Second Try Idol - C.128: The Singer in the Memories (13)

Second Try Idol

C.128: The Singer in the Memories (13)
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While Yoo-Joon and I were busy preparing a special stage with Yeong-Yee, the episode of Flying Man featuring us aired. However, we were too engrossed in practice that we didn't get to watch it.

Nevertheless, I heard that regardless of its cheerful edit, the broadcast sparked controversy. People were debating if the episode was shot before our live stage or not. Astute fans noticed details like our hairstyles and demeanor, leading them to realize that it was filmed before the live performance, which caused quite a stir at YMM.

This was particularly troublesome for Supervisor Kim and our former manager, In-Hyun, who were already grappling with the prolonged controversy of Sae-Yeon’s fainting incident. Eventually, he resigned, unable to even manage the trainees. Before my return to this time, he was expected to continue as manager until the contract renewal. However, my return dramatically altered the dynamics and environment within our team.

Today, with a Tenten medley practice scheduled for late afternoon, I woke up late and was lounging in bed playing with my phone.

“Hey, is that funny? You always seem to find unique stuff,” asked Goh Yoo-Joon.

“What's so unique about this? It’s just nostalgically charming. Quite entertaining actually.”

“Hm, I should watch it later then.” Goh Yoo-Joon replied, absorbed in a game on his laptop.

I stumbled upon an old variety show showcasing the group Tenten during their prime. While searching for Tenten stage videos, I came across it and was instantly hooked by its unexpectedly enjoyable content.

“After you finish watching that, join me for a game.”

“No, I've had enough water balloon games. I will wait for a shooting game with Goh Yoo-Joon until he buys me a computer.”

Hearing that, Goh Yoo-Joon sharply turned and glared at me. “Why would I buy you a computer?'”

“You will get paid for writing lyrics for ‘Blue Room Party’ soon,” I pointed out.

“Even if I buy one, I will be the one playing,” he retorted.

“Yoo-Joon, you haven’t deposited this month’s friend fee yet.”

When we were teasing each other and giggling, we heard a loud noise.

“Aaack!”

Bang! Crash!

“...Huh?” Both Goh Yoo-Joon and I reflexively turned our heads toward the door.

“What was that?”

“'I don’t know.”

“Someone must have finally lost it,” Goh Yoo-Joon said. Instantly, Joo-Han came to my mind. They said geniuses had their moments of madness.

We stared at the door with the seriousness of people witnessing a zombie horde at a subway turnstile.

“Hyung...” After a while, the door to our room opened, and there was Yoon-Chan, tearfully peeking in.

“Something’s wrong with Joo-Han hyung...”

“What happened this time?”

Yoon-Chan shook his head and replied, “I don’t know because he hasn’t left his room. But... did you hear that loud noise just now?” Yoon-Chan then opened the door wider, signaling us to come out. We reluctantly got up and walked toward Joo-Han’s room.

“But he is working... Should we really just barge in?”

“Right? Joo-Han can be sensitive,” we muttered.

Goh Yoo-Joon scanned the dorm. “Where is Jin-Sung? This is when we send in the youngest.”

‘What a bastard.’

“...Jin-Sung is still sleeping,” answered Yoon-Chan.

“Shame on you, Goh Yoo-Joon... using the younger ones as baits...”

Yoon-Chan and I looked at Goh Yoo-Joon with disdain. Feeling our stares, he got embarrassed and shrugged. He then reached for the doorknob and said, “Then I will open it. I'm used to Joo-Han’s scolding, so it’s fine.”

As Goh Yoo-Joon casually turned the doorknob, we heard a voice. “...Is that Hyun-Woo outside? Wait, Hyun-Woo!”

“Ugh!” Suddenly, the door opened, revealing the emerging Joo-Han. Goh Yoo-Joon was holding the doorknob, so he got pulled into the room.

“Hyung, what’s going on... you are a mess.”

“Ah, my arm hurts. You scared me.”

“Are you okay, Joo-Han?”

It was hard to recognize Joo-Han in this disheveled state. While it was normal for him to wear glasses during work, his unkempt hair, dry skin, and cracked lips were entirely out of character. This wasn't the Joo-Han I knew. However, he quickly brushed off our concerns and pulled me back into his room upon making eye contact with me. The door then closed behind us.

“Huh? What?”

‘Why am I in this Dracula-like room without a single ray of sunlight?' I stood there, momentarily dazed. After that, I cautiously and quickly opened the tightly shut blackout curtains.

“Aaack!” Joo-Han winced in pain

‘Get the heck out, evil spirits.’

Knock, knock.

In the midst of this, the other members cautiously knocked on the door as they were concerned about Joo-Han and me.

“Hyung, are you okay?"

“Joo-Han hyung, can we come in?"

“No, stay back. It’s dangerous here," I replied. After dismissing them, I took a seat on Joo-Han's bed.

“Hyung, why? What’s wrong?”

After calming down, Joo-Han sat in his chair and let out a deep sigh. He then said, “It’s about the title track for the comeback."

“Okay.”

