Mnet‘s Produce X 101 was the fourth installation of their Produce 101 series. It aired in 2019 and featured 101 trainees from all over the globe.

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| Mnet

Among the show’s highlights was its theme song as it showed off the visuals and dance skills of the contestants. It was widely popular, reaching over 18 million views on YouTube alone.

Though the song was catchy and memorable, it wasn’t the type that was easy to create. One of the composers and arrangers behind “X1-MA,” Michelle Cho, revealed the details behind its making in an interview with ReacttotheK.

Under her belt of numerous K-Pop hits including Taemin‘s “Danger,” it was “X1-MA” that was the most stressful to make.

The one that required a lot of change, Produce X 101. That killed me. That almost killed me. We had, I think, version 39 or something!

— Michelle Cho

It topped Taemin’s “Press Your Number” in difficulty even if this had several different versions from an album to performance set.

That was crazy. Super crazy. That was super intense. To think that [I mentioned] Taemin’s ‘Press Your Number [first]? That was simple compared to this.

— Michelle Cho

Why exactly was it so hard to make? Michelle said, “I don’t know, ’cause they kept requesting for changes.”

In her eyes, Mnet was a perfectionist given the format of the show with over a hundred trainees performing a single song.

I think they were trying to find the ideal sound. Also…how it looks on stage was so important. It had to be 101 guys singing and performing all together. That was not easy.

— Michelle Cho

The result of their hard work was an iconic song!

For more interesting facts on the K-Pop industry, check out the full interview below.