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[EXCLUSIVE] Chat With The Indian K-Pop Producer Appu Krishnan On His Work With GOT7, Wanna One And More

Exciting many Indian fans especially Aghases, is a recent track by GOT7 called Trust My Love”  released this April 2020 as part of their album, Dye”. 

 

What is so exciting that all the Indian K-Poppers are going gaga over it? 

Aside from the beauty of the track itself and the members, the track is composed and arranged by an Indian producer and songwriter, Mr. Appu Krishnan who is not just the winner of the ‘Outstanding Academic Achievement Award’ but a proud lecturer on Sampling at Grammy Museum as well!

Sharing the same nickname, “The Professor” as the Money Heist character and founder of a production and publishing company, Loud Boy Music, Mr. Appu Krishnan has worked with various global artists such as Christina Aguilera, Jordin Sparks, The Jacksons and K-Pop Artists as well like Wanna One, N.Flying, Jus2, before his popular collaboration with GOT7. 

Get to know him better through our exclusive interview, as we ask him questions about his musical journey weaving from India to America to Korea!

 

 

Early Musical Journey 

Mr. Appu narrated his journey to pursue music to us starting right from his school days, where he was part of a high school band and took part in various events and competitions, to his college life which was a mix of playing music and helping out in various studios. He then finally took “The Jump” and travelled to L.A., joining ‘The Musicians Institute’ as a student and later as a teacher, He also simultaneously produced music with various record labels belonging to the Pop and American Country Music genres and worked with management that got him in touch with the RCA Records, an American record label owned by Sony Music during this time. He also tried out a few things in Nashville while producing Country music. 

On being asked when he knew that, ‘Yes, this is what I want to do for a living’, Mr. Appu replied,

“I personally knew when I was like 15… but being from India and given our family circle, we often have to go to a university, do something else, you can’t just go to arts right away. So, I was around 21-22 when I made the jump…that this is my life.”

 

Descent into the inescapable charms of the K-Pop Industry 

Like most people around the globe, Mr. Appu was exposed to K-Pop music through PSY’s track, Gangnam Style that had taken the world by storm on its release and was one of the major milestones in the boom of the K-Pop industry worldwide.

Mr. Appu narrated his humorous encounter with the K-Pop track saying, 

“I really remember actually, [I was] driving from a late night studio session [and] hearing this track (it was probably 3 AM or something), on the radio and I thought I was really sleep deprived that I didn’t understand anything and [I was] like, ‘What is this language, I really love this music’!”

However, it was only after a couple of years that he finally became a part of the K-Pop industry in 2016. He and some other talented artists worked together on Produce 101 Season 2’s title track, “It’s Me (Pick Me)”, which was commended as being one of the most influential and memorable K-pop songs of that year.

 

The track was originally created when he and some of his friends were making a high-energy dance track (called by the name ‘Moonlight’ then) in 2015 and two of his writer friends, Emile Ghantous and Che’Nelle wrote a melody to it which was loved by Ryan S. Jhun who is the creator of ‘Pick Me’, along with them. Hence, with a lot of success and applause backing his ‘debut track,’ Mr. Appu Krishnan professionally entered the South Korean K-Pop Industry.

“The fact that it made such an impact, we didn’t know… Friends from over there [South Korea] started calling and telling us about the records and it became “A Thing”. It was a very good surprise!”

 

Talking about his other project with CJ Entertainment, a soundtrack co-written and co-produced by him called “Another Day” for the South Korean TV series, Criminal Minds, Mr. Appu excitedly exclaims, 

“That’s when we really figured out, ‘Oh my god, this is so much better than anything else we could have done in America’ xD” 

 

He also told us, (fan to fan) what he thought of K-Pop music saying,

“Fun and Energy are the two words I would associate with it. I like all kind of music, but this [K-Pop Music] is a music that is very universal. Everybody wants to have a good time….have energy and positivity and I really believe that, that celebration is what K-Pop stands for.”

 

As a music geek, he told us a different side of the charming K-Pop music saying, 

“[Love] the harmonic complexities in there as a piano player who likes hearing jazz and also the artists are very well trained. They are not just one-headed wonders, they’re teams and labels with amazing work behind them and as a musician working with somebody like that, writing for somebody like that, we get to take a lot of liberties, to really explore music….they are open to a lot of other genres. It’s like a buffet and so as musician, this is amazing.”

