Idols Rewind – Chapter 4: A Promising Composer

Songwriter LOAN.

He was a genius composer who excelled in writing idol music.

In the future, HS Entertainment used his music to bring him into the spotlight, and LOAN became loyal to them.

This talented man would go on to become a head producer at a young age. Right now, he was likely saving up money through part-time work and creating songs with cheap equipment.

‘I don’t know his contact information or his work location, but there’s nothing you can’t do with SoundCloud.’

It was like the city hall for amateur composers.

There wasn’t a single amateur composer who wouldn’t upload their music here.

SoundCloud was the world’s largest music sharing website. To date, there have been many musicians who turned their lives around here.

So why wouldn’t he try uploading here?

Using the search bar, I searched for ‘LOAN.’

“He’s here, as expected.”

Four pieces of music popped up, and I listened to each of them. 

“I swear, there’s always a reason these genius composers are discovered late,” he said, his face devoid of any emotion.

He was the type that needed to collaborate with singers to produce quality work.

Currently unknown, LOAN could only put out these mediocre pieces. Since he only figured out his songwriting style much later, he hadn’t even considered finding a singer. 

I sent him a DM.

[My name is Hyuk Kang, the President of K Management. I’m reaching out to request a song. Please feel free to contact me with the contact information I’ve provided.]


Not even a minute passed before my phone started to vibrate. 

My face settled into a wide grin.

“This is Hyuk Kang.”

It felt like finding a diamond lying on the side of the road.


LOAN insisted on making the trip to the company office, but Hee-yeon and I visited him in the city where he lived instead – Uijeongbu. It was because composing at the company wasn’t possible.

Behind the police station was a small studio apartment. He used this place as both his studio and home.

The walls and windows were tightly lined with soundproofing material, and inside the room, there was only a computer, composing equipment, a clothes rack, and a mattress.

“Hello, my name is Hee-yeon from Blue Sherbet.”

“My name is Hyuk Kang.”

There was no answer. He looked like he was already lost in her beauty.

The man who would dominate the idol scene was still so innocent.


“Oh! I-I’m so sorry. I-I’m an aspiring composer called LOAN!”

“Nice to meet you.”

So, this is what that big-shot producer was like as a greenhorn.

If I got on his good side, I wouldn’t have any trouble with songs in the future.

The company didn’t have a studio and our financial situation wasn’t great, so I couldn’t bring LOAN in like HS Entertainment did back then. But if I couldn’t have him, I would make sure no one else could either.

My plan was to give as much freelancing advice as I could.

That way, he would slowly build up his reputation while still giving our company priority and the ones who would end up on the waitlist would be HS Entertainment.

‘No, wait. If HS Entertainment interferes with our group, then they would start harboring a grudge against LOAN.’

By the time they realized his true value, it would be too late.

They would never see the many hit songs that LOAN faithfully produced for HS Entertainment.

‘This is killing two birds with one stone and catching the fish while draining the pond.’

I wondered how Blue Sherbet’s full album would turn out, filled with Yumi and LOAN’s songs.

Just thinking about it excited me.

“Um… But, are you really trusting me to compose a song?”

“Yes. Is it hard to believe?”

“Well… Yes. I’m sure there are a lot of amateurs better than me.”

He lacked confidence. It was common among amateur creatives.

Right now, he needed something to help him feel more confident.

“You may not know this, but I left HS Entertainment even though they were forming a team just for me. I have a pretty good eye for talent. Although Blue Sherbet’s debut song didn’t do too well, I still have my eye for talent. It told me to reach out to you. Do you think I would be standing here right now if there was an amateur better than you?”

LOAN’s nostrils flared at the compliment, as if he was deprived of water.

I continued.

“You have the potential to rise to the top of this industry. This is not a guess, but a certainty.”

“Wow… Haha. That’s such a generous thing to say. Uh… Well, I’m not like that at all. Um,” said LOAN, feeling awkward.

Soon, he would realize his own talent. I would make it happen.

“Um. Is there a place I can sit…”

“Please, sit here!”

