When I opened my eyes I was a Superstar – Chapter 67: Formula (1)

The day of Seo Tae Joon’s LIVE concert. Olympic Park Gymnasium.

There were fans who followed the members even to the dormitory and company, so the members arrived at the gymnasium in two separate cars. It was to decrease the possibility of getting exposed as much as possible.

HIT Entertainment made security their top priority to uphold Seo Tae Joon’s request as best as they could.

Of course it was inevitable that rumors would circulate among fans that the KK members were rehearsing at their dormitory for a concert.

However, they hadn’t figured out what concert it was and couldn’t even imagine that it was Seo Tae Joon’s concert.

That KK might be doing a solo concert soon was the guess that got the most traction.

The rehearsal progressed under tight security, almost as if they were guarding the president.

As the members waited until it was time for their about 4-minute-long performance, they had the honor of watching Seo Tae Joon’s rehearsal.

“Wow, it was this kind of song…”

Ahn Hyung Seo, who had been looking blankly at the stage, muttered.

The members who heard Seo Tae Joon’s new song were in shock as if they were hit in the back of the head.

Although it was not a brand new genre, it was part of a genre called mania that had components of pop rock marvelously added to it, and a song that could hold its own among popular songs. Despite that, the ‘hard’ vibe of rock hadn’t disappeared.

Even though he had already heard the song in the past, Do Wook was in awe again.

‘The fact that he can create a song like this in this day and age…is really amazing. The skills to write a song like this, and the confidence to do it!’

It wasn’t just his new song.

The hit songs he had released previously were definitely good songs no matter when you listened to them.

Jung Yoon Ki, who was standing next to Do Wook, was moving to the rhythm and sang along without omitting a single lyric.

Afterwards, when it became time for the part of the program where KK performs, the dance group Seo Tae Joon had prepared came on stage. Because fans and reporters were on their way to the concert hall, Seo Tae Joon planned on KK not taking the stage until the main performance.

Seo Tae Joon had already verified KK’s level through videos he received every 3 days.

They couldn’t talk directly with Seo Tae Joon, but they were able to hear from Tommy that Seo Tae Joon was satisfied with KK’s skills.

As they watched the dancers, the members were reassured of their standing.

There was some nervousness since it’d be a different vibe once they actually took the stage, but they had rehearsed themselves to the bone with the exception of eating three times a day and sleeping for this performance this past week, so they were confident they’d do well.

Once the long rehearsal was over, the main performance started.

Once the screen showed a black and white clip of Seo Tae Joon’s performance accompanied by magnificent stage music, the fans in the concert hall, which was filled to the brim, were buzzing. There were even fans who cried within the first minute of the performance.

It was an 8-year wait. For fans who had waited for Seo Tae Joon, it was a moment for which they couldn’t help but cry.

They thought it was great even during the rehearsal, but the actual great performance was about to begin.

At that moment, all the KK members felt that an artist’s performance became the most perfect when he or she meets an audience that loves him or her.

As they monitored the concert from the waiting room, the KK members felt partly overwhelmed.

The feeling of being in awe over Seo Tae Joon’s genius performance and the sound of fans cheering wildly were engraved in the hearts of the KK members.

They couldn’t help but be first and foremost excited that they would be standing on that stage.

‘One day we’ll be able to stand on a stage like that too, right?’

They didn’t say anything, but they could tell by their eyes. That they were all thinking the same thought.

Then it was time for KK’s performance.

All the stage lights turned off, and as it blacked out, the top of the large stage became engulfed in darkness. The lights in the audience section surrounding the stage shone softly.

The audience waited with bated breath for the next performance to start.

Soon the next melody started to play.

The audience started to shout when they heard the melody of the song that had been most popular among his songs, ‘GO BACK SCHOOL*’.
(TL Note: This was written in English even in the original. GO BACK SCHOOL, not GO BACK TO SCHOOL.

The KK members, who were standing in formation on stage, felt thrilled from the sound of yelling that was loud enough to shake the gymnasium. It felt as if an incredible energy was forced into their bodies.

At the same time, POP-! The pin light shone on the six members.

The members started to move their bodies as they stretched out their arms.

When people who weren’t Seo Tae Joon appeared on stage, the audience who had been yelling scrambled to figure out who the people were.

At first they thought they were dancers, but the vibe of the six people wearing black-collared shirt uniforms didn’t seem like simple dancers.

