We’ve been following the path of 2009 Recording Arts graduate Ross Lara as he’s continued to explore new avenues as a music engineer and producer. Following his success in the dance world alongside artists like Paul Oakenfold, he’s recently ventured into K-Pop – the genre most notable to U.S. audiences for the smash “Gangnam Style.”
Ross has been involved in the K-Pop scene since early 2012, after aligning with international multimedia company Joombas Music Group as production manager and director of business development. The label recently celebrated the release of the hit single “Dream Girl,” which they helped develop for Korean sensations SHINee. Ross co-wrote, co-produced, and co-engineered the track, and checked in with us following its release to speak about the production.
Full Sail: How did you come to work on the SHINee record?
Ross Lara: Joombas Music Group works directly with SM Entertainment, who SHINee is with. We got a lead that they wanted new material, something kind of electro-funk. My K-Pop partner, Hyuk Shin, and the rest of us at Joombas put in a lot of hours. Shin concepulized the idea of “Dream Girl,” and between him, Jordan Kyle, TC Spitfire, and myself, we made the project happen. A good friend of mine, Dave Cook, also came in and helped finish the top line with Shin, and then sent that to Korea. They liked it over there, so they had a Korean lyricist put lyrics to the melody and arrangement that we had made.
FS: What makes the K-Pop genre attractive to you as a writer/producer?
RL: Those artists really emphasize movement when they perform, so in terms of creativity, when I’m making this music it’s a visual thing. I feel more like a director of a movie, where I’m really getting this vision of the music video, the photo shoots, the performances – everything. And then with writing the verses for ‘Dream Girl,’ it’s very staccato and percussive – which goes along with the visual part of the music. It’s all really interesting to me.
FS: How excited are you to have a hit song on the other side of the world?
RL: It’s very cool to have the single be number one in different countries, and I’m looking forward to seeing them perform it live. At the end of the day my favorite thing is being involved with the process. It’s all very inspiring, and I’m honored to work with a lot of really talented people like my Joombas partner Shin. This has been like a huge melting pot of learning from and working with great artists.