Western Songwriters Discuss Working on BTS&#zero39; &#zero39;Love Yourself: Answer&#zero39; Album


This 12 months has undeniably been the 12 months of BTS, and nothing’s proclaimed the act’s ascension to the highest tiers of pop royalty greater than touchdown atop the Billboard 200 chart with not one, however two albums from their Love Yourself album trilogy.

The second, August’s Love Yourself: Answer, has spent 16 weeks on the chart as of time of publication, surpassing the document of 15 weeks that May’s Love Yourself: Tear spent on the chart.

A compilation album that includes two discs of music each previous and new that completes the Love Yourself collection — which started final September with Love Yourself: Her, Answer — takes the listener on a philosophical pop journey of self-love, plucking inspiration from a wide range of international genres. 

Aside from BTS' members themselves, over 20 completely different songwriters labored on Love Yourself: Answer, together with many from North America and the U.Okay. Over the previous few months, Billboard spoke to a number of of them about their work on songs included on the primary disc of the historic album.

Here’s what they needed to say, so as of the songs' placement on the tracklist.

Melanie Fontana on Jungkook’s “Euphoria”: I wrote the refrain and elements of the bridge and a number of the verses. We ended up making quite a lot of the modifications. [DJ Swivel] introduced me in when the track was partially completed and it wanted some assist. The track didn’t even have a refrain, so I went in with him and labored. When I first heard the preliminary sketch, I assumed that it might have a extra explosive feeling. I assumed the refrain might explode extra with one thing chanty that not solely the blokes within the band might sing, however that folks within the crowd might too. I added a bit extra of a sing-along vibe. When I heard what the Korean lyricist did I simply thought, “Wow, this track was meant for these guys.” I do know Jungkook — I’ve been such a fan of him, I by no means thought he’d be the one which sang it. But for me, I didn’t comprehend it was going to be as large as it’s. I really like that they every have their second to shine [on the album].

DJ Swivel (Jordan Young) on "Euphoria": To me, “Euphoria’” is my private favourite that we’ve finished. “Euphoria” was type of the very first thing that I despatched them. It was the track that began our working relationship, so for me there was quite a lot of private, sentimental worth to that track. To me, what I first fell in love with after I first heard the guitar and piano [from an early version of the song written by collaborator Candace Nicole Sosa]. It’s simply such an emotional melody. I all the time love chord and melodies that really feel extra emotional. There was this nostalgic form of vibe to it that I actually preferred. Being that it was referred to as "Euphoria" I needed the drop to really feel very gentle, shiny, and colourful. The track goes by way of quite a lot of completely different feelings because it grows.

Ray Michael Djan Jr. and Ashton Foster on Jimin's solo “Serendipity,” which was initially featured because the introductory monitor on Love Yourself: Her however was prolonged for Love Yourself: Answer:

Djan: We had written a number of songs [for Her], “Serendipity,” “Best of Me,” and one other track, and we weren’t conscious that [“Serendipity”] was simply an intro on the time. We had type of simply written an entire track. We had been stunned after they got here again to us once more on this undertaking and stated, “Hey guys, we need to make it right into a full track.” So that was thrilling.

Foster: They had the track title. They gave us, as they do quite a lot of occasions, a really deep, significant paragraph after they despatched the monitor over about what the monitor is all about. I keep in mind it was fairly in-depth, even in regards to the phrase itself. The idea was already there. It was a case of simply creating a extremely sturdy melody, and that’s what me and Ray all the time consider as a result of we by no means know if the English phrases are going to work when it will get translated. We’re very melody sturdy, and ensuring that that works first. And then we fill within the gaps after.

Matthew Tishler on “Dimple,” initially launched on Love Yourself: Tear: I keep in mind beginning a bunch of concepts with pal and co-writer Alison Kaplan in 2016. We type of began a bunch of tracks, melodies, and track ideas, and we despatched the beginnings of this concept, on the time referred to as “Illegal.” RM took over and acquired concerned with the lyrics. We had been concurrently engaged on the monitor whereas they had been engaged on their finish, type of east meets west worldwide collab that passed off long-distance, with out even assembly the blokes. They modified the title however someway they stored the phrase “unlawful” within the track.

We had been making an attempt to do one thing that felt type of like a hybrid Okay-pop and American [pop]. We needed it to really feel like an actual worldwide collaboration so used quite a lot of American Top 40 sounds within the manufacturing. I’m undecided that the chords within the concord are classically Okay-pop. You understand how Okay-pop could be very advanced harmonically and there’ll be all type of fascinating chords and sophisticated, jazzy R&B turnarounds. This one, I feel, is fairly easy from a chord perspective, so it’s extra American in that method. We had been making an attempt to assume worldwide, greater than the U.S., greater than Korea. We had been making an attempt to assume what might this band do to make an impression for his or her listeners round the entire world.

Charlie J. Perry on V’s solo “Singularity”: They gave me this wonderful temporary, type of, of what they needed. It was like a poem. They despatched me a poem of what they needed it to really feel like, virtually. Incredible. I learn the temporary and it type of got here naturally to me, as a result of it was actually emotive. They like Daniel Caesar and stated they needed one thing alongside the traces of that type of neo-soul. Me, I’m a giant fan of D’Angelo. I feel that type of really feel, that ballad-y really feel could be very common proper now and folks get drawn to it. When they gave me the temporary, I assumed that is precisely the type of music I like writing and listening to. I simply sat down, performed round with a number of concepts, tried to get throughout the emotion that’s needed for a document like that. I needed to inject one thing very emotional into it. So drawing on my previous expertise and relationships not essentially going the best way you anticipate them to, emotional issues I might draw on to create one thing that, you recognize, melodically goes to hit house proper within the coronary heart.

