It’s been said that you can’t go East and West at the same time. But, if recent pop-culture is any indication, when Eastern and Western influences come together, the world takes notice. From K-pop superstars BTS to ATL rapper 2 Chainz, songwriters, artists, and producers from all over the globe are working with each other, blending their distinct flavors to create something truly unique. Check out these Reservoir tracks where East meets West:
Over the past year, Korean boy band BTS has taken the world by storm. In 2017, the group became the first K-pop act to be nominated for a Billboard Music Award and won Top Social Artist. In 2018, their album, Love Yourself: Tear, became the first K-pop album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album held the top spot on the iTunes’ album chart in 73 countries and territories in three continents. Love Yourself: Tear features the hit collaboration, “Airplane, Pt. 2,” co-written by Reservoir hit-makers Ali Tamposi and Liza Owen. The Latin-inspired k-pop track is destined to be the album’s next single with its sleek hip-hop influenced production and catchy chorus.
British reggae artist Stylo G’s video for his dancehall and trap-influenced single “10 Metric Ton,” highlights his luxurious lifestyle while visiting Dubai. The visual shows Stylo G embracing Eastern culture, riding through sand dunes and taking in Dubai’s scenery.
Inspired by the cult classic film, The Karate Kid, 2 Chainz’s 2016 mixtape, Daniel Son; Necklace Don, follows the rapper’s journey to becoming the “necklace don.” With electronic trap beats, the mixtape fuses hip-hop with Eastern instruments such as ocarinas and gongs to compliment the production. The mixtape highlights 2 Chainz’s unique lyrical wordplay and hit-ready beats.
Continuing his trend of Asian-themed mixtapes, 2 Chainz’s third EP Hibachi for Lunch, serves seven trap cuts. Hibachi for Lunch is a return to form for the Atlanta rapper, with his metaphors and trap beats at the forefront.
Seattle native Jay Park found success overseas first as the leader of 2PM, a South Korean boy band, and later with his four-album solo career. “Soju” feat. 2 Chainz is the Korean-American rapper’s first US single since signing with Roc Nation last year. The trap infused R&B track is named after the famous South Korean spirit. 2 Chainz compliments the single with his signature rap punch lines and metaphors. The music video features Jay Park and 2 Chainz partying in a Korean restaurant.
Reservoir songwriter Phil Bentley has a diverse array of global work from K-pop to Tiësto. The Japanese girl group, Haraeki Stage Ace, combined Eastern and urban elements on their energetic pop single “Rockstar” co-written by Bentley. The J-pop track served as the theme song of the Japanese TV comedy “Money No Tenshi” (The Angel of Money). Expanding his international catalog, Bentley also co-wrote on another J-pop cut “Never Enough” by Japanese pop star Kumi Koda.
Bentley’s next stop is in Shanghai, co-writing on Tiësto’s “Faster Than a Bullet” (feat. VASSY) off of Clublife Vol. 5 – China. The electro house dance track showcases Tiësto’s signature hard beats paired with satisfying featured vocals.
Indonesian pop star Agnez Mo’s “Long As I Get Paid” produced by Reservoir’s Danja, is a high-energy feminist anthem off her debut album X. Danja’s trap influenced production pairs perfectly with Mo’s hypnotic vocals. The luxurious video for the single features Mo wearing traditional Indonesian batik robes, solidifying Mo’s status as an international pop star.
South Korean boy band SHINee released their sixth studio album, The Story of Light, in three EPs, celebrating the group’s 10th anniversary. The second EP features the K-pop cut “Drive” co-produced by Reservoir’s Gannin Arnold of the songwriting and production duo Broken City. “Drive” is a futuristic K-pop cut with polished production and signature boy band harmonies.
Atlanta native Eric Nam originally found success when he was invited to compete on a popular South Korean singing program. His latest EP, Honestly, which includes the track “Potion” featuring Woodie Gochild was produced and co-written by Reservoir’s The Orphanage. The catchy K-pop cut blends electropop with Latin-inspired strings. “Potion” was also co-written by South Korean-Canadian rapper Tablo who collaborated with Reservoir writer Joey Bada$$ on the hip-hop cut “Hood.” The highly stylized visual for “Potion” follows the K-pop singer’s relationship with a mystery woman in Mexico.
Travis Scott and Quavo released their debut album Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho under the moniker Huncho Jack. With Reservoir writer Offset joining Travis Scott and Quavo on the trap cut “Dubai Sh**t,” the rappers compare their glamorous lives to the luxury of Dubai: “I’ve been jet skiin’, jet skiin’ in Dubai/ Dubai shit, Dubai whips.” The chill trap production sets the stage for the three rapper’s casually braggadocios verses.
Reservoir producer and songwriter Cutfather co-wrote on two K-pop tracks from the South Korean boy band B.A.P. With their sleek production, “Honeymoon” and “Think Hole” are undeniably catchy K-pop tracks.
The Danish-born Cutfather collaborated with another K-pop band, Mamamoo, on their single “Paint Me.” The piano ballad showcases the South Korean girl group’s emotive vocal abilities. The single’s video uses changing dynamic colors to further emphasize the emotional power of the track.
The video for “Lean On” by Major Lazer and DJ Snake featuring MØ, is an homage to India. The inspiration behind the track’s visual was inspired Major Lazor’s time in the country during their tour, experiencing the fans and culture. The video was shot in a historical Indian town highlighting the architecture and scenery, accompanied by traditional Indian choreography to the well-known house beat.