Director Kwon had thought that they shouldn’t wait too long, but also didn’t see a reason to rush expanding into China.
There was plenty of marketability, but unlike Japan, there were no assured cases yet. They weren’t in a situation where they could thoughtlessly jump into the Chinese market. They had to do a thorough market survey of the mainland.
“Since Tae Hwa Group is investing in us, maybe they would also help us break into the distribution network?”
“Of course, I’m not producing the album to stubbornly expand into China solely on that expectation.”
“Then what is it?”
Director Kwon asked, his eyes shining. Do Wook’s insight always surpassed Director Kwon’s expectations. It wasn’t that his expectations were low either.
“If we record in our native language and produce a music video, people in China who like K-POP will find it on their own.”
There was a distribution network called the internet these days.
It was faster than any other distribution network, and was available for anyone to access. Although it didn’t lead to immediate revenue, the reactions and popularity from the internet directly led to profits in a short time.
Do Wook was definitely aware of that fact.
“True, even if it’s only done in Korean, a lot of them will still find it and listen to it on their own accord.”
Team Leader Shim Joon nodded his head in agreement with what Do Wook said.
“Is that so?”
Director Kwon Heung Jo asked.
“Yes. As you know, Director, some of KK’s album revenues, no, a substantial amount of it was from overseas.”
“Yes. Bundle dealers in China buy it, and fans do a group purchase too.”
Do Wook added to what Team Leader Shim Joon said,
“But if it’s a Chinese version, appealing to more Chinese people…”
“Is, in a way, guaranteed.”
Director Kwon finished Do Wook’s sentence.
Director Kwon also knew how strong of a fan base Chinese fans who liked K-POP had formed. It was just difficult to advance inside the continent.
“Then for now, let’s consider it a first step and we’ll analyze the profits and losses. I’ll also instruct the production team to come up with a strategy.”
Do Wook nodded his head to what Director Kwon said. Team Leader Shim Joon, who once again grabbed the fork he had briefly set down and was about to take a bite of the steak he had cut, gave a hollow laugh.
“Oh my, the food has all gotten cold.”
While the heated discussion was going on, the steak on the three of their plates had already gotten cold.
The < Sun and Moon Lovers > OST and Show Me the Honey soundtrack were competing on the music charts. Jung Yoon Ki’s song ranked very high among the songs released by Show Me the Honey.
Jung Yoon Ki’s popularity had also grown significantly.
As his rap skills were getting acknowledged, there were lots of female fans who were saying they were addicted to his accent and calm personality.
Unlike his Student Rapper days when he had chubby cheeks from his leftover baby fat, his slim face that had become thinner when he had lost weight for KK activities also played a big role in his popularity.
Furthermore, people who were fans of KK’s Jung Yoon Ki from the beginning were excitedly posting ‘Jung Yoon Ki’s Career Story’ on the internet.
Every community site had ‘Career Story’ articles recapping Jung Yoon Ki’s life story and growth process that were being posted like there was no tomorrow.
There were often comments saying they were sick of it, but the reaction continued to be good even though they posted the same thing over and over.
At the forefront of Show Me the Honey’s popularity, Jung Yoon Ki was trending.
“Even Hip Hop People is saying it’s a shame Yoon Ki bro didn’t make it to the finals!”
Kim Won said as he read the comments posted on ‘Hip Hop People’.
‘Hip Hop People’ was a site where people who listened to hip hop as the main genre gathered. Perhaps because about half of the people gathered there were experts, it was also a place where evaluation and criticism of rap were made without hesitation.
It was a place where rappers of idol groups in particular were not treated like actual rappers or weren’t discussed at all.
Even when the news of Jung Yoon Ki’s appearance on Show Me the Honey was first announced, it was predicted that Jung Yoon Ki’s rap would be a mess, saying that idols were just idols regardless of the fact that he was on Student Rapper.
However, the results were different.
“Wow, you’re a rapper acknowledged even on Hip Hop People. That’s impressive.”
“Stop lifting me up, man!”
When Ahn Hyung Seo said, “that’s impressive” in an exaggerated tone, Jung Yoon Ki waved him off.
That being said, he didn’t seem to be too bothered by it.
The goal first and foremost was a performance on a live broadcast. Not only did he make it to the live broadcast performance, he made it all the way to the semifinals, so from Jung Yoon Ki’s perspective, he had reached his goal.
Jung Yoon Ki said so in a very humble way.
