The next day, KangYoon started organizing the team for real. Chairman Won JinMoon gave him all of the power as he said, so KangYoon could select all of the important team members as he wanted.
‘MG has a lot of talents. That’s for sure’
From Producer Oh JiWan, the main commander-in-practice who produced countless albums that were big hits; to Vice-Chief Lee JiYeon, who was the ace of the Promotion Team and was well known for being able to read the latest trends of the media; JooAh’s #1 manager, Kang SuMin, who knew everything about JooAh; and lastly, the one who would choose the songs, MG’s main composer SeolLin. These people were aces who KangYoon had heard of at least once in his ‘past’.
To think that in his previous life, he never even had the chance to work with these people, but now he was the Planning and Management Team Leader who ordered these people around. KangYoon felt the responsibility, along with a gratitude for his new life.
After KangYoon selected the team members, he held the first meeting in his own office. After everyone gathered, he did a brief self-introduction and started the meeting.
“The objective this time is to successfully debut in the Japanese market, and place within the top 5 of the Oricon Chart.”
Everyone groaned at KangYoon’s objective. They were aces alright, but to debut into Japan was a completely different matter. To Korean singers, the Japanese market was an exclusive existence where one had to throw money in, not earn from it.
“Do you know who the most famous singer is in Japan?”
It was Vice-Chief Lee JiYeon who spoke first. After everyone shook their heads, she continued speaking:
“It’s a solo singer called Sisca Ai. Before that, it was a singer called Mei. The common point that these two share is that they used their singing ability rather than their dance to become famous.”
“You mean that we should go with singing too? Since JooAh’s singing is good…”
Manager Kang SuMin added. Then, SeolLin chimed in.
“However, if a Korean singer uses the Japanese style, can we really satisfy them? I think this will be quite an adventure. Of course the lyrics will have to be translated into Japanese, but changing the style of music will not be easy at all.”
“It’s a debut into Japan. To do that, we need to understand their way of thinking. If acoustic music is the trend, then I think it’s safer to follow the trend.”
“However, then what happens to JooAh’s own style? Of course, JooAh won’t be weak at acoustic music, but if that happens, then we won’t be able to show her original performance at all.”
The opinions of SeolLin and Producer Oh JiWan clashed strongly. In the following conversation, the four of them didn’t narrow down each of their opinions at all. Each of their opinions on how to debut in Japan and how JooAh should perform was different. The opinion to match the current Japanese style and the opinion to go with JooAh’s style continued clashing until KangYoon, who didn’t speak at all, spoke up.
“Let’s go performance-based.”
“What? But right now in Japan, the male idols basically reign over performance. It’s their trend. I think it’s impossible.”
Vice-Chief Lee JiYeon shook her head.
“People feel familiar to what they are used to. Plus, it’s Japan, they are very exclusive towards foreigners. As Koreans, we need to make them feel that they are familiar, but to go with performance. It is too dangerous.”
“No. Performance is better. To be honest, there is a lot more to what JooAh can show than the Japanese male idols, since JooAh exceeds them in ability by far. We are foreigners to them anyway, isn’t it a good idea to show them something completely new?”
Vice-Chief Lee JiYeon couldn’t say anything, KangYoon’s words had a strange persuasiveness to them. Truth be told, ‘ability was boss’, so if she was that good, then everybody would watch her. And JooAh had that ability.
“Then Team Leader, suppose we go performance-based, then would the song be dance-themed?”
“It would be like that. Dance based on popping. One that can bring out JooAh’s specialty, one that has groove – this is what I have in mind.”
At Producer Oh JiWan’s question, KangYoon answered. Then Producer Oh JiWan clapped loudly.
“Groove, huh!! Wow. I didn’t even think about it. Hmm, it can be considered retro…”
“Japan has a longer history in modern music than us. I think the chances are plenty.”
KangYoon’s didn’t speak too much, but his words carried strength. It was because his words had logic. He seemed unreliable since he was a half-cronyist Team Leader, but it wasn’t like that at all.
“JooAh’s specialty is riding the rhythm, so she would definitely like a groovy song.”
Manager Kang SuMin seemed satisfied as he nodded.
“You’re right. You’re summing up today’s meeting in one line. Promotion-1 team should look for a route to sign a deal with a Japanese TV station while Composer SeolLin should select a song. You should choose first and it will be alright if I join later.”
Vice-Chief Lee JiYeon and Composer SeolLin answered in their own style and wrote down the important things.
“If the song comes out, Producer Oh JiWan should make a guide version. Imagine that you’re training a trainee and make a good guide version.”
“Not yet. We will get busy once the song comes out, so rest up now.”
Producer Oh JiWan nodded, and all that was left was Manager Kang SuMin.
“JooAh’s looking after her weight, right?”
“Looking after her body is important, but something even more important is to check for stress. Even if she has to gain weight a bit, don’t let her stress out too much. And please allow her to go out too.”
“However, that’s against the company rules.”
“JooAh will be ruined if she is bound by the company rules. Anyway, can’t JooAh look after herself well enough? We need to show that we trust her and she will do better by herself.”
The checks for details also ended, and the meeting ended there. Everybody received their own work and exited KangYoon’s office.
KangYoon, who was left alone, finally came back to his seat and buried himself in it.