 

Working with GOT7

Before Mr. Appu worked with GOT7 as a group, he had the pleasure of working with two of its talented members, the leader JB and Maknae Yugyeom who are a part of the second sub-unit of GOT7 called ‘JUS2’. 

His publisher introduced him to this track whose lyrics had already drafted and told him that JUS2 would really appreciate it if he could mix their ballad song, “Long Black” for them which came out as part of the group’s album, Focus on 5th March 2019.

 

Then on 20th April 2020 his second project with GOT7 came out called Trust My Love” from their latest Album, Dye  which was composed and arranged by Mr. Appu and it received a lot of love and support from Aghases all over the world. 

Tracklist for GOT7’s album, Dye

The creation of this track Mr. Appu says was one of the most exciting sessions he and his team had as by the end of it they were all dancing around in excitement and were so motivated to work that they finished the skeletal sketch of the track before lunchtime!

“It was just surreal….nobody second-guessed it.”

https://youtu.be/JW1DgYEqICQ

On talking about his experience with working alongside GOT7’s team for what he called a dancy but emotional” track, Mr. Appu had only praise to offer:

“They have a great team.They do an amazing job and we are always in the loop on feedback, so no rock is left unturned.”

 

Indian K-Pop Fan Community 

This comeback track by GOT7 became even more special for the Indian Aghases as it was composed and arranged by an Indian. Fans showered so much love and support on Mr. Appu who was equally delighted by the recognition he got from his home country and said, 

“It means a lot because there is nothing like getting acceptance and support from your home.”

Talking about the Indian K-Poppers, Mr. Appu revealed one of the sweet charms of desi fans that he thought distinguished them from other fandoms. He said that he especially liked how K-Pop fans loved not just the artist and their song but the whole team of producers, composers, lyricists, etc behind them too. 

“It’s not just the artist you love, you love the whole team.”

He was also blown away by the dance, vocals and karaoke covers that he had the pleasure of seeing online on the social sites and in his DMs on Instagram. 

“These dance moves are… I mean I could barely walk straight and that’s the guy writing the song you know xD. The amount of work they put in, the artistry and time and effort they put in; it’s mindblowing!”

 

Advice for Upcoming Indian Artists

When asked for what advice he would like to give to the upcoming Indian Artists who want to pursue the music industry or even follow in his footsteps to enter the K-Pop one, Mr. Appu had a lot of considerate and thoughtful tips to provide.

He advised such artists to first of all, learn the craft and the type of music they want to make and work hard to refine it. He also advised them to use the social media that has made the world a lot smaller and more accessible, to their advantage by connecting to people from around the globe who are pursuing similar interests. This will help such artists to create a circle of collaborators and friends that will help them to strive musically.

He also offered one crucial piece of advice that aside from making music, to make it a career, artists should also learn business and finance- about publishing, how do labels work, who pitches the song, etc. 

“You can make the greatest music in the world but if you don’t know how to navigate the business side you might cause some mistakes. Understand music, your network and business, once you put all that together, you are unstoppable.”

 

Upcoming & Dream Projects 

Since working with GOT7, Mr. Appu is already back on the grind, making music and teased us saying that he was a fan of a lot of Girl-groups in Korea as well and was already working on some special and hopefully soon-to-be-released projects with some K-Pop Girl-groups 😉

He also told us that his dream project would be one in which he could be a part of building a global community through music that infuses the elements of different industries around the globe like American Pop, K-Pop and maybe even Bollywood style music. He was also excited at the thought of one day seeing a collaboration between a K-Pop boyband and one of the badass Indian female singers!

 

 

 

Thank you so much Mr. Appu for doing what you do and inspiring others, we are sure what you have achieved and what you have said will inspire a lot of Indian fans to strive for their dreams. We will always cheer for you and are patiently waiting for your next big thing! 

 

Interviewed By: NIKITA

Written By: ISHIKA

Comments (2)

  1. I’m just stunned omg- he’s literally amazing- he’s worked on a lot of hits in the k-industry and it’s amazing to see this, especially him working with n.flying was a big surprise, since they’re one of my ultimate groups and it just wowed me. I can’t really put my thoughts into words but Mr.Appu, 많이 수고했어요!! Can’t wait for the future collaborations and exciting music that he’s working on!!

  2. I can’t believe it, Long Black is my favorite B-side from Focus and Trust My Love is my favorite from DYE. I think I might have to stan Mr. K alongwith GOT7 now!

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