I feel preserving it fairly easy is all the time a very good factor to let the vocals shine, as a result of on the finish of the day that’s what you’re listening to. The vocalist, the human reference to the track. Keeping the chords easy, creating quite a lot of area inside the manufacturing to have the vocals come by way of and the harmonies intensify the elements. I used to be completely blown away [by the finished song]. Like [V] actually, actually linked with it. It was such a lovely factor as a result of we haven’t even truly met. To ship one thing internationally and for someone to reflect that with such ardour and emotion was such an unimaginable expertise itself. He positively has the character that this track appeared to gel so nicely with.

Jake Torrey on the shock of “The Truth Untold,” initially launched on Love Yourself: Tear: I wrote the track with Roland Spreckley, Annika Wells, and Noah Conrad. I feel we had been truly making an attempt to jot down for Flume that day, however clearly it didn’t end up that method in any respect. We simply began taking part in round with cooler chords. Conrad’s an unbelievable piano participant and he had the chords he was sitting on. It seemed like a Sam Smith-y ballad in some unspecified time in the future. The authentic English lyrics had nothing to do with what it ended up with. One line was like, ‘F— all my associates if you wish to however I need you.’ Obviously very, very completely different than what it grew to become! But yea, we had been simply making an attempt to jot down one thing to pitch for one more artist and it didn’t find yourself being in that lane in any respect. 

I used to be later working with one other Okay-pop artist Eric Nam over Facetime to complete up one of many songs for his EP and he was like,”Oh, I gotta run however congrats on that BTS factor.” And I used to be like, “What BTS factor?” And he stated, “I used to be with one of many guys and he performed me this track that was positively you singing on it.” I used to be like, “I do not know what that’s about.” I requested round my publishers and managers, however everybody was like, “No, I don’t assume we despatched that for BTS.” But it seems that it simply occurred that [Spreckley], his writer had despatched it and so they needed to roll with it, so it was a shock for all of us. When the album went No. 1, we simply went ‘What!’

Ray Michael Djan Jr. on “I’m Fine”: Obviously, [Foster and I] wrote [BTS' 2016 single] "Save Me" so as soon as we realized it was a response to it we had an concept of what we needed to say within the track. But it’s all the time a collaborative effort to work with their writers as nicely to ensure it interprets into Korean completely and means one thing to the blokes. We took quite a lot of influences from drum and bass, and the best way a few of these songs really feel when it comes to the vitality in these data. And then it was necessary as nicely to be sure that regardless that it’s like a drum and bass-R&B piece, that within the melody notably it feels pop. Cause that’s what I feel is on the core of what these guys are about. They like to dabble with R&B and hip-hop and different issues but it surely’s positively acquired to really feel pop. It was principally a mix of quite a lot of completely different sounds, melodically, to be sure that the blokes had that type of open second. Especially on the refrain when it opens up and so they sing, “I’m feeling simply positive, positive, positive,” It was so necessary that that repetition occurred within the refrain. It was key for us actually.

We had been all the time questioning if we might use "Save Me" once more as a result of we did it in 2016 however since then and now the blokes have turn out to be a lot greater so I used to be all the time like, ‘Ah, man, I want we might virtually re-release that track’ trigger it was a giant track for them however it will actually work now. So I used to be blissful after I spoke to one of many staff and so they had been like, “We’re pondering of doing one thing once more with ‘Save Me.’"   

Ali Tamposi & Roman Campolo on single ‘Idol’:

Tamposi: [Their rep] gave us a quick that she needed the melodies to be a bit extra intense [than Love Yourself: Tear monitor “Airplane Pt. 2”]. She despatched over a little bit of fascinating references. For “Airplane Pt. 2” she did need the lane of [Camila Cabello's] “Havana” [which Tamposi co-wrote] and all that, one thing in that space, however for this one go as far left as you may.

Campolo: But it does have a melody much like one other track that Ali wrote [hums some of “Havana”]. When we heard that, it felt like a praise on to Ali.

Tamposi: We did some melodies, however they chopped it up [with work from other songwriters] so that you’ll hear some within the second verse, a piece within the refrain.

Campolo: The entire bridge [hums 7:35-7:40], that’s the most important chunk within the track that’s all us.

Tamposi: That’s the cool factor about them, that they’re in a position to chop up elements of your melodies and strategically place them all through a track. And that’s what I thought of. They don’t come again with you with a bunch of notes that they need you to vary and take a look at once more, they only take one of the best elements of what you ship.

Conor Maynard on “Answer: Love Myself”: For me, it was very, very random. A pal of mine, whose title is Ray [Michael Djan Jr.], he was a producer I labored fairly closely with on my first album. We work collectively, he and I, on a regular basis, and we write collectively. He reached out, he acquired tracks on their earlier album. He type of constructed up a relationship with their staff. I used to be within the studio at some point and he was like, “Oh I acquired despatched a brand new backing monitor by the BTS crew. Do you need to write over it?” I used to be like, “Yea.” This was proper on the finish of a session. I principally wrote the refrain of the track. It was only a backing monitor, there have been no vocals on it. We did it in like 15 minutes since we knew the lyrics weren’t actually going to be that necessary since they had been going to be translated anyway, into what they needed to say. So we made the melody and such. I forgot fully that we had even finished it, after which a number of weeks later he referred to as me and he was like, “Oh yea, they wrote again. They actually prefer it, and so they need to use it.” Sometimes labels say, “Yea, we need to use it” and nothing ever actually occurs so I type of forgot about it once more. The subsequent time I heard of it was when their followers discovered the album credit score itemizing and so they leaked it on Twitter or one thing. My title was on one of many songs. Fifteen minutes, simply getting some concepts and sending it on to them. It’s wonderful. I used to be like, “Wow, I ought to write all my songs for them now!”