‘Fuu… That was hard. I still can’t believe it. To think that I’m planning JooAh’s album.’
He, who was dubbed the minus’s hand, had just lead the meeting for a top class singer known as JooAh. KangYoon was still dazed by this fact. He still thought this was all a dream. However, the sweet smell of coffee he felt made him realize that this was no dream.
‘I will absolutely, definitely succeed!!’
KangYoon sipped his coffee while looking outside the window. And he strongly resolved himself to definitely succeed this time.
The next day.
KangYoon was face to face with the singer JooAh, alone.
“… If you have anything to say, then do it quickly. I am busy.”
JooAh was direct. And strong. However, KangYoon, facing a top singer who was talking sharply, wasn’t flustered at all.
‘JooAh originally had a sharp personality. She’s cold to strangers too. However, once she thinks someone is on her side, then she would protect them to the end. I need to make her realize that I’m on the same side as her.’
However, JooAh had her own standards, and that was based on ability. She was a person who treated those without ability as insects. She tried not to put those without ability by her side.
“JooAh, can you sing for me?”
“Despite how I look, I’m still the Planning Team Leader. Shouldn’t I at least listen to you singing once?”
It was a reasonable request. There was no room to avoid this. In the end, JooAh grumbled and stood up. She cleared her throat a few times and started singing.
“Don’t forget– my name– you are– my–”
After JooAh started singing, light started to exude from her.
‘Her voice is good.’
The singing was definitely good. No one would be able to find any faults in her singing. However…
The light from JooAh was faint, but it was definitely grey. To think, a superstar would emit grey light. KangYoon’s expression automatically creased. JooAh seemed to feel something wrong, and she eventually stopped.
“Khmm. I’m sorry. Let’s go again.”
After coughing for a bit, she started singing again. However, KangYoon saw grey light from her again. No, it was even darker than before. The grey light filled the room, and eventually surrounded KangYoon himself.
‘What is this, this dull color?’
After the grey light touched him, KangYoon felt sticky, it was as if he was buried in mud. The marsh-like stickiness buried him, and constricted him.
“… I will stop here.”
Did she notice KangYoon’s displeasure? The song didn’t even finish but JooAh stopped singing. Then, the grey light disappeared as if it was a lie.
‘I can’t believe it. Grey light? From JooAh?”
Even street singers gave off white light, but why was JooAh giving off a grey light? KangYoon pondered.
“Did anything happen recently?”
“But why is your singing like that?’
“What about it?”
“‘What about it?’ You think you can say that? Your singing is horrible. You just trust in your voice and sing insincerely? Can you even call that singing?”
KangYoon got angry. It was a disappointment to his expectations on JooAh. Being arrogant was alright, but arrogance with this level of singing? Now that was being extravagant.
“I did say to sing lightly, but a singer must do their best at all times. Even when practicing. Even on the stage. Didn’t you have to listen to this point to death in your trainee days?”
“Do you think you are the best since everybody calls you that and lifts you up? Then you will only be at that level. I was stupid for expecting something from you and having taken up this plan. Let’s end it here.”
KangYoon was thoroughly disappointed. JooAh’s voice was unique, but it was her ability to develop that unique voice into her own singing. KangYoon also liked her singing and admired the fact that she put in the effort despite being at the top. But to meet like this, it was no wonder that he was disappointed.
“… I will try again.”
“Don’t. There’s nothing for me to listen to.”
“I will do it properly this time. Please re-evaluate me properly with this.”
JooAh seemed to have resolved on something and corrected her posture and started clearing her throat. After KangYoon gave his silent approval by crossing his arms, she started singing again.
“The you– I had– I thought it would be like this– but– you–”
A cool and refreshing sound started filling the room. It was completely different to the previous one. And KangYoon started seeing the lights.
It was white light. The grey had disappeared like smoke. A clear white light emitted from her and filled the room and surrounded KangYoon.
‘It’s like a feather.’
He felt like he was surrounded by feathers. A slight tickle – this kind of feeling. Listening with his ear, it was clear, and looking with his eyes, it was bright. KangYoon could smile now.
“The other people don’t realize, but you realized immediately.”
After her singing ended, JooAh made a surprised expression.
“It was way too uncomfortable for me to listen to.”
“Yes. The first singing cannot even be considered singing. It was worse than an echo. No emotions and no nothing, so it was nothing but sound.”
“Wait. Did you just test me?”
“Your position is that of my future boss, so you should know me, right?”
At JooAh’s ambitious figure, KangYoon could only laugh helplessly.
“Haha… Yeah, yeah. So, what’s the result of your evaluation then?”
“I will give you a pass.”
“I am very thankful but… Come here. How dare you test your superior?”
“Ack!! I’m sorry!!”
KangYoon literally smacked her and JooAh struggled while pretending to be hurt. The picky attitude from the beginning was gone, and the two became friendly. KangYoon had earned JooAh’s approval.
“Then please take care of me from now on.”
“Me too, Team Leader-oppa.”
“Yeah. Let’s do this.”
JooAh cheered naughtily while grabbing KangYoon’s hand. The project had begun for real.
SORRY! THE PREVIOUS ONE IS A REPOST!!!! *Sigh*… so much stuff to do.
Thank you for reading!
Editors: Nahct (from Path of Translations, thank you, and sorry T-T)