The song had the exact vibe Do Wook was thinking of.
“Could it be······.”
Do Wook couldn’t hold back his excitement and checked the composer’s name.
Yarol. Do Wook searched in his memories. He wasn’t sure, but the composer for the song by the idol group that would become a hit in Korea had a similar name.
At the time, after making a hit, the composer was even interviewed by a music specialty magazine.
‘After befriending a Korean person who had come to study abroad in France, he became very interested in Korean culture. Korean people, Korean food; he was enthusiastic and full of curiosity about everything. Since he is a composer he naturally became interested in K-POP music, and he wanted to work on a project with Korean singers.’
Even originally, Yarol was based in France and composed and wrote lyrics as a new artist in the UK.
‘He sent songs to famous Korean agencies as much as possible.’
Do Wook remembered the general content of the interview from back then.
It was possible that Yarol had sent a song to HIT Entertainment originally too and they didn’t pick it at that time. Or there was also a chance that Yarol hadn’t sent it to HIT Entertainment since KK wasn’t as popular as they were now.
Either way, what was important was that Yarol sent a song to HIT Entertainment this time and Team leader Shim Joon, as well as Do Wook, didn’t miss out on listening to his song.
The song, which he had put on replay, was so exciting that it automatically made you want to bob your head. The rhythm was light yet the base was heavy, balancing it out.
The melody line had significant weight too.
Do Wook immediately messaged Team Leader Shim Joon.
[Team Leader, it’s the song I’ve been looking for. I absolutely want to make an album with this song.]
Do Wook was in high spirits, excited about the next album. The next album was a full-length album with lots of non-title songs.
They’d also collaborate with the composers Team Leader Shim Joon found, but in general they planned on putting songs Do Wook had composed himself for the non-title songs.
If it were Do Wook’s song and Yarol’s song, they went well together so they should be able to make a good album.
While Team Leader Shim Joon started discussions with Yarol and was negotiating schedules and other conditions, Do Wook was on the set of ‘Get Ready 1999’ most of the time.
KNUA classes had also started, so Do Wook was pretty much fully living the life of an actor.
Of course, when he had free time here and there he was also working on songs without fail.
Today Do Wook was filming the scene where he runs after the angry female lead Han Yeon Joo, turns her around, and tries to kiss her.
Han Yeon Joo backs away so he fails in trying to kiss her, but the focus was that their lips almost touch.
Kim Min Ki’s sorrow from his unrequited love towards Han Yeon Joo and Han Yeon Joo being taken aback from his actions because she only thought of him as a friend were the central scene of today’s shoot.
While shooting, Do Wook tried to channel Kim Min Ki’s feelings as best he could. Truthfully, when he was Bo Myung he had never properly dated.
He had never liked the opposite sex like Kim Min Ki does either. He was trapped in his own negative world. However, awkwardly liking someone and trying to get close to them was a feeling Do Wook could completely empathize with.
Thanks to that, Kim Min Ki’s, or Do Wook’s, gaze as he looked at Han Yeon Joo was more sorrowful than anyone else.
PD Shin Yoon Ho, who had yelled “cut”, had a bright expression.
After finishing one scene, Do Wook was at one side of the set waiting to film the next scene. It seemed like he’d have to wait a long time, so Do Wook gathered his class assignment.
“Do Wook – What are you looking at with such focus?”
Park Dong Hui, who was also waiting, started a conversation with Do Wook.
He had been waiting longer than Do Wook so he had a very bored expression.
“···I have an assignment.”
“Assignment? Ah. Let me take a look, what assignment?”
Do Wook handed the content of the assignment he had put together on his laptop to Park Dong Hui.
“Acting out an animal? Is this by any chance for Professor Lee Chul’s class?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Professor Lee is very strict. Whew, have you picked an animal?”
Park Dong Hui knew what it was and shook his head. When Do Wook said he hadn’t picked an animal yet, he recommended thinking towards insects since lions, tigers, and dogs were too common.
“What did you do?”
“Me? What was mine..I think it was a spider.”
It was hard to understand how he acted out a spider, but Do Wook also felt that Park Dong Hui was amazing for doing that.
Anyways, Do Wook was often able to get help like this because he had sunbaes on set who already graduated from KNUA with good grades.
Because they worked together and spent a lot of time together as they filmed, they naturally went beyond fellow actors and started to feel like close neighborhood friends.
Everyone interacted positively with Do Wook because of his straightforward personality and acceptance of all people. That allowed them to become closer automatically.
“Also, about that earlier scene.”
“Yes. Did you see it?”
“Yes. I saw it as I was passing by, but when you grab the female lead, rather than grabbing the shoulder like this, I think it’d look better to grab it on this side like this.”
Park Dong Hui demonstrated by grabbing Do Wook’s shoulder.
Do Wook immediately understood what Park Dong Hui was saying. Angle-wise, the way Park Dong Hui grabbed him looked much better. When Do Wook was thinking that it was a pity the scene was already done with, Park Dong Hui laughed and said.
“You learn as you go. Do it like that next time.”
“Yes. Thank you for letting me know.”
“Yes yes, be thankful. Anyways, what’s your next project going to be? Have you decided on anything?”
