Volume 1 / Chapter 23
The waiting room was full of tension and anxiety pumping from the hundreds of applicants. As Jang Jun Hyuk walked in, all eyes turned to him. The female candidates’ wonder and male candidates’ jealousy could all be felt at once.
The attention paid to Jun Hyuk only lasted a moment, and everyone went back to practicing for the audition.
Jun Hyuk plopped down on an empty chair and started tuning his acoustic guitar. Once he was finished tuning the guitar, he had nothing left to do. Naturally, the sounds nearby came into his ears.
“What’s with that bastard?”
“You can’t tell by looking at him? Some entertainment agency sent him. He must be a member of some idol group preparing to debut. They just sent out the best looking kid to gain attention.”
Jun Hyuk heard the two teenagers complaining because of the song they had just been singing.
It seemed like a self-written song. Jun Hyuk heard the rap for the first time and because the beat was alive, his ears had tuned to it.
Jun Hyuk put a finger on his guitar, and started playing the rap he just heard very quietly. No one paid him any attention because it was a simple rhythm, but the two boys reacted differently.
They were astonished that this annoying kid was playing their original song on his guitar.
The simple melody and rhythm went on for about 2 minutes and when they could no longer hear it, the two boys’ expressions changed from surprise to embarrassment. It had clearly sounded like their song, but the second half of the song was completely different.
“By chance, is the song you just played on the guitar our song?”
The two approached Jun Hyuk to check and he nodded nonchalantly.
“It seemed a little different… was it not?”
“Isn’t this better? I changed it a little because it sounded a bit flat.”
“No, no. You’re right. It sounded way better…..”
Jun Hyuk chuckled at the two boys stuttering in surprise.
“Can we ask you to play that again?”
The two rappers asked cautiously and Jun Hyuk held his guitar again.
“The beat is too fast. I lowered the BPM to 130, so try to match that.”
Jun Hyuk played the guitar with a percussion rhythm and the two rappers matched it, murmuring.
Jun Hyuk stopped playing all of a sudden and spoke,
“There isn’t much time, so just do it as if this were the real evaluation.”
As the music started again, the two boys rapped freely. After repeating it two, then three times, they fully memorized the beat and could not stop smiling at Jun Hyuk, forgetting that they had been complaining about him.
“Excuse me… Would we be able to…”
After the two rappers learned the beat Jun Hyuk altered for them, they had trouble speaking and hesitated. Jun Hyuk saw this and smiled as he spoke.
“It’s okay. If you like this, you can use it.”
They bowed to Jun Hyuk and hurried off.
The person who was most surprised was not the rapper, but the VJ in charge of Jun Hyuk. The general producer had given him a special order to stick to Jun Hyuk.
He took his camera and ran to Producer Kim Ki Sik.
“Excuse me, Producer. Will you take a look at this?”
Producer Kim saw the tape and moaned with delight.
“Wow! This kid is a total catch.”
“Right? This is…..”
“And he’s no joke on the guitar. That rhythm… You’re saying he heard those rappers practicing for a moment and made this, right?”
“Yes. I couldn’t even really hear those rappers practicing.”
The regret he felt when he saw the guitar instead of the piano had already disappeared. He only just remembered Jun Hyuk’s improvisation skill on the piano as it had been shrouded by his handsome face. This boy might be beyond his imagination.
“If you see something good like this while you’re filming, come show me right away as you did now. We need to get interviews.”
Producer Kim Ki Sik ran to the judges’ waiting room with the videos of Jun Hyuk playing the piano at the cafe and the clip he just saw. Lee Sung Chul (who was recognized as the best vocalist in Korea, a former girl group member (who had be a popularity zenith about 10 years ago), and a successful composer (who would not be recognized by the average person) were chatting in the waiting room.
Immediately after they watched the tape that Producer Kim showed them, the composer snapped his fingers and said,
“He learned classical music.”
“Yes, you can tell by his hands. All 10 fingers are stuck to the keyboard. This is difficult without training. He has for sure received lessons to fix his bad habits.”
Producer Kim handed over a couple sheets of paper.
“This is this kid’s story. He’s only 17 years old and it’s as though he’s filmed a full-blown soap opera.”
Lee Sung Chul looked over Jun Hyuk’s whole story and spoke,
“But why this song?”
“Unfortunately, he can’t sing.”
Lee Sung Chul threw the paper he was holding.
“Then it’s the end. What is he going to do without singing?”
“That’s why we were just thinking of taking him to Star Week. And from the guitar he brought with him, it seems like he might be thinking of singing an easy song…..”
“So? You’re asking us to give him leeway?”
“Yes. Ha ha.”
Unlike the disdainful Lee Sung Chul, the composer showed interest.
“It’s a remarkable talent if he could improvise this rap after hearing it from afar… Why did this kid come out on this program? If he just studies for a few more years, he could become one of the best composers or arrangers.”
“It would be a waste to hide this face in a studio. He would be able to debut as an idol singer right away with just a little preparation. Add the piano to that, and he’s all set to go out on professional broadcasts. Don’t you think that’s what he’s going after?”
With the female singer’s driving words, they settled the preliminaries.