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Park Gyu-jeong and Lee Hwi-min debuted under H1GHR MUSIC in 2016 and have since been producing for the biggest names in the Korean hip-hop scene and djing all over the world. The duo’s all too familiar tag, “Groovy Everywhere” can be heard at the intro of tracks which they produced, some of which in collaboration with ASH ISLAND, Jay Park, Leellamarz and Sik-K. GroovyRoom established their own label, AREA, in 2021 which currently has two artists signed to it, Gemini and Mirani.

With the help of Class 101, an online learning platform where you can take masterclasses from those experienced and established within Korea, we caught up with Groovyroom to talk about their production secrets.

Image: GroovyRoom / Source:  W Magazine (Korea)
Image: GroovyRoom / Source: W Magazine (Korea)

In your opinion, what is the most important quality of a producer?

To have fun. When I’m working, I always can define what I enjoy and what I don’t enjoy. When I’m working on something fun, I feel happy on the way to our studio. Sometimes we have to work around certain circumstances, but it’s really important to have fun to make music for a long time.

I remember I fell into a deep slump one time. I could get over that slump by thinking about the time I really enjoyed working on music. When I first started making music, I didn’t feel tired for hours and days because it felt like a fun game to me. I still try my best to keep that type of attitude.

When composing a track do you prefer to write away from your production equipment or with it?

We use 100% DAW. When we get instant ideas, we would record them by humming on a cellphone recorder.

You have been in the game for a pretty long time now, how do you make sure your productions don't become complacent, keep innovating and find new techniques to produce?

My tips are: listening to music a lot, studying consistently with different sources such as Google or YouTube, and having fun while working so you can feel happy.

Having worked with notable names in the Korean hip-hop scene, do you have a specific mindset when collaborating with such artists? And how do you manage to incorporate your unique production style alongside their sound?

It’s very different for each situation or artist. When we work with an artist, we would research what that artist’s color and musical taste are. Also, we’ll pitch new ideas that would suit that artist well. Then we try our best to apply trendy sounds through variations and arrangements. We take a different route when making music for advertisements or TV programs. Sometimes we have to put our maximum focus on stages, and sometimes we have certain guidelines to follow to make commercial music. We’re fairly flexible in that sense.

Seeing as you are “Groovy everywhere”, is there an international artist that you want to collaborate with in the future?

There are so many artists, and we’re planning to take small steps to make them happen.

'iffy' Produced by GroovyRoom, featuring SiK-K, pH-1 and Jay Park

Is there anyone you hope contributes in the future to Class101 as a mentor? If so, what would you want to learn from them?

We would like to see a class on music mixing and mastering.

Why did you take part in Class101?

We have always been interested in teaching, so we taught a few classes when we had good opportunities. As a senior group who has already experienced this industry, we thought sharing our experience and tips would benefit any new artists. If our tips can help them to be good artists, the music industry will gain more talented people and eventually bring beneficial results to our culture. There are many industries with fairly easy access and previous examples, but the music industry in Korea is unfortunately not one of them. When we first started composition, we learned mostly from international websites because there was very little knowledge we could get from Korean communities. Not many artists are open to sharing their know-how. That is why we were eager to share our experiences with other people, and CLASS101 is a platform with great accessibility so we thought it would be a good opportunity.

What do you want students to take away from your classes?

For the technical part, everyone has a different need or question. In addition, those questions could be answered through YouTube and Google as well these days. So we want the students to take know-how and general information about the music industry, which is actually quite difficult to get in real life.

Have you learnt something new about yourself while creating content for Class101?

I remember a few lessons we had given in previous classes, but we don’t always follow those rules forever. I always study through various sources and after some time, I find my habits or methods being improved over the course of years of studying. That’s what’s important. It’s important to consistently study and improve yourself as a musician.

Image: GroovyRoom / Source: Class 101
Image: GroovyRoom / Source: Class 101

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- Catherine Parker

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