After one year of silence, girl group f(x) finally made their highly anticipated comeback in the Korean music scene. The girls swept the Korean audiences away with their new song Electric Shock and managed to gather as many as 9 trophies. f(x) even received the ‘tripple crown’ at M!Countdown for winning the number 1 trophy for three consecutive weeks. The music video of Electric Shock reached over 20 million views, 10 million of them in the first six days. The masterminds behind this song are the members of the production trio called Future Presidents from the Netherlands. It’s not their first time collaborating with huge names in the music industry; they've even made remixes for stars like Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé. Time for KoME to find out more.
Who are the Future Presidents? Could you please introduce yourselves to our readers?
Future Presidents consists of Willem Laseroms, Joachim Vermeulen Windsant and Maarten ten Hove. The three of us met around seven years ago through a producer/songwriter we all worked with. We hit it off immediately and that resulted in a fair amount of music productions, still growing every day.
We produced and wrote songs for various famous Dutch artists like Ali B, Lange Frans, Edsilia Rombley and Yes-R, and for production companies such as Disney, Z@pp, Nickelodeon, Dreamworks and many others.
We also managed to release two radio hits of our own entitled The World Keeps Changing and Love don’t pay the Bill$.
We have produced official remixes for Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Jordin Sparks, T-Pain and Chris Brown, and other artists as well. We even produced songs for several Dutch TV programs. Our songs are also doing well abroad; we’ve had number 1 hits in Portugal, Top 20 in Belgium, Top 100 in Germany, Top 5 in Canada and now the number one hit in Korea.
What got you into music?
Willem grew up in a very musical environment and already started to write and produce songs at a very young age. His songs quickly ended up in the hands of the bigger producers. Joachim only figured out his desire to work in the music industry at a later age. He is the only one amongst us who pursued an education in music first. Maarten started to write songs at the age of 12 and sent his demo(tapes) to everyone who would listen to them, and so one contact let to the other.
And then a Korean pop group came knocking on your door. How did you get in contact with the Korean music industry and how was Electric Shock created?
About two years ago, our Publisher Universal Music sent us several links to Korean pop music, which sparked our enthusiasm to immediately write two songs for that market. One of them was Electric Shock. This track had been sent to SM Entertainment, but it wasn’t until a few months ago, we were asked if the song was still available. After this it all went very quickly. Our session went over there and it got translated in Korea, the vocals rerecorded and mixed.
It’s not an exaggeration to say Electric Shock by f(x) was a huge hit. The song managed to receive numerous trophies. You achieved a big success in South Korea with your release, did you ever dare to dream this would happen?
We didn’t even know Electric Shock was going to be their promotion track, so that in itself was already a huge surprise. The success the song had in Korea, and even in the rest of the world, was something we didn’t even dare to dream, no.
Electric Shock even managed to make it onto YouTube’s list of most watched K-pop videos in the first half of 2012, 5th place worldwide and 6th place in South Korea. What did you think of the video?
We thought the video turned out amazing. It fits the track perfectly and the neon lights and their unique clothing style make the video extra fascinating to watch. The choreography was also brilliantly done, so we were very pleasantly surprised.
Electric Shock also got airplay on the radio in the Netherlands, how did they react there to your collaboration with a Korean pop group?.
We thought it was fantastic that finally for once a K-pop track was being played on Dutch radio. Such things don't usually happen. The people around us were very supportive and celebrated its success along with us. They also thought it was great to see how well the track was being received in Korea. Event though you don’t feel the impact here as much as it has had in Korea.
Now the promotions for Electric Shock have been wrapped up, how do you feel this experience has influenced you?
It’s has been an amazingly fun experience and we received a lot of positive reactions from press and colleagues alike. It really gives you extra energy to continue writing new songs.
Are you planning on more collaborations with any other Korean artists?
We are very busy writing at the moment and we occasionally send some of our songs that way, so who knows?
Are their any other artists you would like to work with?
There are many great artists in Korea next to f(x) like Super Junior, SHINee, BIGBANG, Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, Block B, Miss A and many others we would like to work with. If it would bring forward a fantastic track, it doesn’t really matter who the artist is, because we believe there has to be the right chemistry between the artist and the song.
Do you believe there is a possibility for Korean pop music to make it in the mainstream music scene in the West?
Electric Shock already did very well worldwide, when it was released on iTunes, so we definitely think it’s possible. Besides, Girls’ Generation also achieved successes abroad.
True or false: music can break through language and cultural barriers.
True; you can even tell by the current number 1 in the Netherlands, by Gusttavo Lima. Probably a lot of people don’t understand the meaning of the words and the music style is also from a different culture than ours. Music definitely is a universal language.
True or false: I also have Korean artists on my playlist. (Now be honest!)
Of course, BIGBANG, SHINee, 2NE1, f(x) obviously, BoA, Super Junior, B.A.P., Girls’ Generation and others.
What can we expect to hear from you in the near future?
We will continue what we have done over the past years; we will continue to write songs and to produce them. We have several projects of our own we are working diligently on and we also continue to work together with several artist from the Netherlands and abroad.
Could you please leave a comment to our readers?
We think it’s amazing there is so much love for K-pop worldwide and we would like to thank everyone a lot who has supported Electric Shock over the past months.
KoME would like to thank Future Presidents, Willem Laseroms, Joachim Vermeulen Windsant and Maarten ten Hove for making this interview possible.
If you haven’t heard the song yet, or - like us - can’t get enough of it, you can find the music video here.
Interview with Future Presidents
interview - 08.04.2012 13:29
The Future Presidents from the Netherlands created the success formula for f(x)’s newest hit song, Electric Shock.
© Future Presidents