When I opened my eyes I was a Superstar – Chapter 15: Sonata: Ring Out (2)

“What the…?”

Outside the recording booth, Team Leader Shim exclaimed to himself without realizing it. He was initially surprised by Do Wook’s improved voice that stuck in his ear and his precise tone, and his sense of tempo continued to surprise him.

Shim Jun looked around his surroundings and observed the members sitting in the back. They were also thinking ‘Has he always sung like this?’

Of course, Shim Jun had a general idea about the members’ skills. That much was a given in order to produce an album. Based on that understanding, this team’s lead vocalist was going to be Ahn Hyung Seo. Skill-wise Ahn Hyung Seo was the most impressive. After that, Kang Do Wook and Suk Ji Hoon were neck and neck. His overall conclusion was that pretty soon Kang Do Wook will blow past him and get ahead.

Therefore, he had regarded Do Wook as a subvocalist. However, Do Wook’s song he was listening to now was not a voice that can be used as a subvocalist.

“He’s full of surprises.”

Yong Soo Chul murmured. Shim Jun also strongly expressed his agreement. Do Wook’s singing reached its highlight. Yong Soo Chul even felt a little sorry that until just now, out of prejudice based on his looks, he was thinking he would be happy if he just sang even ‘somewhat’ well.

The members were the ones who observed Do Wook’s development the closest. Still, now that they’ve properly heard Do Wook’s singing, they were surprised once again. Among them, Ahn Hyung Seo was the most surprised.

‘Do Wook…He’s really amazing.’

Ahn Hyung Seo lowered his shoulders and was lost in his own thoughts, unlike his usual self.

Sense of crisis.

Yes, this was a sense of crisis. Ahn Hyung Seo developed a sense of crisis that he might have to give up the position of lead vocalist to Do Wook.

When Do Wook came out of the booth, the atmosphere in the recording studio was heightened. The ends of Do Wook’s mouth seemed to go up a little when Team Leader Shim specifically told him that he did a good job.

There was still Ahn Hyung Seo’s turn left and there was no certainty on how the part distribution would go, but if he complimented him any more than that, then Do Wook might get excited. In other words, Team Leader Shim only lightly complimented him on purpose. To be honest, Do Wook knew better than anyone that the team had to be successful for him to be successful. If it meant the team could do well, it didn’t matter who became the lead vocalist.

Then, Ahn Hyung Seo entered the booth.

Ahn Hyung Seo sang the song he was most confident in, Kim Byung Soo’s ‘I Miss You’, to the best of his abilities. It was also Do Wook’s song during his audition.

Ahn Hyung Seo showed off a cool high note that stretched out through “I Miss You.” It was a high note that made one feel relieved. His skills had definitely improved greatly from his early days as trainee, when he could only sing slightly high notes with his unique voice.

‘As expected, Hyung Seo’s skills are also no joke. He already has a lot of talents, and he’s even good at singing…’

Team leader Shim Jun nodded his head with satisfaction. Yong Soo Chul was, of course, feeling satisfied at the members’ amazing skills and couldn’t ask for more.

‘I’m giving my song to a team like this. It was worth it!’

They cleaned up the area after they were done checking all the members’ skills. Oh Baek Ho stepped up and cleaned up. The members stood in a line and said goodbye to Team Leader Shim and Yong Soo Chul with a deep bow.

“I look forward to working with you!”

Yong Soo Chul smiled brightly at the energetic voices. Of course to others his smile looked like a frown, but Yong Soo Chul was genuinely smiling.

They decided to talk about the song in more detail tomorrow since they’re tired today and after Team Leader Shim left, Yong Soo Chul was alone in the recording studio. They decided to talk tomorrow, but he had to organize his thoughts first before they talked.

‘Hmmm, they told me the two rappers can make the rap and write lyrics themselves so I just need to have them add to the lyrics I thought of…Looking at the two of their rap styles, I think it’ll be ok to increase the rap part a little.’

Yong Soo Chul developed his thoughts by playing the song he had prepared several times.

‘That Ahn Hyung Seo person has a cool high note, so I think I can raise the note higher in this part…’

Then Yong Soo Chul remembered Do Wook. He had natural talent, and he was clearly an extremely hard worker considering what he saw that day when he was putting up the posters. He had come across all sorts of people while working at the nightclub, and someone like Do Wook was a sturdy tree*. No, more like the beanstalk from Jack and the Beanstalk.
(TL note: this is referring to the Korean saying that a promising tree can be recognized even as a sapling, meaning genius displays itself even in childhood or that people who grow up to be fine adults show signs even in childhood.)

‘Is this what they mean when they say you work hard in the early part of your life and you have lots of luck in the middle part of your life?’

It was when Yong Soo Chul was pondering this happy thought.

Knock knock.

He heard a knock.

