Debut or Die Chapter 155
It was obvious what Gold 1’s agency was thinking.
‘If you can’t get 1st place, you can’t make an impact.’
No matter how good the song was, it was hard for that group to get first place.
Even if they made a good impression with their debut song, they were only popular among those who were interested in idols.
A boy idol group who didn’t come from three major companies. Low public recognition.
This meant that there were a lot of people who didn’t even try to listen to these guys’ songs.
‘So it’s understandable why they make this frame.’
It was beneficial for these guys to get involved with Testar.
Emphasizing that we were from the same Idol Inc, they would try to capture the format of Testar’s rival challenger with media play that was similar to the composition of Vtic-Testar’s concurrent activities.
It was a move worth trying even if it meant getting glares from Testar’s fans and being kept in check.
With a lot of people trying to provoke Testar, they would get support as well.
Of course, it would end in ridicule if they weren’t good enough.
‘…I guess they’re confident in their song.’
From the time of Choi Wongil until now, the agency’s skills had been excellent.
It would have been nice if my agency had been a bit more uptight, but judging from my experience so far, let’s just be grateful for the current situation, where we had a payment bot sat down without options.
Then, a pop-up appeared on my smartphone screen vibrating.
…Speak of the devil, it was Gold 1’s message.
[Guys, our activities overlap!]
[Hmm, see you at the music show, sunbae-nims.]
…He was a good guy.
Even if he vaguely noticed what was going on, he probably didn’t think that this would cause any damage to Testar.
He must be grateful and embarrassed.
‘In any case, I can’t ignore him.’
Right now, Testar’s social position was far too superior compared to Gold 1’s.
The moment one of the Testar members showed discomfort to Gold 1, that agency would likely attach an image of ‘treating people differently according to their level’.
‘Well, let’s just pass this activity.’
At any rate, after this season, they would catch another suitable group and go on with the image of winning. After raising it up to this point, they had to show the taste of victory to make the narrative pretty.
Besides, honestly… I was confident in this Testar’s album.
‘We did a good job.’
‘A good job’ wasn’t just about perfection, we had worked enough on the charm of idols.
For now, the response to the teaser that was released right away was very good as I had predicted.
‘I think it’s going to be our career-high.’
I had a strong hunch.
I roughly replied to Gold 1’s message that was posted in the group chat as I predicted the results of this activity.
And a few days later.
I heard the good news in the waiting room even before we started the pre-recording of our first music show.
“Yeah! You guys hit the jackpot!”
On the 4th day, we already passed the Initial Chodong of the previous album.
If we calculated the future sales based on this… The probability of the initial Chodong exceeding 1 million was extremely high.
‘It’s the first tier.’
Now, we really had reached a level high enough to be considered the top four or five of the boy idol groups in Korea.
It seemed only the member who thought that far was Keun Sejin, but the rest of the guys were happy enough.
“Oh, my God…”
“I dare to guess, overseas sales have increased! Since this concept is very traditional, it appeals to existing K-pop audiences…”
“The album is great! That’s why!”
They got a little excited and went into a collective monologue, but they soon got fired up.
“Let’s do a great job on our comeback stage and show them why our album is so popular.”
“I-I want to show a cool image…!”
They were full of enthusiasm. It was a good atmosphere to show right before the stage recording.
“Ah! Testar will show it to you today!”
‘This slogan is almost official at this point.’
As the frequency increased, I stopped being embarrassed and slowly shouted the slogan, going up to the recording stage.
I heard familiar shouts.
Feeling like it had been a while, the pre-recording for the music show began.
* * *
‘This album is extraordinary.’
Park Moondae’s homma tried to calm herself down.
But it was hard. The indexes were so good…!
‘What’s with the overseas supply?!’
It was a scream of delight.
And the indexes weren’t just about album sales.
Because Testar became quite a hot topic in overseas K-pop communities due to the American talk show, Park Moondae’s homma gained SNS followers faster than usual.