The VCR screen that had been showing full shots of the choreography showed Do Wook’s face. Afterwards, it showed the full shot again, then one shot of Park Tae Hyung’s solo dance. Before they knew it, the audience was captivated by the uniformed six-man squad, who moved brilliantly.

The reporters in the front row became restless and made a fuss.

“What the! They’re not just dancers!”

“Kang Do Wook? Wasn’t that Kang Do Wook just now?”

“What is Kang Do Wook doing here, KK? Is that KK?!!!!”

Each of the reporters started to type on the laptops they had placed on their laps as fast as humanly possible.

“Are you sure? KK?!”

“It is, sunbae! That solo dancer there is Park Tae Hyung!”

“Hey, Reporter Kim! Quick, take pictures and send them as soon as the performance is over.”

“Got it!”

The reporter holding the big camera quickly pressed the shutter button.

Even within the audience, those who recognized KK were buzzing.

“Why is KK appearing at our Tae Joon-jjang*’s concert?”
(TL Note: His name is Tae Joon. Fans are lovingly adding jjang at the end of it to mean he’s the best.)

“Yeah, our Tae Joon-jjang wouldn’t call just anyone either…”

They weren’t particularly happy that a different singer appeared, but the fans had endless faith in Seo Tae Joon.

On top of that, KK, who was on stage, was perfectly recreating Seo Tae Joon’s performance from 8 years ago.

“They are good though.”

That was most of the fans’ reaction. ‘They are good though.’

There were parts that were reinterpreted to fit a six-person choreography instead of for just one person, but those parts boasted outstanding dancing skills enough for Seo Tae Joon’s fans to like it too.

When KK’s dance performance was about to end, the chorus for ‘GO BACK SCHOOL’ started once again and Seo Tae Joon was descending from the ceiling onto the middle of the stage using wires.

Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa_The cheers felt loud enough to tear eardrums.





“No more of that past love!”

When Seo Tae Joon led off, the fans sang along. It was perfect teamwork.

Seo Tae Joon, who was standing on the stage, held the microphone stand and sang. The KK members gave it their all as they finished the choreography.

< Seo Tae Joon, a safe return. Seo Tae Joon’s comeback that shook Korea! >

< New again! Seo Tae Joon, Seo Tae Joon, As expected of Seo Tae Joon! >

< KK’s surprise appearance! Collab performance with Seo Tae Joon... >

< Returning after 8 years, Time is flowing towards Seo Tae Joon. >

< Performing with great sunbae Seo Tae Joon. Proof that KK is this year’s hottest singer! >

Famous portal sites were plastered with Seo Tae Joon’s concert. Even the search trends were all related to Seo Tae Joon’s concert and new song.

Of course KK was among them.


The day they had the meeting with Seo Tae Joon.

What Do Wook meant when he said to Seo Tae Joon he had ‘something to tell him’ was none other than that he wanted permission to remake Seo Tae Joon’s song.

Seo Tae Joon deliberated.

Actually, Seo Tae Joon’s songs had not been remade up to now, not even once.

At the beginning of his retirement, Seo Tae Joon’s prowess was so incredible that there was no one who dared to step up to do a remake.

Later on, Seo Tae Joon often received requests for remakes, but they were all rejected by him.

It was because Seo Tae Joon was extremely reluctant, concerned his songs might be damaged by other people’s hands.

‘Because of that, remakes of Seo Tae Joon’s songs will only start off next year. The song that was remade received a lot of interest and gained a certain degree of popularity.’

Do Wook wanted the title of being the first singer to remake Seo Tae Joon’s song.

Aside from the title, he also had a desire to remake Seo Tae Joon’s masterpieces to fit the generation and fit KK.

“A remake…Is it ok if I make a decision after listening to it?”

“Is that a rejection?”

Do Wook asked in response to Seo Tae Joon’s answer. At Do Wook’s bold question, a barely 20-year-old who was much younger than him, Seo Tae Joon burst into laughter.

“No. I’m not trying to reject it in a roundabout way, hubae*. I’m open to doing a remake.”
(TL note: hubae, the opposite of sunbae, is a person who is one’s junior at a school, job, field, etc.)

Do Wook nodded his head. Seo Tae Joon continued to speak.

“However, with the efforts to remake it until now, the songs people sent me were too similar to the original to call it a remake or it was so different from the original that it wouldn’t remind people of the original.”

Do Wook understood exactly what Seo Tae Joon meant.

