and night to get Wonho back in Monsta X, trending on Twitter, sending letters on fan cafe, putting up billboards on Times Square and subway stations in Seoul, getting more than 400.000 signatures on a petition as well as making silent protests in front of the Starship Building. They hope for change in the kpop industry, and every help is welcomed.
What Monbebe didn’t expect was they would move even one of the biggest kpop producers nowadays: Drew Ryan Scott teamed up with Gabe Lopez and wrote the fandom a song titled ‘Family’.
Say K had the pleasure of talking to Drew who says everything started when he was signed to Capitol Records. “While working on an album I met some amazing writers and producers and we wrote a lot of songs. Some of them didn’t make it on my album but instead made it on other artists albums. From there I just started writing for more and more people around the world.” he says. “The first kpop song I worked on was either ‘Amigo’ by SHINee or ‘Sinner’ by Tae Yang. I can’t remember which one came out first.”
The young producer who’s behind musical sucesses such as Monsta X‘s ‘Dramarama’ and VIXX‘s ‘Scientist’, says this year was great for him. We’ve seen a great part of his work getting recognition all over the world, “Summer of 2019 has been amazing for me!!! I had 27 releases on different artists and 10 #1s around the world!!! It was a great summer!!! Monsta X, Super Junior, Exo, X1, Veri Very to name of a few.”
But is it any different to write for K-pop?
Drew says it is. K-pop has a different sound to it, which is part of what gathers so many fans all over the world, crowding stadiums and creating a wave connected to the korean culture as a whole. “Writing songs for kpop is totally different than western music…you get to experiment more and do cool sounds, add fun rap parts, make hugeeeee chorus.” Do you recognize it? Pay attention to you favorite songs. “Western music doesn’t do all the cool chord progressions that kpop adds.”
When it comes to kpop, everything is a little bit different, from how to produce music, visuals, to negotiate events and how fans react to their idols personal lives, nowadays the whole world has its eyes turned to South Korea entertainment industry. An industry that is famous for being a lot more cold towards their artists than the average Western industry, which is one of the reasons why Monbebe keep fighting day and night, pleading for a change in this behavior. We asked Drew what he thinks when it comes to the music industry and the humanization of their artists. “I think the music industry is learning as it goes.” he starts. “So much has changed with streaming coming into effect.”
Streaming is, nowadays, the biggest success meter for an artist, it accounts for 75% of the music industry revenue. If the artist is not in a good position on streaming platforms, it means their concerts won’t sell, their albums won’t sell, and it’s not worth investing in them. In Korea, these numbers count even more, and if the artist is not in evidence, he is summarily sidelined, and the company invests in new talents that could generate a bigger profit.
“They’re always there for each other no matter what.”
With the explosion of k-pop around the world, Korean companies realized that there is a market abroad, but did not expect that the culture shock would also affect the way they deal with their artists. That’s exactly what happened when Starship Entertainment decided to allow Wonho, member of one of most beloved kpop groups in the world, Monsta X, to leave after rumors of a rebelious youth he has never hidden from his fans or the company. The fandom started trending worldwide, desperate to get their beloved member back, and moved many people.
Including Drew. “Their fandom, the Monbebes, are so dedicated and full of love for the band. I see them making MX trend everyday! Some of them were talking about how they wish they had a song to sing to the guys, so I decided to write a song for the fandom. No other fandom in the world has a professionally written and produced song. I’d never written one for any fandom before. I teamed up with a super talented writer/producer Gabe Lopez and we made this heart felt song called ‘Family’ it basically says the band and the fandom together make up a family around the world that can’t be touched. They’re always there for each other no matter what.” And all this loving atmosphere anyone can feel when looking around for the daily hashtags they create to support Wonho and call attention to issue at hand is probably a direct reflex of Monsta X. Drew himself seems to be taken by their talent and charisma, seeing he didn’t work with Monsta X just once. “Monsta X is such a talented group!!! I’m spreading the word around about them to everyone in the US!!! I send links of their videos to my friends and new people I meet all the time! I want them to be the biggest kpop group in the US!”
The song titled ‘Family’ expresses the complicity Monbebe and Monsta X share, the inconditional love their fans have for them, and how willing their are to fight and never let go. Drew captured in the lyrics Monbebe strength and determination in not letting Wonho become a good memory, but to keep him in the group with his six brothers and the millions of hearts he has conquered all over the world, making them one big, loving ‘Family’. “We shot a quick video and had all the fans send in photos and videos to be featured in the video!!! Hopefully everyone loves it! It comes out this week!!!”
Stay tuned for ‘Family’ and Drew‘s upcoming works by following him on Twitter and Instagram.