“You were 4th place last time, and 3rd place this time. It got better.”
“I heard you’re doing Season 2 as well! Go on it and get 2nd place!”
“Then if you go on for Season 3, are you going to place first?”
Because Ahn Hyung Seo and Suk JI Hoon were taking turns teasing him, Jung Yoon Ki posed as if he were ready to punch them.
In any case, it was clear that Jung Yoon Ki’s appearance on Show Me the Honey had a positive impact, both individually and as a team.
Do Wook laughed as he watched the members go back and forth. However, unlike his usual self, his smile was a little stiff.
“Do Wook, are you heading out now?”
“It would have been nice if you could watch it with us.”
When Do Wook replied to what Jung Yoon Ki said, Ahn Hyung Seo was disappointed.
Park Tae Hyung also expressed his disappointment. At that moment Do Wook’s cellphone rang. It was Manager Oh Baek Ho who had come to pick Do Wook up.
“I’ll be right down.”
After hanging up, Do Wook said goodbye to the members. The members, who were gathered in the living room, waved their hands and saw him off.
Today was none other than ‘Get Ready 1999’’s first broadcast.
Because of that, the members had pushed back their rehearsal and gathered in the living room to watch Do Wook’s first drama appearance together.
Of course the members had gathered when Jung Yoon Ki’s Show Me the Honey aired too, but Do Wook was grateful to the members who stepped up to monitor and cheer for him.
He wasn’t able to watch the first broadcast with such members; there was disappointment in his steps as he headed towards the broadcast station building.
Do Wook was heading to TBN with Manager Oh Baek Ho because the directors and the cast, who became close to each other during the pre-production, had agreed to gather and monitor the first broadcast together.
“You’re really nervous, huh?”
“Oh, are you really nervous? I think it’s been a while since I’ve seen you get nervous.”
Manager Oh Baek Ho said as he observed Do Wook, who was sitting in the passenger seat. Do Wook had his fists on his lap, which were repeatedly opening and closing.
Manager Oh Baek Ho was right that it had been a while since he had seen him nervous.
Of course, Do Wook was nervous every time he went on stage, and was always anxious. However, as he went through the debut and comeback performances, he had his own way of maintaining his composure to some extent.
But acting wasn’t his original dream, it truly was a challenge.
“I heard you did well. PD Shin was praising you nonstop.”
Oh Baek Ho said to ease Do Wook’s tension.
Actually, when it came to PD Shin’s praises, Do Wook had also heard it just this morning.
Recording for pre-production of ‘Get ready 1999’ finished a few weeks ago. After filming ended and the day of the broadcast approached, Do Wook steadily prepared the 2nd full-length album with the KK members.
During the post-editing, PD Shin often contacted him and would say things like, “Our lead actor’s acting is the best, so I’m not tired even when I’m looking over the edits.”
It was true this morning as well. He was saying, “the recording is over but the drama is just getting started, so let’s work hard.”
Of course PD Shin’s persistence was an effort to win Do Wook over so he could cast him again in the next program he produced.
Underground parking lot of TBN broadcast station.
“Go up first. I’ll head there after I park.”
“Ok. I’ll wait for you upstairs.”
After agreeing to head up first, Do Wook got out of the mini van and headed towards the parking lot passageway that connected to the lobby.
In front of the elevator, another cast member and their manager were already waiting for the elevator. The cast member, who noticed Do Wook first, greeted him in a cheerful voice.
“Oh, Do Wook!”
It was Ara Entertainment agency’s celebrity Joo Min Ah.
The “Get Ready 1999” cast felt like one family. It was to the point that it was well known throughout the broadcast station that the vibe among them was good.
However, when it came to Joo Min Ah, it was difficult for Do Wook to open his heart to her, even during filming. He was good at taking care of the staff and fellow actors with his reasonably cheerful personality, but it was still hard. It might be because his first impression of her was her together with Director Seo Joong Won.
‘…I can’t be too prejudiced.’
Do Wook greeting Joo Min Ah, smiling as he would towards any other person.
“Hello. How have you been?”
“Yes. I’m really looking forward to today! Although I don’t have too many parts in the first episode~!”
Do Wook avoided answering and purposely laughed awkwardly. He felt that if he didn’t make it obvious he was uncomfortable, this type of conversation would continue.
This kind of incompatibility that he occasionally felt might’ve been the reason why Do Wook felt distant from Joo Min Ah.
