Chapter 69: The Most Important Thing in This Industry, Decision-Making (7)
TL: emptycube / ED: Isleidir
Did something happen?
I replied saying that I understood for now and went down to the basement. While I waited for Lee Songha with the heat turned on, I was lost in my thoughts.
After handing the song over to Kim Hyunjo, I had been thinking positively since it was a song that had been chosen as the title track in the original future. Although it might not be able to be the exclusive title track now that we had Simon Lee’s song, I thought that, since there were merits to it being written by one of the members, we could push it as double title tracks.
Was there a problem?
I was already worried that there was an unexpected variable.
In the past, I had thought that, as long as I knew the future, everything would be as easy as pie. I had thought that all I needed to do was walk the path guaranteed to succeed. However, in reality, I was troubled that a variable would knock the path astray.
I was lost in thought for a long while when the door to the passenger’s seat opened.
She seemed to have run all the way here as she was out of breath as she got in.
“You should have taken your time. Why did you run?”
“I thought you’d be waiting.”
“It’s only a couple minutes. Did you ask Team Leader Park what you wanted to ask?”
When I asked while starting the van, Lee Songha paused for a moment.
Then she glanced at me and asked,
“Oppa, you’re not interested in guys, right?”
Just what was she saying now?
I was at such loss for words that the worries I had about the song had gone out the window.
“What kind of interest are you talking about? First, I’m not interested in guys in THAT way.”
“Maybe you wanted to work with a male celebrity…”
What’s this? Was this a continuation of our prior conversation?
I tilted my head when a light bulb suddenly went off in my head.
“You, are you asking this because someone wanted to work with me? Don’t tell me you asked Team Leader Park about this?”
Lee Songha stealthily turned her head towards the window.
So that was what she asked.
While I was taken aback on one hand, on the other hand, warmth spread in my chest.
Although it wasn’t a feeling as heavy as wanting a monopoly over me, I could still tell she was worried I might go to some other celebrity. I was proud and felt a little ticklish. I even thought that this was what the relationship between a celebrity and her manager was like.
Should I say it felt like having a companion?
My heart went beyond feeling warm and started to feel hot. It was more effective than the heater.
“I don’t have any thoughts of changing. I like working with Neptune, and I told you just now, that I’m having fun working because of you. Now really, do I need to write a contract or something?”
Lee Songha quickly changed her words.
I eventually couldn’t take it anymore and burst into laughter. Then I asked jokingly,
“So the person who wanted to work with me was a guy? Who was he?”
“I don’t know either.”
She tightly shut her lips again.
I had a hard time containing my laughter while we drove to her residence. Only after I dropped Lee Songha off did a few chuckles escape. However, my happy mood hit rock bottom as soon as I returned to work to meet Kim Hyunjo.
On one side of the office were Kim Hyunjo and the traitor sitting next to each other.
“I’m here, chief.”
I greeted Kim Hyunjo and lightly waved my hand at the traitor. Maybe it was because he was next to the dreary Kim Hyunjo, but the traitor’s face seemed unusually bright today.
“About Taehee’s song.”
Kim Hyunjo went straight to the point.
I had taken deep breaths in preparation for this. To be prepared for whatever variable was thrown at me.
Although I didn’t know what happened, I had to protect Lee Taehee’s song.
“It was better than we thought so Younghoon hyung and I were thinking of pushing it part of double title tracks.”
Huh? Was I worried for nothing?
Their reactions were positive enough that my nervousness was for naught.
I nodded heavily as I pushed further,
“I thought that it would be a shame to just put the song in the album as well. I think there is definitely a chance of succeeding as a double title track. Above all, if a song written by Taehee becomes a title track, it will be beneficial for her and Neptune’s image.”
“That’s right. But the situation has become a bit iffy.”
I did think things were going too smoothly.
“Gunyoung talked with Simon Lee about Neptune’s next album, and apparently, he said some very enticing words.”
“It seems he has thoughts of providing support when they go on entertainment shows after their comeback.”
Support? Simon Lee will?
While I hesitated, the traitor added in with a bright smile,
“Songha’s doing well because of the drama. On top of that, Neptune’s popularity is rising as their name is being spread because of her. That’s why it seems Simon Lee thought that it could be a win-win for both sides if things went well.”
“There’s a talk show that Simon Lee is a panelist for so starting with that, he’s saying that we should appear on a few programs together. To be honest, it’s good for us.”
