When I opened my eyes I was a Superstar – Chapter 18: Sonata: Ring Out (5)

“······?!”

Then the beat was overlaid on top of it.

Question marks and exclamation marks appeared on the members’ faces at the same time. Soon, their jaws dropped with admiration. He was the one who came up with the idea, but Do Wook was in awe of Yong Soo Chul’s sense.

“-Sorry but I love you~ I love you~ Sorry~ Truly~ But love you~”

When they heard the chorus pre-recorded by one of the vocal instructors on repeat, the members knew for sure despite not having debuted yet, to the point they wanted to yell, ‘This will be successful!’.

“It’s…It’s so…Good.”

Jung Yoon Ki, after listening to the song until the end, expressed his opinion while stammering a little. Everyone nodded their heads in unison. It already got good reactions from the Team Leaders, the Director, and the others but it never gets tiring to hear a compliment. Yong Soo Chul shrugged his shoulders and got straight to the point.

“We will put rap in the parts where there’s only beats, and the lyrics for the rap will be written by you two yourselves before we record.”

“Ah, okay!”

“Ok~!”

Jung Yoon Ki and Kim Won responded immediately with military discipline as soon as Yong Soo Chul said that to them.

Yong Soo Chul explained exactly who should write which part of the rap. The two of them took out their phones and jotted down notes like crazy. The first part of Verse 1 and Verse 2 would be Jung Yoon Ki, and Kim Won would be in charge of the later part of the chorus. Jung Yoon Ki ended up being in charge of the important intro part.

“Ji Hoon will start off the vocals with Verse 1, and Tae Hyung will sing vocals for Verse 2.”

The problem was the chorus, which is the most important part.

“For the chorus…”

Do Wook glanced at Ahn Hyung Seo who was sitting next to him. Ahn Hyung Seo’s expression looked normal. He was a little nervous, but he didn’t look overly depressed or anything.

He was definitely back to the old Ahn Hyung Seo lately.

‘It’s a relief that it seems like he pulled himself together as I’d expected.’

They say you never know what can happen in life, but Ahn Hyung Seo was innately kind. Do Wook determined that he was the type to not mess something up out of jealousy or envy if he was given just a little bit of encouragement. Additionally, he had depression because his debut fell through in the past, but seeing how he got back up, he doesn’t have a weak spirit either.

‘It’s hard for someone who got back up one time, but they can get up a second or third time.’

Just as he had done in the past.

What Do Wook saw was right. Ahn Hyung Seo was calm in his own way. He was a little anxious though. It was because the song he and his group is going to sing was so good. He planned to give it his all with whatever role he was given. Regardless of if it’s 4 bars or 16 bars.

“Hyung Seo will do the first verse of the chorus. Do Wook will follow immediately after that.”

“……Wh…What?”

Ahn Hyung Seo thought that the chorus would obviously go to Do Wook. He stuttered as he tried to respond.

“Do Wook will do the second verse of the chorus and we’ll raise the key of the chord towards the back here and have Hyung Seo sing the higher part.”

Ahn Hyung Seo looked at Yong Soo Chul with a puzzled expression. Then he looked at Do Wook. Do Wook was checking his part, completely unfazed.

Of course Do Wook will also sing verse 2 of the chorus. There wasn’t much difference in the time distributed either. However, with the way the part was distributed, it was clear Ahn Hyung Seo was the lead vocalist.

The thought that something was wrong invaded Ahn Hyung Seo’s mind. When they were forming the KK members, most people, including himself, thought the lead vocalist position was his. However, as it stood now, it was right that Do Wook was KK’s lead vocalist. Despite his fear of Yong Soo Chul, he stepped forward.

“Excuse me…PD nim*”
(TL note: -nim is a respectful way to refer to someone)

“What is it?”

“Rather than me, I think Do Wook would…!”

“Ah, I’d like to advise you to think twice about what you’re going to say before you give your opinion. Part distribution is one responsibility of a PD and I assigned them after a lot of deliberation.”

“S…Sorry.”

“So what is it you want to say…?”

“Nevermind.”

Ahn Hyung Seo shook his head. As Yong Soo Chul said, it was a decision the PD made after giving it a lot of thought. It wasn’t something he could carelessly argue.

However, Ahn Hyung Seo still felt uneasy that Do Wook was not the lead vocalist. It was even more so because it was after he had admitted Do Wook’s talent. Do Wook was a truly amazing vocalist and member.

They decided to practice on their own, and the members left the studio.

The first recording was set for one week later. They scheduled plenty of time for the members who had to write the lyrics.

After leaving the studio, Ahn Hyung Seo, who had been walking a half step behind Do Wook, stood next to him. It looked like he had something he wanted to say.

He wanted to say something to Do Wook, but he didn’t have anything to say in particular. Do Wook read Ahn Hyung Seo’s mind and started talking first.

“I can’t wait to hear you sing the highlight.”

“No, don’t expect too much.”

Ahn Hyung Seo scratched his cheek.

Actually, Yong Soo Chul and Do Wook had met privately yesterday. Yong Soo Chul had contacted Do Wook, who gave him the idea for the intro. He asked if Do Wook’s name should be included in the arrangement part since he was a big help for it, but Do Wook immediately declined.

It’s true that he gave him the idea but Yong Soo Chul is the one who did the actual work. It was also Yong Soo Chul who created the perfect harmony by changing sound and speed.

“What I did isn’t enough to put my name on it. Later…”

“Later?”

“If we end up officially working on a project later, please put my name next to yours then.”

Yong Soo Chul burst into laughter at Do Wook’s words. He could see Do Wook’s ambitions in composing. Yong Soo Chul said he’s looking forward to it and lightly asked about the part distribution.

