September 14, 1978
Seoul, South Korea
|Education||Diamond Bar High School|
|Revised Romanization||Bak Hong-jun|
|Revised Romanization||Tedi Bak|
Teddy Park (born Park Hong-jun on September 14, 1978), is a Korean-American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Park moved to the United States with his family as a young child. When he was 17 years old, Park and friend, Taebin, flew to South Korea during summer vacation to audition for YG Entertainment, an underground hip-hop label at the time. Both were signed immediately, and after finishing high school in the States, moved to Korea to pursue music.
In 1998, Park debuted in the hip hop group 1TYM with his friend Danny, Jinhwan, Baekyoung. Together, the group recorded five studio albums with Park as their primary songwriter and producer. Today, 1TYM is recognized as one of the most influential groups in Korean music history. After his performing career with 1TYM ended in 2005, Park became an in-house producer for YG Entertainment. He has worked on the majority of 2NE1's discography, a substantial number of Big Bang's releases, and hits such as Seven's "Passion" and Uhm Jung-hwa's "D.I.S.C.O." Recently, he has been a major producer for the girl group Blackpink's materials.
Teddy was born in Seoul, South Korea, but moved to New York City as a young child. After his father was transferred to Diamond Bar, California, he attended Diamond Bar High School and became friends with future band mate Im Danny. Growing up, the two sang together at karaoke bars and tinkered with recording equipments. They were discovered when they were teenagers by a producer who worked with Yang Hyun-suk, founder of YG Entertainment. After auditioning for Yang and sending in demo tapes, the two were signed to his newly established and underground label, and moved to South Korea. Although Park enrolled in a university when he returned to South Korea, he dropped out to focus on his career.
Park and Im were joined by rappers Jinhwan and Baekyoung and debuted as 1TYM in 1998 with the album, One Time for Your Mind. It became one of the best-selling albums of the year and won several major awards. This was followed by 2nd Round in 2000 and Third Time Fo' Yo' Mind in 2003. Park began to have more input into the songs, and had a more prominent role in producing. After the initial three albums, 1TYM released Once N 4 All, which yielded two singles: "Hot (Hangul?"), an up-beat hip-hop track with reggae rhythms, and "Without You", an emotional R&B ballad. The group went on a two-year hiatus in which member Im embarked on a brief solo career under the name of Taebin. The group reunited for the album One Way in 2005, their fifth and last studio album, before going on hiatus due to military enlistment. Their albums have sold a combined total of 780,000 copies.
Though they were predominately hip hop artists, 1TYM was influenced by reggae and R&B. 1TYM along with the duo Jinusean were credited for bringing hip hop music and YG Entertainment to the mainstream. At 22 years old, Park also began producing for other artists on the label, most of whom were much older and more experienced than him.
With 1TYM on hiatus, Park transitioned into the role of producer for other YG artists, his first major contribution being "La La La" for Seven's album Sevolution. Park also collaborated with Big Bang for several of their songs, most notably "Sunset Glow." When Big Bang member Taeyang embarked on a solo career in 2008, Park produced his extended play, Hot. The following year, Park produced "Lollipop" for a collaboration between Big Bang and 2NE1. The song went on to top the Gaon Chart during April.
Park would go on to have a hand in producing a majority of 2NE1's work, including their debut extended play, 2NE1 (2009) and studio album, To Anyone (2010). Two of the three main singles, "Can't Nobody" and "Go Away," from the latter were also composed by Park. He faced plagiarism allegation in 2009 when it 2NE1's "I Don't Care" was accused of mimicking US singer Lionel Richie's "Just Go." To continue producing for 2NE1, Park rejected an offer to work with Lady Gaga. He collaborated with Seven again to produce the promotional single "Better Together," in addition to other songs for the EP Digital Bounce (2010) and was featured in G-Dragon's song "The Leaders." He also had a role in Taeyang's solo album Solar, including the singles "Where U At" and "Wedding Dress." At the end of the year, he also participated in the production of GD & TOP's album, and co-composed both "High High" and "Oh Yeah".
In the first half of 2013, Park produced Lee Hi hit single "Rose," 2NE1's leader CL's solo debut single "The Baddest Female," and Kang Seung-yoon's YG debut "Wild & Young." He began working with girl group Blackpink in 2016, producing their Square One and Square Two single albums. Two of the songs in Square One - "Whistle" and "Boombayah" - became major hits. That same year, he founded The Black Label, a subsidiary of YG Entertainment. The label currently houses Zion.T, Korea's second bestselling artist of 2015 after Big Bang.
In 2017, he wrote and produced "As If It's Your Last" for Blackpink and in 2018, he wrote and produced their debut EP, Square Up. Park produced for the first time for a non-YG Entertainment artist with "Just Dance," the theme song for the reality television competition Mix Nine. Participants singing and dancing to the song was released and three versions of the song were released overall: a male version led by Hyojin of ONF, a female version led by Lee Sujin from Fave Entertainment, and a co-ed version performed by both teams. He produced two songs for singer Sunmi: "Gashina" and "Heroine," the latter of which drew criticism for the producer for allegedly copying "Fight for This Love," a hit of British singer Cheryl.
Park's production style often incorporates contemporary R&B, especially when working with Taeyang and Seven. He also features reggae in his songs, acknowledging the genre's influence on 2NE1's debut EP. His work with 2NE1's first full-length album and 2011 EP contained songs that are pop and dance, in addition to featuring house elements. The song "Lonely" by 2NE1 was praised for its acoustic sound. Park also experimented with electronic music when working with Big Bang.
At the end of 2009, 10Asia named Park Park as one of the top 10 people of 2009 for his participation in some of the year's biggest k-pop hits. In 2018, Seoul Sports published a list of "Most Influential Power People of K-pop," which was ranked by music industry executives. Park placed fifth in the category of best producer. That same year, he and G-Dragon tied for the most earned royalties for lyrics writing and song composition within the field of popular music from the Korean Music Copyright Association. Park has reportedly made about US$850,000 through his song copyright royalties.