In this week’s Offstage we want to share a bit more about a big name in the K-pop industry, whose impact is still as strong as it was with the first idol generation. You’ve probably heard her name in our special DisKovery With A K episode dedicated to women in K-pop, but this time we are diving a bit deeper into the one and only KENZIE, her works, outstanding career and mark on the South Korean music industry.
The start of the legend
Discovered by SM founder and pioneer Lee Soo Man, Kim Yeonjung (aka. KENZIE), was scouted while she was still studying in Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. She has officially been active in the music industry since 2002, after winning an award for lyrics and composition.
After being scouted by SM Entertainment, KENZIE signed an exclusive contract where her productions would be exclusive to SM. Hoewer, after creating a name of her own, she became such an important member in the company, and had more freedom to collaborate with big production companies in South Korea and overseas.
Starting with first and second generation idols, KENZIE’s production has a unique sound and colour, her works are characterised for strong contrast of tempos, complex progressions and unique elements that make her music stand out. At the same time, her more softer pop productions are known for its early 2000s sound and bold additions in the composition.
KENZIE’s unique style also varies depending on her co-composer and collaborators but nevertheless her singles have a unique element that have basically become the SM Entertainment stamp across their different artists and groups.
To get to know more about KENZIE’s music style and works, we have to dive into her beginning with SM, starting with her works with first generation idols, including S.E.S, BoA, TVXQ! And Trax.
With the second generation of idols, KENZIE’s sound diversified even more and settled her status as one of the most reputable lyricists and composers in the industry. During this period of time she wrote and composed best selling songs for groups such as Super Junior, SHINee, Girls’ Generation, f(x), and first generation icons like BoA and TVXQ!.
With an already established and well respected name in the industry, KENZIE’s career just kept thriving, she has great well-known hits by third generation idols including EXO, Red Velvet, NCT 127, NCT Dream and NCT U under her belt.
Currently KENZIE is credited for over 400 singles, and over the last years has also participated in co-written or co-producing songs for not only SM soloists, but also TWICE’s Nayeon, ITZY, NATURE, The Boyz, Ailee, CIX among many others.
KENZIE keeps a low profile, however she updates on her latest works on her instagram, and for an entire list of her works check her Melon profile here.