With Seo Tae Joon’s words deeply ingrained in his mind, Do Wook progressed with working on the edit.

And a few days before the concert, he emailed Seo Sam Won.

“Guys! Come here for a second!”

After the concert, the members, who finally had their first day off in about 2 months, were resting in the dorm.

At Manager Oh Baek Ho’s voice, the members, who were in their rooms, came out to the living room one by one.

Except for Jung Yoon Ki, who had gone to the broadcast station for an individual event, the members all gathered.

“What is this? Manager?”

Suk Ji Hoon asked, surprised. Kim Won was already standing in front of the object and in awe.

“What a wonderful!*”
(TL note: Once again, this was said in English exactly like this.)

What Manager Oh Baek Ho had placed on one side of the room was an ornamental flowerpot. However, unlike a typical flower pot meant for indoor plants, it was as big as a person.

Thankfully, KK’s dormitory was spacious enough for six guys to live in, so it fit.

“Seo Tae Joon sent this. As a thank you for helping with the concert.”

When he heard it was a gift from Seo Tae Joon, Ahn Hyung Seo took out his phone and started taking pictures.

“I should brag on Facenote!”

“Yes, this is something you can brag about everywhere. Also, Do Wook…”

They way Oh Baek Ho called Do Wook was a little different than usual. Do Wook waited for what he’d say next.

“We got an answer from Seo Tae Joon.”


“They said it’s ok to do a remake.”

“Wow!” Ahn Hyung Seo screamed, surprised. Do Wook was also surprised.

“That’s big, that’s big!!!”

As Ahn Hyung Seo said, it was totally ‘big’.

As he was editing it, he was confident that Seo Tae Joon would like it, but getting full permission made him more than a little happy.

“Baek Ho, please schedule a recording immediately.”

“Ok, ok! I’ll discuss it with Team Leader Shim.”

“As soon as possible.”

“Of course, There’s a lot of interest in Seo Tae Joon right now, you should strike while the iron is hot! Do Wook, you worked hard, really!”

Do Wook smiled lightly.

The KK members started preparing for the recording right away. HIT Entertainment gave the press release without delay.

Fans, who were waiting for KK to become active, couldn’t hide their excitement over KK, who played the trump card of remaking a Seo Tae Joon song.

KK was becoming a band fans could really be ‘proud’ of.


KK released a digital single album less than a month after Seo Tae Joon’s concert took place.

It was an album for which only the concept picture, sound file, and music video was released.

Instead, they prepared a showcase for the fans and reporters. At the showcase, there would be a reenactment of KK’s past songs as well as the “GO BACK SCHOOL’ performance, and a new song would be revealed.

The fans were already completely satisfied that they would be able to properly see the members who were wearing the black-collared uniforms at Seo Tae Joon’s concert.

But that wasn’t all. Seo Tae Joon’s song that KK newly remade was a song beyond everyone’s imagination.

When the album with the remake of Seo Tae Joon’s song was announced, the remake everyone was thinking of was ‘GO BACK SCHOOL’.

However, KK broke everyone’s expectations, and the song they released was “To A Friend”.

A song with lyrics about telling your closest friend how you feel in a composed manner, it was the most emotional and lyrical song among Seo Tae Joon’s songs.

As soon as it was released, ‘To A Friend’ was number one on the charts.

“Ahh…I think I’m going to cry! Was Hyung Seo that good at singing?”

“Hyung Seo was always good at singing.”

“I don’t want to wash my ears. My precious ear that heard Do Wook’s voice…”

“Just wash it and listen to it again as you stream the sound file, stupid!”

Compared to the past songs, this song emphasized vocals much more. Do Wook’s stable vocals already melted people’s hearts, but people couldn’t help but drop their jaws and listen attentively at Ahn Hyung Seo’s high part.

Like that, KK proved themselves to be incredible singers not just in dance, hip hop, and intense performances but also in vocals through the ‘Windy Day’ acapella version and now ‘To A Friend’.

‘To A Friend’ captured the hearts of not only 20-year-olds but also 30- and 40-year-olds.

One week after ‘To A Friend’ was announced.

Korea was in a craze over ‘To A Friend’. It was a craze over Seo Tae Joon and over KK. M2M also suddenly announced a comeback.

“M2M’s comeback······.”

As he looked at M2M’s comeback teaser video, Do Wook blinked. The teaser video was exactly the same as the one he’d seen before.

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