Do Wook replied that Ahn Hyung Seo’s unique voice is definitely better suited for the song this time. It wasn’t that he was giving up the position to Ahn Hyung Seo. His voice was truly more suited this time. Yong Soo Chul had been worried about whether he should give the lead vocalist part to Do Wook or Ahn Hyung Seo.

‘Is that really the case?’

Once he heard Do Wook’s reply, Yong Soo Chul gained confidence as a producer.

“Your voice is perfect for the song this time.”

“Hmm?”

“So please don’t worry about it.”

“Ah…Thank you.”

Ahn Hyung Seo was once again deeply impressed by Do Wook’s thoughtfulness. He also felt like he had a general idea about what Do Wook meant by “perfect”, as well as the reason PD Brave Only Child gave him the lead vocalist part.

“I’ll work hard and give it my all!”

Ahn Hyung Seo exclaimed with a bright voice.

***

They practically lived in the rehearsal hall, each of them practicing day after day. The members’ appearances were becoming more and more ‘unsightly’. Among them, the person in the most serious situation was Jung Yoon Ki, who had to make the rap himself on top of being in charge of a bigger portion of it than Kim Won.

Jung Yoon Ki was writing rap lyrics in the living room with the lights on until the time Do Wook went on his early morning exercise. He only replied in a sunken zombie-like state when Do Wook, who finished getting ready, asked if he wasn’t going to sleep.

“Ahh…Stress…”

“Are you having writer’s block?”

“Yes. I can’t write even one line.”

“What?”

Jung Yoon Ki slid a messy notebook filled with lines that were all crossed out without a single useful sentence left in front of Do Wook.

There were less than three days left until the recording. Do Wook sent Yoon Ki to his room, saying he should sleep first. There was a lot of pressure being a part of writing the lyrics for the first debut title song. Thinking to himself that he should look for a way, Do Wook left to exercise.

Is this what they mean by when it rains it pours? That morning, their manager Oh Baek Ho was urgently looking for Jung Yoon Ki.

***

Lunch time. The KK members were eating bulgogi at a restaurant near the dormitory. Perhaps it was because they had been busy since morning, but everyone was hurriedly stuffing their mouths with food.

The other members and their manager, Oh Baek Ho were there, but Jung Yoon Ki was not with them.

“I hope Yoon Ki is eating.”

Ahn Hyung Seo muttered out of concern just before finishing the entire bowl of rice, only remembering Jung Yoon Ki when he had one bite left.

“I’m sure he’s eating properly.”

Oh Baek Ho replied to Ahn Hyung Seo to reassure him.

The news that Oh Baek Ho delivered early in the morning was regarding the special broadcast for < Student Rapper >.

< Student Rapper > planned on having a performance during the preliminary round to create buzz for the Season 2 preliminary rounds coming up soon. The rapper who appeared as a judge and cast member in Season 1 and placed in the top 3 was scheduled to perform during the preliminary round performance.

However, a problem came up. The third-ranked cast member was hospitalized for acute appendicitis. The vacancy was too big for the hour-long performance they planned on having with minimal cast.

By natural order, the fourth place, Jung Yoon Ki, was asked to participate. The performance was in two days. It was definitely an overwhelming schedule. However, from the company’s point of view, a chance for Jung Yoon Ki, who was about to debut, to be on a show again was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. From HIT Entertainment’s perspective, the more famous Jung Yoon Ki became, the better.

HIT Entertainment agreed to have Jung Yoon Ki on the show under the condition that one or two KK members would be allowed to have guest appearances on the show to cheer for him, and for those members to also get some air time.

It wasn’t a difficult request, and from the broadcast company’s perspective, it would be difficult for them to recruit someone better in such a short time, so they accepted HIT Entertainment’s conditions right away. So Jung Yoon Ki ended up preparing two songs, one group song he sang on the show and one song of his choosing.

It was Jung Yoon Ki who was overloaded by the sudden schedule. With only two hours of sleep, he hurriedly got ready and headed to the rehearsal hall where the cast were preparing for the < Student Rapper > performance.

Oh Baek Ho had just brought Jung Yoon Ki back and was now having lunch with the members.

As a director, he only had to manage them, but Oh Baek Ho was also acting as a road manager to observe the members more closely. It would also be helpful in the future if he had a good relationship with them. He planned on taking on the roadie role for a little while.

“I think Yoon Ki hasn’t finished the lyrics yet…Will that part be ok?”

Do Wook asked about an urgent problem. Oh Baek Ho looked at Do Wook. After he was appointed KK’s manager, RDT’s Ahn Young Mi gave him a simple briefing about the members. For Do Wook, there was just one line; ‘He’s good at everything’. The additional explanation said ‘there’s nothing to worry about’.

It was exactly as it said.

From what he observed, he was extremely reliable, and he truly was good at everything. On top of that, he wasn’t just working hard by himself. He was genuinely helping out the other members so that they could do well too.

He thought he had seen it all during his experience as a manager, but he’d never seen a trainee like this before. It was the skills and personality that you wouldn’t see even in idols who had debuted and went through various hardships for 5 years.

“Now that you mention it, it looks like your recording will be pushed back because of the performance. Maybe 3 days?”

The other members let out a sigh of relief at Oh Baek Ho’s response. From the other members’ perspective, they bought three extra days. It wasn’t certain extending it barely three days would make a difference to Jung Yoon Ki.

Do Wook put down his spoon and racked his brain.

‘Hmmm…Jung Yoon Ki is someone who can finish it in one go once he starts writing the lyrics. He’s not slow in finishing his work, but the problem is his mental slump…Can he overcome the slump on top of doing the performance?’

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