A few days later, the conference room on the 3rd floor of HIT Entertainment office building.
There were over 10 people seated around in the conference room. Everyone was there to prepare for KK’s debut album.
The album production team had Shim Jun, who was the most experienced, and two of his team members participate in the KK project. The three of them and key RDT members participated in the meeting.
Additionally, for this meeting, the 6 KK members also participated. Today was the day they listen to the title song candidates for the debut album. Since it was a song the members would have to sing and perform to, the company internal protocol was the more input the members had on the album, the better.
Do Wook was a little stunned because choosing the title song happened sooner than he expected.
‘I did imply to Yong Soo Chul that there were only a few days left, but would he have already sent it? It wasn’t enough time to prepare a song and send it.’
Unlike the complicated mess in his mind, Do Wook was sitting calmly on one side of the conference room.
‘Huuu….should I have made my move earlier? No, around now is the most appropriate.
With nobody aware of Do Wook’s situation, the Team Leader Im Sung Ahn started the meeting by explaining once again KK’s proposed plan.
“As it was explained last time, KK is a boy hip hop dance group that will lead the top charts in the future. To stand out from other idols, we plan to emphasize the member’s individual remarkable talents. Please prepare the debut album together with that in mind.”
“The debut album will be a mini-album. Once the title is decided, we plan to develop the entire album to fit that concept.”
It was a familiar situation for the staff, but it was new for the members. Until now they just passively followed the practice schedule put together by the company. Now that the opportunity came for them to be directly involved in the album, it really felt like “their album” was coming out and their resolve got stronger.
Team leader Lim looked at the expressions of the members and nodded to Team Leader Shim Jun, who was sitting across from them.
“Then let’s get straight to the point. There are two candidates for the title song for now.”
Team Leader Shim Jun controlled a small remote. The conference room had speakers installed to be able to listen to music.
“To start off, number 1. It’s a song we received through connections to a famous producer.”
Song number 1 started to play. The song had a melody that was easily familiar to the ears to the point that one could comfortably sing along even if it was their first time hearing the song.
“Next is number 2. It’s a song from a new composer who is up-and-coming abroad.”
Compared to song number 1, the beat was much faster and cheerful. Perhaps it was because it’s an overseas producer, but it was a little peculiar. Peculiar wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. To rephrase, it could also mean fresh.
Once both songs were finished, silence went around the room for a moment.
As expected, Yong Soo Chul’s song was not among the two songs.
‘No matter how you look at it, it’ll be hard for either of the songs to be the title song…’
Do Wook had a sudden thought and was engulfed in doubt.
‘But number 1 and number 2, neither of them are You, KK’s original debut song.’
Even if they did some editing later, neither of the two songs were the original for ‘You’.
‘What happened? Did something already change before my body changed?’
Anyways, Do Wook decided to believe in the song Yong Soo Chul will send him. He thought it might work out if he just bought some more time.
It was possible to buy some time because both songs fell short of Do Wook’s standards for KK’s album. Compared to these two songs, ‘You’ was a truly remarkable debut song.
It was also clear that it wasn’t to Im Sung Ahn’s expectations either. Team Leader Im Sung Ahn’s hard expression showed as such.
“Are you saying we only have those two songs?”
“…..Yes. You’ve also heard some of the other songs so you already know but even these two songs are already after the production team vetted the candidates.”
They had been preparing for KK well in advance but it was understandable why KK barely debuted in June. The answer was easy once he organized his thoughts. He probably didn’t even need to put in extra effort to buy time for Yong Soo Chul’s song.
‘It was probably delayed because they were trying to find a song on the same level as You.’
As expected, Team Leader Shim Joon was also not 100% satisfied. However, this was the best they could do even when they commissioned a composer to match the concept. They weren’t getting a song that was completely to their liking. All they got were two songs.
They can’t keep postponing it either. Shim Joon planned to first decide on a song, then invest in the editing, choreography, and music video to increase the song’s quality.
“Let’s take turns saying which one we like more.”
Im Sung Ahn asked. While everyone was hesitant, Jung Yoon Ki, one of the members, spoke up.
“I think number 1 would be better. The melody is familiar, and it’s a good song to add rap to…”
Kim Won, who was sitting next to him, chimed in.
“Isn’t number 2 better? It’s much trendier.”
They were both rappers but their responses were different. It showed that Kim Won came from abroad. The opinions were divided among the members too. The same went for the staff. The two songs got similar decisions.
Do Wook, who had been just sitting still, spoke up.
“Number 1 is too easy. It doesn’t have freshness for rookies to do, it’s suitable as a sequel or last track. On the other hand, number 2 is fresh but the variations are too frequent. It doesn’t feel like one song and there’s parts that stand out.”
The two songs’ shortcomings were sharply dug up by Do Wook.
The two team leaders couldn’t help but be surprised that Do Wook accurately understood the songs and caught the shortcomings in such a short time. At the same time, they agreed with the following:
‘We can’t go with these two songs. We need to look for more songs even if it takes time!’
It was determined that if it was enough to be noticed by a member in such a short time, it would definitely be difficult to appeal to the public as expected.
“Do Wook is right. I think it’ll be better if our production team looks for more songs… And request edits too. Team Leader Im, will the schedule be ok?”
“We have to tolerate delays to a certain extent since the song is extremely important. We’ll decide after accepting submissions for one or two more weeks.”
