Meet Kyler Niko: The Songwriter Crafting K-Pop Hits for TXT and Le Sserafim

Song Writer & Music Producer Kyler Niko

Kyler Niko, a London-based songwriter, embarked on a musical journey with the dream of becoming a singer. Although his childhood aspirations as an artist took a detour, Niko’s path eventually led him to a new career as a songwriter. This twist of fate opened doors to the vibrant world of K-pop, where he has collaborated with numerous A-list stars such as NCT, TWICE, and Monsta X. In a recent interview, Niko shared insights into his creative process, the challenges he faced, and his aspirations for future collaborations. Join us as we explore the adventurous journey of this talented songwriter shaping the K-pop landscape.

From Singer to Songwriter: A Pivotal Blessing in Disguise:
Niko’s journey began with a childhood dream of becoming a singer. At the age of 14, he wrote his first song, “Weightless,” which showcased his innate talent. Almost on the brink of signing with a major label, Niko encountered a hurdle. The label expressed uncertainty about how to market him as a Chinese/Asian artist. Despite initial frustration, Niko soon discovered a silver lining in this setback. It led him to embrace a new path as a songwriter, a decision he now considers a pivotal blessing in disguise. Through songwriting, he found creative fulfillment and formed meaningful connections with fellow artists. Niko is proud to be part of the K-pop movement that breaks boundaries and celebrates diverse talent.

Photo Credit: The Korea Times

The Serendipitous Introduction to K-Pop:
Niko’s introduction to the world of K-pop occurred approximately seven years ago during a chance encounter with Obi Mhondera, the founder of InnerV8 Musiq. Mhondera, impressed by Niko’s songs, likened their sound to K-pop. This serendipitous encounter sparked Niko’s interest, and he soon secured his first-ever K-pop song placement with boy group EXO’s Japanese single, “Electric Kiss.” This milestone moment cemented Niko’s fascination with K-pop, and he realized that the universe had different plans for his music career. Since then, Niko has worked with a myriad of K-pop stars, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

Navigating Stumbling Blocks and Discovering Writing Style:
Embarking on a career in the K-pop world presented Niko with various challenges. One of the toughest missions he encountered was identifying his unique writing style. This journey involved a steep learning curve, characterized by trial and error, vulnerability, and mentorship. Niko emphasized the importance of understanding the unspoken ingredients that make a song captivating, such as the “moments,” hooks, and storytelling. He also revealed his intentional focus on developing a “meter,” a tool that helps him create and recognize hit melodies. While uncertain if this skill can be trained, Niko advises aspiring songwriters to “trust the rave,” referring to the overwhelming urge to celebrate when listening to a truly great song.

The Creative Freedom of K-Pop:
What sets K-pop apart from other genres, according to Niko, is the unparalleled creative freedom it offers. He highlights the genre’s willingness to experiment with genre, structure, melody, concept, and lyrics. Niko candidly admits that he strives to create songs that have the potential to go viral on platforms like TikTok. Despite this freedom, he acknowledges an underlying formula that connects authentic K-pop songs, captivating listeners regardless of how adventurous the sound may be. Furthermore, K-pop’s focus on inspiring choreography and producing eclectic music videos distinguishes it from other genres.

Crafting Captivating Music: The Power of “Moments”:
For Niko, capturing people’s attention is paramount when creating music. He believes that each section of a song should feature intentional moments that command full engagement. Niko employs a variety of techniques, including big hooks, clever lyrics, vocal delivery, audio effects, and rhythm, to captivate his audience. His creative process begins with deciding on a song’s title, which serves as a blueprint for the lyrical concept, mood, and sometimes even the chorus hook. From there, Niko allows his creative journey to unfold organically, guided by sections that spark his creative energy. His steadfast rule is to never settle for anything that doesn’t ignite excitement. This commitment to high-quality songwriting and pushing musical boundaries has resonated with K-pop labels and collaborators.

Dream Collaborations and Personal Goals:

Blackpink & Taeyang ( Photo Credit: )

Niko dreams of collaborating with esteemed K-pop artists such as Taeyang from BIGBANG and the internationally acclaimed girl group, BLACKPINK. Taeyang’s vocal prowess and artistic presence have long captivated Niko’s admiration, making him a top choice for future collaborations. BLACKPINK, known for their dynamic performances and impactful music, also ranks high on Niko’s wishlist. As a songwriter, Niko strives to bring joy, unity, escapism, and catharsis to listeners. In the future, he plans to pursue more experimental collaborations, embracing the ever-evolving energy and sounds within K-pop. Additionally, Niko aims to nurture his personal well-being by focusing on nature, health, relationships, and overall peace of mind.

Kyler Niko’s musical journey showcases the power of adaptation and resilience in the face of unexpected challenges. From the disappointment of unrealized singing dreams to becoming a sought-after songwriter in the K-pop industry, Niko’s story is a testament to the transformative power of embracing new paths. Through his creative endeavors, he has left an indelible mark on the K-pop landscape, collaborating with renowned artists and shaping the genre’s evolving sound. As Niko continues to captivate audiences with his infectious melodies and boundary-pushing music, we eagerly anticipate the future collaborations and chart-topping hits that await this talented songwriter.

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