Alawn, the man behind a number of hit singles is no stranger to us. The France born producer and songwriter even had a hand in writing for the recent sensational single “100” of the K-Pop super group SuperM. His most notable works in 2020 also include Park Bom‘s “Wanna Go Back,” NCT 127’s “Punch,” VICTION’s “Mayday,” WayV’s “After Midnight” and more. Adding up to his successive tracks in K-Industry, the multi-instrumentalist has worked with some popular artists as Tyron Hapi, Liam Ferrari, Emma Heesters, Jasmine Villegas, Jacob Latimore, Carl Thomas, Gucci Mane, and Paul Wall.
Alawn’s is also popular among netizens as he keeps his followers updated with his schedules and takes time to share personal opinions on working with different artists. The artist also knows how to encourage his fans and show his gratitude, as he conducts frequent giveaways and presents the lucky winners with autographed posters and photocards. These little acts of kindness and simplicity are one among the many reasons that push the artist to keep doing wonders in the industry.
A few weeks back, Destination K-Pop India had an opportunity to chat with Alawn as he shared his thoughts on K-Pop, experience of working with big names, love for India and more.
Can you give a short intro to our readers who get to know you?
My name is Alawn. I’m a music producer, songwriter and mixer, originally from Lyon, France currently based in Houston, Texas. I’ve been heavily involved in the K-Pop world for around a year and a half now and have produced for artists such as SuperM, NCT127, WayV, Victon, Park Bom and many more.
How did your journey as a music writer/producer begin? What inspired you to take up music as a profession?
I grew up around music, attending many shows from a very young age. I was the type to run to the piano every time I would see one and start playing it. I then began learning about music production and making my own beats with an MPC500 at 15 years old and I haven’t stopped since! I knew instantly when I started creating and experimenting with sounds, that I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I used to be fascinated by producers like Timbaland, Pharrell or Ryan Leslie. I’d spend hours on YouTube watching videos of them in the studio, creating and learning everything I could from them. I just knew that this was in me and that I needed to pursue my passion for music.
How did you get introduced to K-Pop? What was your first project and how was it?
The first project I worked on was a winning single for MBC’s UnderNineteen TV show called “Go Tomorrow”. This was my first introduction to K-Pop and not long after, I flew to Seoul, South Korea, for my very first SM writing camp. Despite not knowing much about K-Pop music and the whole culture around it, it ended up being one of the most inspiring weeks of my life. I completely fell in love with the genre and everything that goes with it. There’s the incredible visuals, the music videos, the crazy vocal harmonies and the complexity of the productions. I have the most fun producing K-Pop and I feel the most creative freedom.
Can you share your experience of working with various known faces of K-World?
It’s always such an amazing experience! The best feeling is when you’ve been working on a demo for so long and you hear the final version for the first time with the artist’ vocals. It always blows me away and they seem to always elevate the song to a whole new level with their voices. The process of polishing the songs is usually always very smooth and the relationships with the record labels are great. Some songs require more edits and changes than others, but there is always room for creative freedom, which is the one thing I love about producing K-Pop.
Did you get to interact with any of the artists or work along to finish a piece?
I haven’t had the chance to assist in one of the vocal recording sessions yet, since they take place in Seoul. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to be in the studio with the artists once the pandemic is under control, or maybe I just need to move to South Korea for a while, haha! The boys from NCT127 and WayV did send me their last albums though, which were signed with personal notes. That was really sweet of them and the whole SM Entertainment family.
2020 is definitely turning out to be your year, as you got to write and produce some hit singles and is greatly recognized by the fans. How do you feel about it?
It’s honestly an incredible feeling. It’s very humbling and I’m extremely grateful to be a part of such a big movement that took over the world. Seeing how well those songs did and how the fans responded to them was amazing. I have a lot more set to come out this year, which I’m super excited about and I can’t wait for the fans to hear.
Did you expect such a response from the fans when you started working with K-pop idols?
I had no idea that K-Pop artists literally have some of the most dedicated fans in the world. They’re like armies behind the stars and the support they give the artist’s is incredible. I receive dozens of sweet messages every single day from fans that appreciate the work I do on the songs – such a great feeling. I can’t even keep up with my Twitter mentions anymore, haha! They’re putting a lot of love out there and I really enjoy interacting with as many fans as possible!
What inspires you while penning down music?
Inspiration usually just comes to me naturally. As crazy as it sounds, I sometimes hear brand new songs in my dreams! I almost never remember them but when I do, I have to record a voice memo of me humming it before I forget it. In the studio, it could be just going through random sounds until something catches my ear or just letting my fingers run across the piano until I find the right chords or a special melody. Luckily, I hardly ever experience writer’s block. I also have the chance to constantly work and collaborate with extremely talented songwriters and we usually always push each other’s creativity.
According to you, what do you think is the reason for k-pop’s rapid growth around the world?
I personally think that its uniqueness is the reason that so many people fell in love with this genre. They have by far, some create some of the most aesthetically pleasing music videos around right now, and it’s the unique blend of addictive melodies, crazy choreographies and production values that make K-Pop so appealing. Their concerts also elevate the entire experience for the fans, and K-Pop artists are now selling out stadiums all around the world, which is so exciting so see.
Whose songs have you listened to a lot lately?
I try my best to always keep up with new releases and listen to what is coming out every week, but there are certain songs that I can’t stop listening to and that I seem to always go back to. Some of these songs include “Monster” by EXO, “Superhuman” by NCT127, “Long Flight” by Taeyong, and “Moonwalk” by WayV – to name just a few!
Who is your personal favourite k-pop artist? Why?
I don’t think I have one particular artist or group that I like more than others. They all have such unique sounds and different aesthetics. I’m drawn to all of them for different reasons. I do think that what SM did with SuperM by putting together the ‘avengers’ of K-Pop was so innovative! I’m extremely grateful and excited to currently be working with them for their next project.
Are there any k-pop artists you would like to work with in future?
Absolutely! There’s actually so many! I have quite a few songs coming out later this year with some artists that have been on my list for a while. I would love to work with some girl bands in the future too, such as IZ*ONE, Blackpink and Red Velvet – I really enjoy their music.
Have you happened to listen to any of the Indian artist’s music? Do you have any favourites?
I don’t think I would be able to name one artist specifically but I’ve actually always been a fan of Indian music! I sometimes turn on the radio to an Indian station and enjoy listening to all of the new sounds and unique sonorities!
What is the one thing that comes to your mind when you say India?
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about India is spirituality. Most spiritual leaders have either traveled to India many times or are originally from there. Indian culture allows every religion to thrive, flourish, prosper and live in harmony. There’s a sense of peace, respect and love that I love about India and I can’t wait to visit the country for the first time. The food is of course something else that comes to my mind when thinking about India. I love Indian cuisine and I even try every once in a while, to cook some at home. Whether this is done successfully or not, is another story.
Few words to our readers who would like to pursue a career in music?
Always do what you love and what feels right to you. Try not to compare yourself to others or give a timeline to your “success” or “when you’re going to make it”. Everyone has their own path and their own time. Allow yourself to be open enough to receive every opportunity and as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons, opportunity and success will come to you.
On behalf of Destination K-Pop India Team, we thank Alawn and his team for making this interview possible. Thank you so much for your time and hardwork! We wish Alawn all success with his future endeavours.
Keep track of the artist’s work by following him on Spotify!
Which is your favourite work of Alawn? Let us know in the comments!