Then, after this comeback, the number of shares attached to Park Moondae’s photos almost doubled.
English subtitles were attached by users to various Testar’s contents on WeTube, and the number of views on numorous videos made in English by fans had increased sharply.
And most of all…
‘The views on the music video have skyrocketed…’
It exceeded 10 million views in 26 hours.
It was not yet at the level of a top boy idol group of the same weight class in Korea, but it was still encouraging.
Even considering that it had gone viral, the speed of the increase in views was still significant. At the same time, the number of views on the teaser was also increasing.
‘I thought so.’
Recalling the music video for the title track of this album, ‘present’, the homma’s heart was filled with excitement.
‘It’s really the best.’
It was a pity that the center of the music video was Ryu Chungwoo, not Park Moondae, but the music video itself came out so well.
‘I guess Ryu Chungwoo is going to rise up a bit this time?’
There was no need to compare rankings between individuals anymore, but like a habit, the homma prepared to cheer them on while thinking like that.
‘They’re coming soon!’
The lightsticks could be seen here and there with long straps printed with album cover patterns tied in various shapes.
It was a mini daenggi  used to decorate the lightstick that was included as a bonus for booking the album.
Since the lightstick purely looked like a magic wand, it seemed to be an accessory that they came up with to give a sense of unity with the song while cheering. It was very pretty.
‘It’s cute and nice!’
However, the thought of being sufficiently satisfied disappeared from the homma’s mind the moment Testar stepped up to the stage.
Testar was wearing a suit-style outfit that brought in suitable elements of hanbok from the clothes and pattern.
And the cloth ornaments that were tied to their wrists, necks, and earrings.
It was the same daenggi that the fans hung on the lightsticks.
‘Who’s the coordinator?’
She was really grateful.
Fortunately, perhaps because they had time to spare or weren’t ready to shoot yet, instead of rushing right into the stage, a casual greeting came out.
[Everyone, did you like the music vide….]
[Shall we talk about our favorite parts briefly one by one? Now, starting with our Chungwoo hyung-nim~!]
Coming up to the stage, Testar dragged it out by talking in moderation. A year had passed, they had become much better compared to the beginning of their debut
The homma muttered warmly, but couldn’t take her eyes off Park Moondae.
As already shown in the music video, Park Moondae’s hairstyle had changed.
Thanks to having prepared herself beforehand, she could hold back from screaming too much.
‘It’s been so long since he had black hair…’
The homma was intoxicated by the vague memory of the first <Idol Inc.> production presentation.
Park Moondae had black hair that was quite longer than usual. It wasn’t long hair, but the fact that the bangs were long enough to slip off to the sides gave off a subtle classic beauty.
The homma swallowed all kinds of silly comments in her mouth and waved the lightstick to Park Moondae, who was waving his hand.
[Everyone, after a lot of hard work, black-haired Moondae is here~]
[Please give us honest feedback.]
“I love it!!”
The homma couldn’t stand it anymore and screamed hard. Similar noises came from here and there.
Moondae, who had asked with a Tibetan fox’s indifferent face, smiled a little at the response.
‘You’re the best!’
The homma cried like crazy, saying that she came to their show because of this feeling.
But today’s highlights hadn’t even started yet.
[Are we going in?]
Exchanging signals with the staff, Testa quickly settled down after bowing their heads.
The members gathered in a semicircle and crouched with their arms hanging down.
On a stage set composed of pine trees and black and red cloth, the performance began.
Tangdang, Tangtangtang, Tadadang-
The accompaniment, which started with the sound of kkwaenggwari and modified traditional instruments, started to play out in a very modern structure.
It was trap hip-hop.
Then, the choreography unfolded as they spread their legs on the floor.
It was a choreography that looked like a moving four-footed beast.
When a triangular formation was created through that strange movement, Cha Eugene jumped out after the prelude.
– Even if you struggle, you can’t avoid it
You come today, you go
Let’s stick one more on the record
Now come, come, go
It was a song that maximized the rhythmic and groovy taste of an iconic K-pop idol’s dance song.