Kim Hyunjo continued while rubbing his chin,
“If that guy talks about stories that happened in Next K-Star, then it’ll give the girls a push and their image as a talented girl group will solidify. And if there’s someone who takes care of them in entertainment programs, it’ll be a great help to them.”
Even while my mind was complicated, I nodded my head.
If Simon Lee was actively going to help us like this, then it was a very enticing offer for us.
But why did he say Lee Taehee’s song was iffy?
As if he read my mind, Kim Hyunjo continued,
“If that’s the case, even if we go with double title tracks, Simon Lee’s song will gain much more publicity. If the public reacts, then we have no choice but to focus more on that as well. If that happens, Taehee’s song might be buried.”
“If the song is good, isn’t there a good chance it’ll do well on the charts?”
It was a song that would be known as a hit.
On top of that, the future with the bad connection I had seen not too long ago.
They said that the traitor pushed Lee Taehee’s song then. That it was a divine move. Judging from the PR team employee’s appearance, clothes and even the surrounding environment, it must have been early spring. No matter how much I thought about it, there was a good chance that the album the employee was talking about was the same as the one we were currently preparing for.
That was why it was clear Lee Taehee’s song would garner a huge reaction.
However, Kim Hyunjo was skeptical.
“How good would it be if a song became a hit because it was good? Although there are cases where songs slowly climb the charts because they are good, there are many more cases where they are buried.”
I racked my brains. Kim Hyunjo continued,
“I’m thinking about how it would be if we pushed Simon Lee’s song this time then released Taehee’s song as a follow-up or hold onto it until their next album.”
If it became a follow-up, then its release would be postponed. If it was to be put on the next album, a few months at least, it might be pushed even further back than that… There will be too many variables.
Would Lee Taehee’s song still be a hit like in the future then?
Songs were greatly affected by the trends and times when they were released. If we slipped up, our release might overlap with a famous singer, and above all, it was uncertain if their next album would be a success with just Simon Lee’s song.
“Either way, Sunwoo, you think that there’s a chance of succeeding with double title tracks, right?”
I nodded my head right away.
“If it’s your senses, then I do want to trust them. How about you, Gunyoung?”
When I glanced at him, the traitor rubbed his lips as he carefully replied,
“I think it’ll be best if we push one that is certain to succeed. If our promotions are split, both might end up flat. Then Simon Lee, who actively offered to help, might not like it either.”
There was a problem with his premise. The ‘one certain to succeed’ wasn’t Simon Lee’s song.
The traitor looked at me. Our eyes met.
Having a headache, Kim Hyunjo ruffled his hair.
“Okay. Well, it’s not like Simon Lee’s song has been decided to be their title track, and there could be people who vote for Taehee’s song. Let’s try to gather opinions about what will be the best move.”
It had been a long while since I got off work early, but rather than resting, my head felt like it would explode.
I skipped dinner and was trying to anticipate the events that would occur.
My phone vibrated. It was Kim Hyunjo. I was wondering what it was now as I quickly checked, but it wasn’t about the album. Instead, it was a text telling me to call Im Seoyoung right away all of a sudden.
What was going on?
I called her as I tilted my head. She answered immediately, and I heard a noisy background.
“The chief wanted me to call you, is there something wrong? Why is it so loud?”
As soon as I asked, Im Seoyoung hurriedly replied,
-We are locked in a coffee shop!
-We all came out to eat dinner together, but too many people gathered…!
I told her to send me the coffee shop’s address through text and got up.
It took 30 minutes to get to the location Im Seoyoung sent me by van. It was easy to find the coffee shop as there were dozens of people gathered around it.
Just what was happening?
Although the girls’ popularity had gone up due to Next K-Star, it was like a bud that had only just started to sprout from dry, cracked ground. They weren’t at the level of people crowding around them.
Was it because of Lee Songha?
No, no matter how successful the drama became, that was a bit…
I stopped thinking about it for now and parked the van near the café. Then I jumped into the crowd of people. The small coffee shop was packed with people as if it had a huge sale. There weren’t any more seats inside so people were peering in through windows outside.
“Wow, it’s so freaking lively since such pretty girls are gathered in a group.”
“Should we go get their autographs? They say it’s Neptune. Neptune, the girl group Lee Songha’s in.”
“Ah, she was a girl group?”
Seeing as I heard them say Neptune and Lee Songha within the noisy sounds, it seemed the girls were in there, but since they were tightly surrounded by people, I couldn’t even catch a glimpse of their hair.
I rolled my sleeves up and squeezed in between people.
“Excuse me, coming through.”
“Ah, damn it, don’t try to cut in line!”
“I’m Neptune’s manager!”
