Team Leader Shim Jun sent a reply to Brave Only Child, who had sent the ‘Sorry(Working Title)_sample.mp3’ file, and personally contacted him.
He met up with Yong Soo Chul that very week regarding the contract and was overwhelmed by Yong Soo Chul’s large build and rough vibe. On top of that, he internally rebuked himself for almost having bias when he heard that Yong Soo Chul was working as a nightclub DJ. What was important here was the song.
Along with the contract, Yong Soo Chul also received the first part of the songwriter fee in advance. Also, he was granted access to HIT Entertainment’s studio, which was equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.
Preparations for the debut song were progressing rapidly.
At the same time, members of KK were assigned a manager.
“Hey guys, how have you been?”
(TL note: nuna is how younger males refer to older females)
After checking through the intercom screen that it was RDT’s Ahn Young Mi, Ahn Hyung Seo opened the door and greeted her. Ahn Young Mi, who was in charge of the members, managed their rehearsal schedule. This was the second time Ahn Young Mi personally visited the dormitory since move-in day.
Jung Yoon Ki, who got the call ahead of time, also greeted her. The KK members heard her and all gathered in the living room.
“Let’s see how the state of the dormitory is, shall we? Oh ho, it’s cleaner than I expected.”
Considering that it was 6 men living together, it was in fairly good order. Ahn Young Mi, who had glanced around from the living room to the kitchen, proclaimed as if she were surprised. Ahn Hyung Seo, who had good social skills, stood next to her and answered diligently.
“To be honest, the cleaning lady came by yesterday.”
“I figured as much…”
“Also, you know Ji Hoon is a clean freak. He cleans the bathroom everyday.”
Suk Ji Hoon, who had his start as a child actor and now became an idol trainee, had a few unique habits, perhaps because he lived an unordinary life since he was young. Suk Ji Hoon smiled slightly embarrassed. Do Wook, who was sitting next to him, had his signature stiff expression on his face.
Two good looking guys sitting side by side like that looked like a work of art.
‘They’ll be doing a shoot for the jacket soon. If they do, those two will for sure be the main.’
Ahn Young Mi thought to herself. She was still the youngest in the RDT so she was lacking experience, but she was still able to predict that much.
“The reason I came here today is because … You guys need a manager now.”
“Hurrr! Are we getting a manager?”
“Oh, my gosh! A manager! It’s like we’re real celebrities~!”
Ahn Hyung Seo and Kim Won made a fuss over Ahn Young Mi’s news. On the other hand, Jung Yoon Ki looked a little tired. If they got a full-fledged manager, there would be more restrictions on his lifestyle than there was now.
Right when she finished talking, the doorbell rang. Ahn Hyung Seo ran to the door again and opened it.
The person that came in was a man in his mid-30s with his hair slicked back. He was a little less than 180 cm tall, similar to Do Wook’s current height, and was holding large luggage bags in both hands.
“This is General Manager Oh Baek Ho, who will be in charge of you guys starting today.”
He had a fierce expression, much like his tough physique and name, and his eyes were big and bright. It was an expression that had probably scared a lot of people. The members hesitantly greeted him.
Oh Baek Ho was originally the manager for Monster. Not only has he been in charge of wild adolescent boys who won’t listen, he also immaculately took care of aggressive fans. As Monster started to make a name for themselves, he got the position of section chief.
You could tell how seriously HIT Entertainment was focusing on KK by the fact that they sent Oh Baek Ho as KK’s manager.
“I’m Oh Baek Ho. I’ll be living with you guys from now on, and I’d like for you guys to listen to me well.”
He definitely left out that he’ll punish them if they don’t listen. The members became frozen solid by this unfamiliar vibe, while Do Wook calmly looked at Oh Baek Ho.
‘General Manager Oh…’
Oh Baek Ho.
By the time Do Wook was working at the company, he had become ‘Department Head Oh’. Of course he was thorough in taking care of the schedule but also, although it’s hard to imagine looking at how he is now, he was great at making the celebrities he’s in charge of appealing to the people at the broadcast studio. He was competent and seemed to have gotten more and more recognition for it.
