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Inside a K-Pop Songwriting Camp With R&B Musician Rakiyah

If you’ve always wondered what goes on during a K-pop songwriting camp, you’re not alone. 

Songwriting collectives have been a thing for decades, but the modern “songwriting camp” has been around since the ‘90s, per Vulture. These intentional gatherings of artists and writers in all genres are often held in conjunction with labels or studios — and while they can garner a cynical eye from those who prefer artists write their own songs, they’re also fundamentally a place where writers can be heard and form a community with each other. (And create some incredible hits.) 

As K-pop continues to expand globally and incorporate songwriters from western countries, it makes sense that designated songwriting camps would grow, too. Luckily, musician, songwriter, and former rocket scientist Rakiyah is here to take fans behind the curtain of how songs get made before your favorite musicians curate and make them their own. 

Last month, she attended a songwriting camp with writers including Outlaw The Artist, Geoffrodamus, RX, Rakim Alnur, Sleep Deez, and more as they wrote songs for a variety of Korean and Chinese artists, many of whom are from SM Entertainment (home to EXO, NCT, Red Velvet, aespa, and more). It’s a peek behind the scenes into the beginnings of a song, perhaps one that will be taking over your playlist sometime soon.

Learn all about the songwriting camp process, the power of collaboration, and more in this photo diary by Rakiyah — who also releases her own music, like recent single “Naughty x Nature.” (And check out her vlog from the week over at her YouTube channel!)

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