“Even PD Shin likes you, Do Wook. I’m envious~!”
He didn’t know because they hadn’t talked one-on-one before, but now that he had a conversation with her he was more certain.
Do Wook strained to keep the conversation going, saying “Doesn’t everyone like you too?” At that moment, Joo Min Ah’s manager’s cell phone rang. After checking the caller ID, the manager handed the phone over to Joo Min Ah.
Even on set, Joo Min Ah was seen talking on her cell phone more frequently than any other cast. In the back of his mind, Do Wook lightly thought that it looked like Joo Min Ah had a lover.
Joo Min Ah answered her phone in a charming voice.
“Director! Yes, it’s Min Ah. Yes, I just arrived at the broadcast station~!”
When he heard it was the Director, Do Wook’s eyes became sharp.
‘Is it Director Seo Joong Won?’
It wasn’t odd that he would call Joo Min Ah, a celebrity in his agency, on a day like this.
Ding ― along with the sound, the elevator arrived. Joo Min Ah seemed preoccupied taking her call. The manager said on her behalf,
“We’ll take the next elevator up. Please go ahead first.”
Through the closing elevator doors, he could see Joo Min Ah smiling. At that moment, Do Wook felt somewhat uneasy.
‘No, I can’t lose time right now over a feeling I’m not sure about…’
Do Wook thought as he checked his appearance again on the elevator mirror.
The TBN video room, where the major cast and directors gathered. At exactly 10 pm, the first broadcast of ‘Get Ready 1999’ began.
In the dark space, Do Wook’s eyes were shining bright. Do Wook gulped due to being tense.
Even the surroundings, which had been a little boisterous, rapidly started to focus after the first scene started. The surroundings were silent.
Min Ki : (Sleepily) Why, what’s going on?”
Dong Hwan : (Urgently) This isn’t the time to sleep. Things are crazy in the classroom next door!
Min Ki : (Indifferently) What’s going on in the classroom next door?
Dong Hwa : Yeon Joo, your best friend, is…
Min Ki : What, did she hop a fence again following an idol?
Min Ki: Hey Yeon Joo, it’s me.
Yeon Joo : What is it?! Do you HAVE to say it now? I’m in a hurry!
Min Ki: What’s so urgent?
Yeon Joo: How about you? What is it that you absolutely have to say today?
Min Ki: I…you…
The scene ended as Yeon Joo, who had been tying her shoe laces, looked up and locked eyes with Min Ki.
From the first scene to the final scene, 60 long minutes felt like 6 minutes.
The dialogues in the script bounced nicely and the characters were vivid. The story was rich too, enough to bring together the young and older generation.
The 90’s songs incorporated here and there also fit incredibly well with the scenes.
Even though it was a drama they acted in, the actors were captivated by it like they were viewers and enjoyed watching it.
Do Wook’s acting assimilated perfectly into it. He was the embodiment of Kim Min Ki.
“This….I think this will be a big hit!”
In the quiet video room as the ending song played, the muttering of one of the staff caught everyone’s ears. It was a fact they couldn’t help but agree with.
After episode 1 aired, reactions to ‘Get Ready’ blew up big.
The ratings for the first episode were amazing considering it was TBN. However, the viewers who fell in love from the first episode spread the word, and the second episode received a true ‘jackpot’ rating. It set a new record each time over and over.
Articles praising Do Wook for creating a perfect character were pouring out.
‘I want him to be my younger brother. I want him to be my older brother. I want him to be my son.’
As it became a drama watched by various age groups, praise for Do Wook also varied. Regardless of age, it was clear that they fell for the charm of Kim Min Ki that Do Wook played.
The OST that TBN had very quickly released was also a hit. ‘Sun and Moon Lovers’ OST, which had been gradually declining since its release, disappeared from the music chart and the remakes of old masterpieces that were used in ‘Get Ready 1999’ took over its spot.
Additionally, KK’s ‘To a Friend’, Seo Tae Joon’s song that they did a remake of, was also popular.
Jung Yoon Ki’s song that Show Me the Honey had released didn’t fall off the chart and was receiving good reviews, so it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that the music chart was KK’s territory.
< Kang Do Wook’s unending fast track to success, KK’s comeback end of this month! >
< KK’s second full-length album pending release! Will it continue the trend... >
< Get Rready KK! Back to being a singer, Kang Do Wook! >
The album was released with the intention of continuing the momentum. The release of KK’s second full-length album “Howl” was just three days away.