“The composer should be sitting in the chair by the computer. You’re going to be making a song, after all.”


I plopped down onto the floor.

LOAN stayed standing with a dumbfounded look.

“Hee-yeon already warmed up on our way here. She’ll start singing things at random, so you can start composing whenever you feel inspired to. Oh! And please make it a Korean pop song that feels like Western pop.”

Our target concept was somewhere between an idol and a musician.

The idea was for it to be polished and trendy, so that it would become popular with people of all ages. It would be a song that wouldn’t lose to idol music, even without a dance.

“All of a sudden like this?! But I’m not ready yet!”

Of course I knew that demanding clients were the absolute worst.

It was no different from demanding a design that was ‘fresh but trendy, simple yet eye-catching.’

“Actually, I could tell after listening to all your music. You’re the type who needs to collaborate with a singer to compose. There shouldn’t be an issue with being ready or not.”

I trusted that if it was LOAN, he could do it.


Even though LOAN thought it was absurd, he didn’t want to miss this chance.

Sure, Blue Sherbet’s debut was a flop. But where else would he get a proper debut as a composer?

LOAN was desperate for this opportunity.



I had already discussed this with Hee-yeon beforehand because I couldn’t have her flustered, too.

“Shall we get started?”

Hee-yeon put in her earphones and fiddled with her phone. She took a breath and began to sing.

“Today I don’t feel like doing anything.”

We heard the song without any accompaniment, but nonetheless, the singing was crisp and pleasant to the ear.

LOAN hastily booted up the composing program and became hyper focused, as if treating this like a test.

“I used to rule the world.” 

Bruno Mars’s ‘The Lazy Song’ was followed by Cold Play’s ‘Viva La Vida.’

There was nothing in common between these two songs. If there was something, it was that Hee-yeon liked them.

‘It should be about time he starts getting that feeling.’

Sure enough, LOAN’s eyes widened as ‘Viva La Vida’ was ending and started clicking his mouse.

He seemed to have had a eureka moment. Seeing this, it was no wonder why he would later be called a genius and become the head producer at HS Entertainment.

He started playing something on the master keyboard.

Tik, Tak, Tik, Tak.

That was all I heard. Just as Hee-yeon had her earphones in, LOAN also had his headphones on with one ear open to hear Hee-yeon’s singing.

What kind of song would be born?

Even in the past, there was a time when Hee-yeon and LOAN did a collab. The public and K-pop fans went wild at that.

This was on a much smaller scale in comparison, but the essence was the same.

I was filled with anticipation.

Meanwhile, Hee-yeon continued to sing without interruption even after seeing LOAN’s reaction.

‘…She really can sing anything well.’

LOAN was amazing, but Hee-yeon was also very amazing.

I did say that she could just sing anything she liked, but to think she could pull off such a wide variety of songs so well.

Hee-yeon made eye contact with me. I smiled and nodded, saying that she was doing well.

She started swaying with the rhythm more confidently.

And then, the third song started.

A song from the OG boy group that received lots of love from the citizens – ‘Road.’

She really did choose such a variety of songs.

Hee-yeon snapped her fingers and sang comfortably.

“The road that I’m taking now, where does it lead me, where will it take me—”

At that moment…

“One second please.” 

LOAN unplugged the jack from his headset and turned on music through the speakers.

It was the rough outline of a melody, with a repetitive and simple violin line overlapping synthetic whistling.



It was fresh yet cozy, but also refined. 

See? Didn’t I say this would work?

“Do you know ‘Lemon Tree’? Can you sing that?” LOAN asked Hee-yeon.


LOAN’s eyes lit up, as if there was a fire that was set ablaze.

He must’ve been so excited about discovering his talent that he didn’t know he had.

‘And he’ll be grateful to me for helping him discover it.’

Now I could sit back and enjoy the show.

They kept this up for a while. He continued to layer and tweak the song to make it more distinct, and Hee-yeon hummed melodies at LOAN’s request instead of other songs.

After hearing the melody get to a satisfactory point, I suggested for Hee-yeon to rest her voice.