Park Dong Hui asked about Do Wook’s next project.
“Not yet…I don’t have anything in mind.”
After this project ended, Do Wook’s only thought would be on the next album. He would probably get lots of offers once “Get Ready 1999’ was over, but Do Wook planned on waiting.
He was able to do the current Kim Min Ki role without a problem because it fit very well with his image. However, the more he acted, the more he felt his own shortcomings.
He thought it’d be good to study a little more and properly start another project next year.
“It’d be nice if we could work on the next project together too.”
“I know. I’d like it too if we were working together.”
“You mean it, right?”
At that moment, Gu Chul Min appeared, both hands full of bags of ice cream. He started distributing the ice cream, starting with the directors.
“Are you treating us, Do Wook?”
“Yes! He is.”
Gu Chul Min replied when the staff asked.
“Lead actor! Thank you for the food!”
“Thank you for the food!”
Do Wook was showered with expressions of gratitude all around him. Park Dong Hui also opened the ice cream packaging and winked at Do Wook as he took a bite.
The weather was starting to get hot. The shoot was also coming to an end.
Do Wook had had several discussions with Team Leader Shim Joon to start the album preparations in earnest.
The album production team built concrete album concept and activity strategies with the concept that Do Wook presented as the focus.
The Fan Marketing Team also actively helped establish activity strategies.
The overall concept was KK wearing a school uniform, but with the hard-bodied figure of a young man. It was ‘Muscular men in school uniform’ so to speak.
When they heard from Manager Oh Baek Ho that they’d have to build up their bodies a little, the members cried. It was because they got a sad feeling that they’d have to eat chicken breast and protein shakes every day for about a month before their comeback.
After the concept was decided on, Do Wook had a new suggestion for Team Leaders Shim Joon and Jo Anna.
Upon hearing Do Wook’s suggestion, Team Leader Shim and Team Leader Jo couldn’t help but briefly look at him dumbfounded.
Especially Team Leader Jo Anna, who wasn’t simply the Fan Marketing Team Leader but would soon become the Planning Director, was more surprised. Do Wook had suggested one of the ideas she and Production Director Kwon Heung Jo had often considered for the future of HIT Entertainment.
Do Wook had a private dinner meeting with Production Director Kwon Heung Jo to discuss the upcoming album production.
Team Leader Shim Joon was there too.
“Do Wook, is filming going well?”
“Yes. It’s almost done.”
“It’ll be broadcast soon, huh?”
Do Wook nodded in response. Director Kwon Heung Jo smiled happily.
“Honestly you’re busier than I am, Do Wook…so I wanted to talk business after you’re done filming.”
“It might have been too late if we waited until then.”
Every time he saw Do Wook’s eyes, Director Kwon thought that he could see a fire burning inside them.
It wasn’t just youthful passion. If it were, it would go away after a certain amount of success or it could cause problems to those around him.
However Do Wook’s fire was always burning inside, and when brought to the surface it was always serious and cautious.
The steaks they ordered were placed in front of the three of them.
“So how did you say the album preparations are going?”
Director Kwon asked after eating a few bites of the steak.
Team Leader Shim Joon drank a sip of water and reported the status of the album production for which a written report had not been completed yet.
What Director Kwon was curious about was probably the title song, so he continued with an explanation about the title song.
Once the rough concept was explained to him, Director Kwon nodded his head. It meant that he liked it.
Team Leader Shim Joon was inwardly happy that it looked like he didn’t have to worry about the comeback.
“But Do Wook suggested making two different versions of the album.”
“Two different versions?”
Do Wook replied to Director Kwon’s question.
It was something he had been thinking about ever since they officially released an album in Japan. Currently most singers’ goal was expanding into Japan.
First of all, the Japanese music industry market was bigger than Korea’s. Furthermore, Japanese fans’ consumption pattern brought in a lot of money from the singers’ perspective.
However, the fact that the Japanese music market was big meant that Japanese singers’ position was just as solid. Korean singers could achieve a certain amount of success, but that pie was limited.
Do Wook thought it was now time to aim for China.
‘Hanryu’* had already started in China too. However, perhaps because of the belief that Chinese fans would like and look for Korean singers even if they didn’t do anything, there weren’t many singers trying to officially expand into China unlike Japan.
(TL Note: Hallyu/Hanryu is the “Korea Wave”, the increase in interest in Korean culture/K-POP, kdrama, etc.)
China was a large region. On top of that, China would soon grow economically big enough to go toe to toe with America. It was already showing incredible growth.
They couldn’t miss out on such a market. Rather, Do Wook firmly believed they should stay one step ahead and aggressively expand.
“I’d like to make a Chinese version.”
Coincidentally, HIT Entertainment had secured an investment from Tae Hwa Group, a Chinese company.
When Do Wook had heard the news, he thought that maybe Production Director Kwon Heung Jo was thinking beyond simple investment and into activities in China.
At Do Wook’s words, Director Kwon had the same slightly surprised expression that Team Leader Jo Anna had had.
“Team Leader Jo mentioned that you’re no ordinary guy, but you’re really surprising, Do Wook.”
Director Kwon put down the knife and fork he had been holding.
“We were thinking about expanding into China too, but…”