However, the unique sound of Korean musical instruments added a very strange taste.
– Approaching silently
Predator, Sharp Claw
scratching this night
The pursuer, as I’m sure
The clear vocal melodies that went in between were nice to listen to. Purposefully contrasting with the sharp rapping, the song was enriched.
Above all, no matter what part they did, there was no time to rest in the choreography.
‘Shouldn’t they revise that…?’
The homma reflexively thought while watching the part where everyone lay down on the floor in Seon Ahyeon’s part and rose up with a rebound.
But she soon forgot. Because it was a waste to even think of anything else.
– Swallow the world
I’ll melt it hot
the sound of clicking one’s tongue ringing
Ryu Chungwoo stood at the center of the formation that returned in the shape of an arrow.
With the chorus, the beat slowed down. And the daunting static choreography suppressed the atmosphere.
– Now, he appears
Warning again warning
approaching with one’s life
slow and thrilling
Along with the drop, the accompaniment exploded.
– The day has finally come
Let’s end it here today
(never get away from me ye)
Park Moondae’s high notes and Kim Raebin’s low-pitched rap overlapped.
– Even if you lower your head, you can’t escape
Lee Sejin came forward from the side and swayed his head.
A dance break unfolded.
Thanks to the generous push of the tuneful beat melody, the song was still catchy even during dance breaks where only one word was occasionally spoken.
However, a more spectacular dance break caught her attention.
Moving the formation like a giant beast changing its posture, the choreography gave a strange feeling to the sound of sogeum and gayageum.
Since they only saw the choreography in the music video, it was the first time the fans saw the stage from beginning to end like this.
The impact was very powerful.
Even in the second half, they entered with great vocals.
My approaching steps
As soon as Park Moondae shouted the ultra-high note of the bridge, the last dance break immediately followed.
‘Did you even breathe, Moondae?’
Not expecting him to perform live to this extent, the homma was speechless with emotions and worries.
She was worried whether he could continue to do this live in the future.
‘I can see why this is pre-recorded!’
Thinking that she realized the reason why they recorded the title track instead of the B-side, the homma looked at the stage with her mouth open.
However, they didn’t make any mistakes until the end.
As soon as the explosive dance break was over, the choreography was organized as if being rewinded, and a formation was created.
Unlike the introduction that looked like a four-footed beast, the ending looked like a rounded squad.
The stage ended with Ryu Chungwoo in the center nodding slightly to the sound of taepyeongso  .
It was the first time since Testar’s debut that a performance song was used openly as a title track. The fans cheered with excitement.
[Huft… Thank you!]
There was no disruption in the recording that was done one more, so they said, ‘It’s such a shame’.
In particular, Ryu Chungwoo, who had such good physical strength, looked more stable, probably because he was in charge of the introduction and ending of the chorus.
‘I can see why they gave the center to him.’
Since Moondae’s portion was also good, the homma was able to nod her head without any bad feelings.
[Go home safely!]
[I hope you have enough breakfast!]
After three shoots, Testar finished the recording and left.
Perhaps because of the delay in the beginning, they had no time to give the ending remarks as they left quickly for the next team, but it was still enough.
Because the stage was so good!
‘Ah, it was great!’
Thinking that it would be good to continue like this, the homma put the yakgwa  she received as a snack into her mouth and left.
It was so good!
She hoped everything would be easy for Moondae on the road ahead!!
* * *
I had a hunch.
‘It’s not going to be easy.’
When I heard the chorus of Gold 1’s group’s title track that he sent, saying ‘Please let me know how you feel’.
Their song was so much better than I thought.
- 1. A daenggi is a traditional Korean ribbon used to tie up and decorate braided hair. Sumber: Wiki.
- 2. The taepyeongso is a Korean double reed wind instrument in the shawm or oboe family, probably descended from the Persian sorna and closely related to the Chinese suona. Sumber: Wiki.
- 3. Yakgwa = Korean honey cookies.