LOAN slumped in his chair as the tension left his body.

“Good work.”

The very same intuition that recognized numerous hit songs, hit works, and budding celebrities was currently screaming at me.

That this song was going to be a hit. It was so gratifying. 

“…President Kang.”


“Just how… How did you know?”

I’d grown used to this reaction after seeing it countless times at HS Entertainment, and even before I regressed.

I shrugged nonchalantly and held my tongue.

“I’ve… never felt this way before. Even when I felt like I was on to something, it would just vanish when I wrote a song. But now… I feel like I’ve become a genius.”

“You are a genius. You just didn’t know your composing style.”

“I’m… a genius… Talent is really… amazing,” LOAN said, as he looked at me with an intense gaze.

I just smiled back.

“I told you I had a bit of an eye for talent.”

“You did. It… doesn’t seem exaggerated. I could tell just by listening to Hee-yeon sing. You recognized my talent too, so I don’t have anything to say to that. Honestly, at first, I wondered if it was okay for me to debut already. I thought I still lacked the skills.”

LOAN stood up and bowed to me.

“Thank you, President Kang. It’s all thanks to you. I might’ve never known about this talent for my entire life. I’ll… do my very best to make this song.”

“That’s reassuring.”

I meant it. Didn’t LOAN’s determination make it that more trustworthy?

We drafted a contract while Hee-yeon was resting her voice, and then I promptly transferred him the composition fee.

LOAN’s eyes gleamed with excitement.

I leveled up from ‘rude client’ to ‘valued customer.’

Of course, this didn’t mean the work was done. In fact, it was just the beginning.

The process would slightly vary depending on the lyrics, but once LOAN finished his first draft of the song, we needed to practice singing it. After that, we could refine the song with better equipment and record it in a proper recording studio.  And after that, we needed to mix and master the music.

However, this was just the preparation for the song. I still needed to figure out the album cover, music video, hairstyle, makeup, and overall style that fit the concept. There was even more to do after that.

‘I guess I won’t be sleeping anytime soon.’

Despite that, I couldn’t help but smile.


In the car on the way back to the dorm, Hee-yeon asked me, “President Kang, can I ask you something?”

“What is it?”

“Why didn’t you accept LOAN as our composer? He seemed really talented.”

Honestly, I was surprised too.

I didn’t expect him to ask to join our company.

He should be aware of his talent now. Did he feel that grateful to me?

Maybe it was expected. He might be thinking that he would have never known about his talent if it weren’t for me. It could explain why he felt so grateful.

“I told you earlier. We need to focus on you right now. We don’t have the money to set up a studio and hire LOAN. You all need to practice individually now, and we need to find practice rooms for each of you. We can’t right now because we have no money. Plus, we need to connect with other companies because you’re the only artists at our company, but we can’t afford that either.

There was no need to rush things right now, was what I wanted to say.

We’ve already progressed farther than expected.

“Still… Don’t you feel like it’s a bit of a shame?”

I glanced at Hee-yeon.

Before my regression, she wouldn’t have asked this kind of question. She seemed anxious.

“Why? Do you think we won’t be able to get another song from a composer like him?”

“You never know… What if we try hard and it still doesn’t work out? It would be hard to get a song from a composer like him.”

“We’re going to succeed. I know you’ve lost some trust in me because we failed once, but this time, I’ll make it happen for sure. There’s no need to worry.”

She looked at me as she gathered her thoughts.

“We’ve never lost trust in you. We believe that you’ll help us succeed someday. So, even if we fail again, I hope you won’t blame yourself too much. Our failure isn’t just your responsibility. We would have succeeded last time if we had done better.


My grip tightened around the steering wheel.

She still thought there was a higher chance of failure than success. Like last time.

Because she thought HS Entertainment wouldn’t leave us alone this time, too.

‘Let’s see them try.’

I had changed. I was fully determined, and nothing would stop me.

They could try underestimating us and crushing us under their giant hand, but I was ready to grab them by the arm and slam it to the ground.

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