There was a time when Ara Entertainment was also trying to scout him so Do Wook had also heard stories about him. However, the scouting attempt failed because he was getting ready to leave the company and become a Director.
Anyways, he was a very competent person. From Do Wook’s perspective, he was satisfied that someone on Oh Baek Ho’s level became KK’s manager.
‘I can use this connection with Manager Oh to accomplish a lot of things from now on.’
Do Wook’s eyes glistened as he looked to the future.
Oh Baek Ho, who had no way of knowing what Do Wook was thinking, looked around at the members and was forming his own assessment. He couldn’t know everything right away, but at least none of them looked immature and rebellious.
‘I heard that the RDT put in a lot of effort but did they really pick the right people…?’
Oh Baek Ho nodded his head, feeling that it will be easier than when he was in charge of Monster. Of course he couldn’t imagine that later it would become difficult for other reasons.
Like that, Oh Baek Ho entered the KK dormitory.
The meeting between composer Brave Only Child (Yong Soo Chul) and the KK members happened on Christmas Eve. Oh Baek Ho and the KK members gathered inside the studio that HIT Entertainment provided for Yong Soo Chul inside the office building.
Yong Soo Chul was wearing a black rider jacket today as well with lots of spikes embedded around the chest. Oh Baek Ho was unaffected by Yong Soo Chul’s rough vibe, but the members subconsciously hunched their shoulders.
Team Leader Shim introduced Yong Soo Chul and the members to each other. He included what part each member is doing, such as rap or vocals.
Yong Soo Chul exclaimed when he got a look at Do Wook’s face as they were being introduced.
“Is there a problem? Sir?”
“This is the person! The person that I met and heard about the song announcement from…!”
Team Leader Shim was also surprised and looked at Do Wook. He had heard about it before when he was signing the contract with Yong Soo Chul. He sent an email because someone who said they’re a singer with HIT Entertainment said they’re looking for a song. He planned to look for him at the company after finishing the contract, but he had been swamped with work.
He wondered what kind of agency singer would run around doing that kind of thing. It was trainee Kang Do Wook.
‘I knew he was no ordinary bet but…’
Team Leader Shim Joon got a deep impression from Do Wook since the meeting for the title song candidates. He immediately caught Team Leader Im Sung Ahn’s heart at the audition, so he wasn’t just a pretty face.
He seemed like he had basic music sense to evaluate songs, and he spoke his opinion clearly while looking straight ahead, unlike normal 19-year-olds.
Do Wook replied to Yong Soo Chul, who was staring at him intensely.
“Oh, you’re the person from back then!”
Do Wook knew that he would meet Yong Soo Chul, but he had to pretend he didn’t know that the composer of that song was him.
“You must have known a lot about this stuff because you’re a composer!”
“Well, I wouldn’t say I know a lot…Anyways, thanks to you, I found a great opportunity and got to debut as a composer. I guess I should thank you?”
“There’s no need! The song is very good. Thank you very much for sending such a good song.”
Do Wook bowed his head. Yong Soo Chul got shy, which didn’t fit his large build, and tapped Do Wook’s shoulders. He was saying let’s do their best.
Neither the other members nor Oh Baek Ho had an idea of what was going on. Team Leader Shim stepped up and briefly explained their connection. Hearing that, the members and Oh Baek Ho looked at the two alternately in amazement.
“You did something like that by yourself without saying anything?”
“I was just frustrated… I didn’t know any other way.”
Do Wook answered bluntly to Jung Yoon Ki’s question. Do Wook debuted not too long after he became a trainee, so they thought he would be less eager to debut compared to the other trainees, but they were wrong.
When they heard that Do Wook personally went out to find a song so he could debut quickly, the other members couldn’t help but admit they didn’t know him that well. It was even more so because he didn’t talk about himself.
The members realized again that Do Wook really wants to debut.
“Since we successfully got a composer that way, maybe we should also scout for the production team too.”
Team Leader Shim Jun made idle remarks, which made everyone laugh lightly.
That was as far as the light atmosphere went. The members immediately started to get nervous at Yong Soo Chul’s words.