“Producer Do gave me a few sources and instructed me to create something that fits the concept, even if it's a bit rough."

“That sounds like a great opportunity. Isn't it good?"

Joo-Han shook his head and answered, “I can't figure out how the concept 'the first day of school' should sound like."

Previously, he had composed whatever came to mind, but now there was a specific framework to adhere to. The constraint of a concept proved to be a significant source of stress for Joo-Han, who was accustomed to composing freely.

“It’s meant for the school admission season, and I’m thinking of combining 'admission' with 'spring'. But all I end up with are sweet and heart-fluttering songs, which just don't fit our image. What should I do? Is this my limit?" Joo-Han seemed deeply troubled.

During my immersion in Tenten's practice, Joo-Han must have been struggling a lot psychologically, to the extent that he needed to share his worries with me.

“No, maybe it's because you’re focusing too much on spring. Let's brainstorm together."

“Okay.... Listen to what I've made." Joo-Han turned to play the track he had been working on. It was a song in its stages. Joo-Han's composition style was so distinct that I could immediately tell that it was his work.

It was a sweet, relaxed, and emotionally charged song. Even though it was a hip-hop track with a strong hook from the intro, it seemed to lack space for our signature group dance as in “Blue Room Party.”

“It's good, but it definitely doesn’t feel like a title track."

“Right? You think so too? Should I just give up? Maybe I was better off giving up. I'm still not there yet."

“Calm down. Does it have a love theme? It’s very sweet."

“Yes, 'admission' and 'first love'. 'First love' is actually an extra keyword added by Producer Do," answered Joo-Han. Producer Do was probably aiming for a cheerful atmosphere.

I thought for a moment and then said, “In my view, 'admission' and 'first love' evoke feelings of excitement. A dance that captures that excitement might be good."

As I fiddled with my phone to look for something, I asked, “Hyung, are you familiar with the tropical house genre?"

“...Of course, tropical house. Hmm." Joo-Han played a tropical house-style song he had. “Are you talking about this one? I haven’t used this beat before."

While listening to the music, I said, “Hyung, do you know about the beauty that comes from imbalance?"

“What?"

The term “Tropical” evoked thoughts of summer, with its marimbas, lively rhythms, and invigorating synth sounds. While the comeback was scheduled for spring, there was no genre quite like the tropical house for evoking emotions.

Additionally, this genre was beginning to gain traction in Korea, presenting an opportune moment to lead the trend. Typically, songwriters didn't lean toward using the tropical house genre for spring releases. After all, the mood of a song could vary greatly depending on how a genre was incorporated.

"It's a genre I personally enjoy. How about giving this approach a try?" With no prior experience in music composition software, I conveyed my idea to Joo-Han using the genre as a reference to describe the vibe I envisioned. I explained that for the song's beginning, I liked playful cuteness with synth sounds, gradually building up to a faster beat for a funky climax.

Since Joo-Han's initial composition was distinctly spring-themed, I suggested that simply adding a touch of excitement with a genre shift could evoke a fresh image of youth either starting school or graduating. It would also make choreographing a more challenging dance routine easier.

Initially, Joo-Han seemed a bit lost, but after he experimented with various sources and listened to reference tracks, his eyes sparkled with renewed energy. “The beauty of imbalance. I will remember that. Did you come up with it? Thanks."

“No, it’s a phrase from a composer I admire. He said there’s no need to stick to genres based on the season."

“Whoever that composer is, they must be a genius. Thank you."

“You’re welcome." I patted Joo-Han's back. He then waved his hand without taking his eyes off the monitor.

The beauty of imbalance... That was something Joo-Han himself would start saying four years from now. It seemed I had unintentionally stolen his phrase.

Listening to the song Joo-Han had temporarily inserted earlier, it looked like this album was going to be bright and fun.

When I stepped out of Joo-Han’s room, someone greeted me.

“Ah, Hyun-Woo. Is Yoo-Joon awake? We need to go and fit the costumes for the Tenten guest members,” asked the manager.

“Oh, gosh. When did you arrive, Manager? Yoo-Joon should be in his room playing games.”

The manager was organizing the groceries in the fridge. Seeing this, I immediately took the bag from the manager's hand and started arranging things in the fridge as well. Manager Su-Hwan tended to buy ingredients instead of instant meals, so these days we often cooked at home.

“Thank you."

“No problem."

“Ah, also, I sent a message to Chronos's shared phone, but Joo-Han hasn’t checked it yet." The manager pointed to the living room. “I've placed individual profiles and Q&A sheets on the living room table. They are for the first fan club package. Please have them filled out by tomorrow."

“Ah, the launch of the fan club. Got it."

“The recruitment will be around the end of the year. I will bring Yoo-Joon, so please finish up with the fridge please."

“Okay."

The manager smiled and went to get Yoo-Joon. Thanks to Yeong-Yee's enthusiasm, the practice was going well, and now the special stage was just around the corner, only about a week left.

After I uploaded a selfie, the schedule for Halo’s Music Bus was posted on the Chronos website, generating some anticipation among the fans. I was also eagerly anticipating their reactions as the medley approached completion.

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