Like that, deciding on the title song was pushed back.
Deciding on the title song was postponed, but the practices had to continue.
In order to develop each of the KK members’ individual skills and to get everyone in sync, the company selected a song and were practicing the styles of their respective roles, just like during the dance evaluations. If they worked on synchronizing like this on multiple songs, it would be a big help when they are on shows or performing after their debut.
The song they were currently practicing was a pop song by M-sync.
When it came to pop songs, Kim Won, who had studied abroad, ended up playing the biggest role. Park Tae Hyung, who also had a part since he was the main dancer, was asking Kim Won about English pronunciations as soon as practice was over.
Do Wook was relieved that Park Tae Hyung was adjusting to team life better than he expected.
‘Teamwork is a virtue to idols.’
For that reason, Do wook was also observing closely from the inside to mediate the relationship between the team members as well as RDT’s Young Mi Ahn did. Park Tae Hyung raised his head like he felt Do Wook’s gaze.
“Oh…Do Wook, are you heading off to lessons again?”
“… It must be tiring.”
Park Tae Hyung said as if it were a pity even though he himself was also practicing again after practice was over. Kim Won, who was standing next to him, did his unique gesture of shrugging his shoulders.
“You’re a tough one, punk.”
Jung Yoon Ki patted Do Wook on the shoulder in a way that he wouldn’t feel bad and passed by.
Everyone now knew that Do Wook was getting additional lessons at an academy during self-practice time. Everyone was clicking their tongues that Do Wook was extreme for going to an additional academy when it was tiring enough going to and from the rehearsal hall.
Do Wook even went jogging or did other exercises every morning to stay in shape. When all the members have to get checked by a professional trainer, Do Wook easily completes missions like 50 pull ups in one minute by himself.
These efforts were of course followed by dazzling rewards.
In front of Star Academy.
As soon as he entered the now-familiar glass door of the academy, he saw Kim Woo Yeon and Kim Soom, who were sitting around the table in front of the desk. Do Wook’s lesson today was Kim Soom’s composition lesson. Kim Woo Yeon came 30 minutes earlier than his time and was chatting with Kim Soom.
Actually, Kim Woo Yeon came early so he could talk to Do Wook for a bit. Do Wook recently asked him to look into DJ Yong Soo Chul, then he just took the information without giving a proper explanation. He was a little offended by it.
“Do Wook, you’re here?!”
Kim Soom greeted Do Wook very warmly. Do Wook bowed and greeted them.
Due to Rainbow’s end of year performance, Kim Soom had taken leave of her students and was gone from the academy for 2 weeks. Kim Soom was even more excited to see him since it had been a while and she stood up from her seat with a surprised expression.
“Something about you has changed during the time I haven’t seen you.”
“What do you mean? Nothing’s changed.”
Kim Woo Yeon answered with a more astringent tone for no reason.
“No, it’s true…Ah! Did you get taller?”
Do Wook went “ah” at Kim Soom’s exclamation and gave a small nod. Do Wook grew almost 5 cm in one month. He was getting all the other members’ envy because he would be taller every week when they measured their height and weight.
Ahn Hyung Seo, who was the shortest, thought it was the morning exercises that was causing it and even tried jogging like Do Wook a few times. Of course, he couldn’t wake up because he would be gaming until late at night so he gave up after 3 tries.
He had been growing little by little but they didn’t notice. Now that it had been a while since they had seen him, apparently it was very obvious.
“That’s right, that’s right! You got taller. No, did you get more handsome too?”
Kim Soom praised him with a high voice. Even when Do Wook announced that he was going to debut as an idol group, Kim Soon was the one who was happy like it was happening to her. He thought she was a kind person by nature.
On the other hand, Kim Woo Yeon walked a different path. He seemed fairly annoyed that he wouldn’t give him a proper answer regarding Yong Soo Chul.
“What’s the use of getting taller? Your singing skills need to grow!”
“Oh teacher, why are you saying that when you know Do Wook’s singing skills? I saw you with a satisfied smile on your face last time~!”
“Instructor Kim Soom, were you dreaming? He has a long way to go to catch up to me!”
Do Wook smiled shyly between the two of them. His words were cold but Do Wook knew well that Kim Woo Yeon now considered him his full-fledged pupil, no, his star pupil.
Do Wook’s speed of improvement was unlike any other because of all the effort he was putting in. Now, his singing skills were to the point that anyone who hears him will automatically think “Wow he sings well! He has a nice voice!”
If you listened to Kim Woo Yeon’s words ‘He has a long way to go before he catches up to me’ again, it meant he had ambitions to raise Do Wook into a person as talented as he is. Kim Woo Yeon was past trying to emphasize Do Wook’s signature mid-to-low tone and was now working hard to help Do Wook master high notes.
Kim Soom, who knew that, also smiled and shook her head. Kim Woo Yeon pointed to the seat in front of him. Do Wook understood what that meant and quickly sat down. As soon as he was properly seated, Kim Woo Yeon’s questions started pouring out.
“Oh, are you not going to tell me what was going on with that DJ?”
thanks for the chapter!!
Thank you for the chapter, lilgochujang and Watson!
thank you for the chapter
Thanks for the translation!! 💗
I look forward to the next chapters, i just started reading bu i really like the novel. Thanks for translating!!
Thank you for the chapter! Soom, Woo Yeon, and Doo Wook have such a cute dynamic 🥺😭✨