“Then first of all, I’d like to see how skilled you guys are.”
It was an important step to check the skills and characteristics of the members before properly making an arrangement and assigning the parts. The song can be edited little by little accordingly.
At Yoon Soo Chul’s words, Team Leader Shim put together the order.
Jung Yoon Ki and Kim Won, who are the rappers, would start, then Park Tae Hyung, Suk Ji Hoon, Kang Do Wook, and Ahn Hyung Seo, who are the vocalists, would go in turn into the recording booth. They each will sing one song from their repertoire that they were most confident in.
An odd sense of tension started to fill the studio.
They said it was just something light to get a sense of their skills, but today’s evaluation could serve as a baseline. The parts were not going to be distributed evenly by dividing a 3 minute song into a few seconds each. They were deciding who would be the main rapper and main vocalist.
The closer your skills are, the more fierce the fighting will be. Excluding Park Tae Hyung, who has the main dance role and a little weak on the vocals, and Suk Ji Hoon, who had bigger dreams to become an actor, it was a very important moment for the remaining four members.
First, Jung Yoon Ki entered the recording booth as the first batter up. The rest of the people sat on the stand-by sofa and waited their turn.
Yong Soo Chul and Team Leader Shim sat in front of the controls in front of the booth.
“Man, I’m really nervous.”
He had used a recording studio before for practice after the debut was confirmed, but even Jung Yoon Ki was a little nervous standing in front of a composer whom he met for the first time. People outside could hear Jung Yoon Ki talking to himself in front of the recording booth microphone.
Before becoming a trainee, Jung Yoon Ki was a talented person who advanced to the final four in the auditions for < Student Rapper >. He had experience in broadcasting and performing. Seeing Jung Yoon Ki be nervous despite all that made the rest of the people more nervous.
“Test test. One, two, one, two.”
“Yoon Ki, are you ready?”
“Yup! Play the song please!”
The song Jung Yoon Ki prepared was a song by hip-hop group, Dynamic Triple. Once the song started playing over the headphones, Jung Yoon Ki started rapping as if he was never nervous to begin with.
Jung Yoon Ki pursued a light and fast rapping style. His quick but accurate diction was excellent. He had progressed much further than when he was on Student Rapper.
On the other hand, Kim Won’s rap that followed was heavy. Unlike Kim Won’s usual image, which was cheerful and lively, he started rapping with a low voice as he performed the foreign rapper Rendrick’s rap.
Do Wook was thinking that he needed to do well on his turn, but also wanted to use this opportunity to grasp the members’ skills more accurately and objectively. Do Wook looked at the members in the booth with sharp eyes.
“….Everyone’s talent is substantial.”
Yong Soo Chul couldn’t help but be a little surprised. He knew that the kids training to be idols these days were amazingly talented, but it was true he thought of it confined to the frame of ‘idol’.
“These kids, they’re very eager.”
Team Leader Shim muttered, unable to hide his overwhelming pride.
After that was Park Tae Hyung and Suk Ji Hoon. It didn’t feel outstanding, but it had somewhat of a vibe. Park Tae Hyung sounded clean because he was beautiful for a man, and Suk Ji Hoon had a unique nasal sound. If it was tuned a little more it could give a point to the song.
Then it was Do Wook’s turn.
As soon as Do Wook entered the recording booth, Yong Soo Chul sat up more properly.
Even when Yong Soo Chul looked again with the glass wall between them, Do Wook was handsome to the point it looked like light was shining from his face. With that kind of face, he felt like he would have to bow down to Do Wook even if he only sang somewhat adequately.
Nevertheless, Yong Soo Chul was expecting a little more. All the members were talented, and he was hoping that Do Wook would be too. If he can perform his song well, it’s clear that a fantastic performance will happen that will capture your eyes and ears.
The song Do Wook chose was Kim Gun Bu’s “Snow Is Falling On A Sleepless Night.” He considered demonstrating his singing skills with a sincere ballad, but the title song was a song with a tempo anyways. He wanted to show his singing ability as well as his excellent rhythm at the same time.
Do Wook tapped his fingers to the rhythm and started to sing.