“Come on in!”

After answering, Yong Soo Chul started to wonder.

‘Does Team Leader Shim Jun have more things to discuss with me?’

That was what Yong So Chul thought, but the person who came in was not Team Leader Shim.

The person who came into the studio was Do Wook.

“Oh? Hey Do Wook. What’s going on?”

The rest of the schedule for Do Wook and the members was individual practice. While they went down to the rehearsal hall and started to warm up, Do Wook got permission from Manager Oh Baek Ho, who was on the other side of the rehearsal hall and was looking at work on his phone. He asked if he could go back to the studio and talk to Yong Soo Chul for a little bit.

It was within the office building anyways, and he just heard about the relationship between them so it wasn’t strange that Do Wook would meet with Yong Soo Chul separately. Oh Baek Ho nodded his head, thinking that they had more things to talk about.

So about an hour after leaving the studio, Do Wook met with Yong Soo Chul again.

A lot of time had passed since he came into the studio and turned on the heater so the room was hotter. Yong Soo Chul had taken off the rider jacket he was wearing, and a thick gold necklace was shining on top of his knit shirt.

‘It looks like his taste really never changes.’

After being briefly distracted by the gold necklace, Do Wook came to his senses and asked Yong Soo Chul,

“Um… I have something to tell you. If it’s not too much trouble, do you have a moment?”

Yong Soo Chul moved toward where the sofa was while thinking to himself that, if nothing else, his manners were impeccable. Do Wook quietly sat down once Yong Soo Chul gestured for Do Wook to have a seat. Once he was sitting face to face with Do Wook, he muttered with admiration.

“I greeted you earlier, but it’s interesting to see you again like this. Seriously.”

“Me too. Thank you again for sending the song.”

“No need to keep thanking me like that.”

The conversation between Do Wook, who was handsome like a sculpture but his nonchalant expression made him look stiff, and Yong Soo Chul, who could make someone feel threatened even when he’s just standing still, would look serious to outside eyes. However, the two of them were creating a friendly atmosphere.

“So, what is it you wanted to tell me?”

“It’s just that, after hearing the song in its entirety, there was a part that I recalled.”

“A part you recalled….?”

There’s no composer who isn’t, but Yong Soo Chul was someone who had pride in his work. He was also a very proud person. He also didn’t tell too many people that he was studying composition because didn’t like getting other people’s advice and arguing with them over a song he worked on.

Additionally, it was true that Yong Soo Chul worked on songs alone in an isolated matter because of the different complexes he had.

At first, Yong Soo Chul went to a composition academy too and tried to become the pupil of a famous composer. However, composition, like other arts, depended on your personal connections, such as academic or other networking.

He was looked down on because of his educational background and for being older than most other students. He came to the conclusion that he cannot learn properly if he’s being ostracized. Yong Soo Chul started to develop his composition skill through self study, just like how he learned to DJ.

“It’s just that…I actually had an idea after hearing the song in its entirety.”

“An idea?”

“Yes.”

Do Wook continued to observe Yong Soo Chul’s body language. Do Wook picked his words carefully so he wouldn’t hurt Yong Soo Chul’s feelings, who had a lot of pride.

“What is it? I haven’t started working on the arrangement yet, but I’ll hear you out.”

“I truly just happened to think of it as soon as I heard the song…You, the composer, would know better than I do so if you hear me out and don’t agree, please just forget about it.”

When he heard that it was an idea for the song, Yong Soo Chul seemed to pause momentarily, but he promptly stated he’d gladly hear the idea. He was pretty fond of Do Wook, and he was not so closed minded to refuse his idea without hearing it.

“Of course. It’s my song, so of course I’ll make that decision myself. However…”

“Yes?”

“It’s the opinion of the person who will be actually singing the song, so I want to hear it. I hope it’ll be a helpful opinion.”

Along with pride in his work, he had aspirations to make a great song.

‘He definitely didn’t become a famous composer for no reason. He has clear direction and openness to accept other people’s input.’

As he thought that, Do Wook explained how he thought about 8 Words after listening to the song.

It was after finishing the title song selection as he came out of the meeting room and was walking down the hallway. The ringtone of one of the employees walking past in the hall echoed in Do Wook’s head, who had been lost in thought.

The ringtone was nothing special. It is one of the basic ringtones that can be heard anywhere; one of the classic songs that people all over the world might not know the name of but knew the melody to.

“That sonata melody in this song…?”

“Yes. I was thinking about starting off the first half with piano sampling like 8 Words. With a little more variation.”

Yong Soo Chul pulled his chair a little more. He decided to listen to his idea without much expectation, but it was a more detailed idea than he expected.

“Hmmm…I don’t need to tell you that a sonata melody is nice to listen to and famous but would it go well with my song?”

He was asking if that was really necessary.

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