The people who had been glaring at me gave way. After saying that I was their manager about fifteen times did I barely reach the table the girls were seated at. Oh my god. I wasn’t that small either, but I thought I would be crushed.
When I looked at them, Lee Songha was diligently signing her autograph or scribbling or something, and the other girls were showing flustered expressions in front of the people taking pictures of them.
Im Seoyoung, who had been darting her large, round eyes, jolted up when she discovered me.
Even Lee Songha, who had been signing, abruptly raised her head. Relief brushed over Lee Taehee and LJ’s faces. I would ask just how this happened later and decided to quickly calm the situation and take them away.
First, I told them that we would only give autographs and allow pictures to those waiting inside the coffee shop. I asked for their understanding, saying that the girls had a schedule to go to, and gave everyone waiting outside a cup of coffee paid for with the company credit card. I also apologized to the café manager for this unexpected disturbance.
I didn’t know with what mind I did all that in.
I quickly organized the situation and took the girls out.
Since there were so many people tightly packed together, it was difficult even leaving the café. Creating a path for the girls and taking care of them. I felt like I was evacuating the girls from a war zone.
As this was my first time experiencing this, I was exhausted in moments. Back when we held a guerrilla concert in Hongdae, I had Kim Hyunjo, the traitor, the staff, and bodyguards.
The girls held onto my arms or shoulders, following behind me like ducklings.
I was barely able to get them in the van before quickly starting the van and leaving the place. It seemed the girls finally relaxed as they slumped down like deflated balloons. I parked the van once we were a little distance away from the coffee shop and asked,
“Just what happened?”
The first one to come to her senses was Lee Taehee, who answered,
“It had been a long time since we’d gone out so we went to celebrate the success of Songha’s drama, but we didn’t think it would end up like this. Sorry.”
“Ju-just what happened? My mind is still all over the place!”
Maybe it was because she was agitated or surprised, but Im Seoyoung said this with a reddened face.
LJ brushed her tangled hair over and criticized her,
“It’s because of you that things went out of hand. At first, there were only a few people, but once you got into position and began signing autographs, people started to crowd around us, thinking we were holding an autograph event.”
“Euaah. I didn’t think so many people would come! I went around by myself a few times to check if there was anyone who would recognize me, and back then, it ended with me giving them my autograph!”
I could vaguely picture what happened.
Since a group of eye-catchingly pretty girls went around together, they would, of course, gain attention, and then there would be people who recognized Neptune and Lee Songha.
And then when Im Seoyoung set up an autograph event on top of that…
Those who casually came over to see them probably decided to get their autographs and pictures while they were there. It was pretty much the same as holding a small fan signing event.
It was fine since nothing serious happened, but what if there was trouble?
We couldn’t easily let them go out from now on.
While I was lost in my thoughts and massaging my stiff neck, Im Seoyoung suddenly shouted,
“Oppa, Lee Songha! Lee Songha’s not here! Where did she go? I think we left her there!”
My heart dropped for a moment.
I turned around to check if we really had left her behind when my heart relaxed right away. Lee Songha was sitting right next to me.
“I’m over here.”
“You freaked me out! Why are you sitting in the front seat?!”
Im Seoyoung was grumpy for a while.
Then, when it looked like things had calmed down, she leaned her head to the front and started chatting again. Lee Taehee and LJ were slumped in their seats with relieved expressions, but Im Seoyoung’s eyes shined.
“Even though it was crazy, I liked it… But there were a lot of people who recognized Lee Songha. Oppa, there were many people who specifically said Lee Songha, and it felt like she signed multiple times the amount the three of us signed together.”
“Well, she does have her drama.”
“Dramas really are good. Our next album has to do well so that we can start working too. I’m scared we’ll be known as unnies who mooch off the youngest.”
Although she said it in a joking manner, her eyes were serious.
Well, when I thought back to that scene, it seemed the majority of people were gathered around Lee Songha. Since she had constantly seen this right in front of her, I thought that it was possible for her thoughts to be complicated right now.
She must have seen a lot of groups where only one or two members became famous and the rest were treated as add-ons. There were also a lot of groups that ended up disbanding because of this as well.
Their next album had to do well like Im Seoyoung’s words.
Just as I was once again thinking about the album-
“Ah, an article about us was published.”
LJ, who had been on her phone, suddenly said.
Im Seoyoung immediately stuck next to her.
“What? Is it about how we signed autographs in the coffee shop? There’s an article about that?!”
“No, that’s not it… It’s about how we will be working on our next album with Simon Lee.”