Volume 3 / Chapter 118
[TN: 🙁 The weekend is almost over]
“Yes. Who is this?”
“I’m Alex Zakin from LA Sound… Do you know who I am?”
Coline threw his fist in the air and silently yelled YES! multiple times. Finally!
“Of course, Mr. Zakin.”
LA Sound. It is a label that emerged in the 80s, when a pop metal called LA metal swept the world. When other labels disappeared in the 90s with the introduction of alternative rock, LA Sound caught on to the trend and brought out bands from the American West to make them stars. That LA Sound grew into a leading label covering the entire U.S.
Gaining the attention of Alexander Zakin with the Midas touch as LA Sound meant that they had unlocked the first gate to stardom.
“I heard your band’s music. It’s very appealing.”
To hear the word ‘appealing’ from the maker of stars. Coline wanted to fly to LA immediately if he could.
“Thank you, Mr. Zakin.”
“Do you have songs other than the one on the online store?”
“Good. Then I’d like to hear the rest of the songs… I’m sure you’ll be able to send over a demo?”
“Of course I can. I’ll get it ready right away.”
He could not make a single mistake with this golden opportunity. Coline ran straight to Jun Hyuk, but Jun Hyuk kept the door bolted and told him to go away.
“Hey! Didn’t I say one song? I can’t do anymore.”
“Jun, it’s Alex Zakin. The Zakin of LA Sound!”
“Whether it’s LA or Washington, I don’t know. If you don’t stop, you won’t see me ever again!”
Not even Jun Hyuk’s yelling could curtail Coline’s excitement. He told his band members immediately and they gathered in the practice room to make song selections. They chose the 5 best songs and ran to the recording studio.
Coline and the band members painstakingly recorded the songs for 2 days and did not sleep trying to finish the second half, but did not even know that they were tired.
After completing the music, they made the files in the highest sound quality and sent them as an e-mail to Alex Zakin.
Coline quit checking his views in the Apple store and was instead, checking his e-mail every hour. However, Alex Zakin did not even open the e-mail he had sent even as a few days passed.
When he was so frustrated that he could not even sleep, he could not wait and called. Zakin himself called to ask for the music, but was not even paying attention now!
However, a secretary answered instead of Zakin. Not even the 1st secretary, but what seemed to be a training junior secretary at that.
It must be because he is an extremely busy person. He would deliver the message to check his e-mail. Coline just ended the call because he could not keep listening to the employee repeat these kinds of responses.
There must have been an effect of calling because he received a message that the e-mail had been read and all he had to do now was wait.
Your music is great. Let’s prepare for a tour right away. He waited for a response with this content, but there was still no news.
Finally after 2 weeks, Coline took the call he had been waiting for form Zakin.
“Yes, Mr. Zakin.”
It was a more anxious moment than when he had been waiting for his acceptance notification from CH School of Music. What decision had he made?
“I apologize for the late response…..”
“No, it’s alright.”
“Honestly, there was no longer any reason to contact you but I couldn’t help it.”
What did he mean there was no reason to contact? What does this mean? His hand holding the phone began to tremble. He had an ominous feeling.
“I needed to know the reason why the music that came up on the store is so different from the music in the demo. It’s to the point where I thought it was a different band.”
“There are a lot of cases where one song just stands out so I was thinking that’s what had happened, but it’s too different. Since you’re the person who made the music, can you explain it to me? Why is there such a deviation when the band is the same?”
“If you as the person who made the song doesn’t know, there’s no longer a reason for us to stay on the phone.”
Coline could not figure out what Zakin’s first question meant. Then there was a truth he remembered right away. The arrangement and tips Jun Hyuk had given them in just one day had made such a difference that they thought the music was from another band.
While Coline hesitated, thinking of how to explain it, Zakin’s voice became cold,
“Well, it seems there’s something you’re hiding.”
“It’s fine. Send me an e-mail when you want to come clean. That’ll be the last opportunity you can grab. Then.”
Coline stared blankly at the phone. He could not believe this situation that had come and gone like a rain shower.
“Alex, aren’t you scaring him too much?”
“It’s fine. Even this is too little for kids these days.”
“Don’t you think our speculation might be wrong?”
“This kid Coline is going to send an e-mail. And he’s going to come clean with who the arranger and producer are. You want to make a bet? I’ll bet $100 he e-mails me within an hour.”
Alex Zakin spoke with confidence.
First, a staff member gave him a song saying that there is something he should listen to. One of countless $1.99 singles in the Apple store. It was one amongst thousands of songs uploaded for free every day, but this had been uploaded boldly with a price.
When he first heard it, he thought that it was not by a rookie. All rookies have a rough taste. It is difficult to find a band out of thousands with music that can move someone through its roughness. It had not been touched, but it moved a person’s heart. The band that LA Sound was sifting through thousands for. Though Coline’s band lacked the rough taste, it showed a refined taste.
That refined taste had moved Zakin and made him want to contract them.
Alex Zakin saw so much potential that as soon as he heard Coline’s single, he held a staff meeting.
“Tell me your thoughts. Starting with the cons.”
Criticism came pouring out as soon as Zakin spoke.
“The hook is weak.”
“There isn’t enough of a rough taste for a band performance.”
“Lyrics are mushy too.”
“I’m positive these kids grew up spoiled. Maybe college students in New York?”
Since he had heard enough cons, it was time to hear the pros. He would weigh them and decide on the heavier side.
“Then the pros?”
“The melody is good. They can have a wide spectrum for their target audience.”
“The bassist is excellent. And it’s refined.”
Alex Zakin snapped his fingers and stood up from his seat.
“That’s it right there. Refined. This band’s greatest forte. They did pretty well for recording in a cheap studio, no? I don’t know who did the directing, but that’s the leader of this band.”
It meant that someone great had done the directing and had amazing producing. Alex Zakin thought someone in the band had played this role and was determined to contract whoever it was even if they had to throw the band away.
He asked for the rest of the songs to be sure, but none of the 5 demo songs showed the abilities of the producer. The demo songs just had a much better band similar to the countless bands with the rough taste. It was at a level where they could perform at local clubs and would need a lot of revision to make a nationwide debut. They had left the producing of these types of songs to someone.
It was certain that the songs themselves belonged to the same group, but the song on the online store was like music where a great chef showed skill with bland music whereas the demo songs felt as though the ingredients had just been thrown together.
Alex Zakin’s expectations were not wrong. An e-mail came before 30 minutes had passed.
“Is this brat kidding?”
Alex Zakin wanted to curse as soon as he read the message. Coline’s e-mail was full of excuses that they had not been able to record the demo properly because they had been in a rush.
“Hey, send a text message to this brat.”
“Excuse me? A text?”
“Yeah. Not to lie to me. And Ili, you’re taking over this kid now.”
LA Sound’s producer Ili Gotez had attended the meeting for no reason and felt like he had been hit. He was sure this kid Coline lives in New York, but to go to New York from LA?
He might have to leave warm LA. He had heard that New York winters are brutal.