From the start of the preparation period, the sale of this EP was very well publicized.
With a professional team working behind the scenes, Luo Ding’s initial personal popularity and the increase in his popularity as a result of successful publicity, the number of album pre-orders on the internet reached an amazing number. The physical stores, when doors opened, attracted a large number of customers who had been waiting at the door to hurriedly buy.
Most of Luo Ding’s fans had already placed orders during the short-lived online pre-sale, but how can a one month delivery cycle make people feel at ease? They had to buy another EP quickly and watch first.
Moreover, they had a hunch…
Later, they probably won’t be able to buy it.
“Delivered and shipped! Don’t rush! It’s in stock !!” Gu Yaxing had a mobile phone in his left and right hands. He was fielding phone calls from the company’s department responsible for album sales and post-sale feedback. When he heard the phone ring, he stared straight at the telephone. In his ear, the buzzing bee-like noisy complaints of his subordinates came through the receiver.
“They are pushing! What do we do? The sales department’s phone number is exploding, and we don’t have enough staff!”
“Who is to blame?! Why didn’t they listen to me when I asked them to stock up more?!”
The record stores that had no concept of Luo Ding’s popularity did not maintain a large stock of inventory. Now, seeing customers come and go empty-handed, and watching their bank notes fly away, they now had the heart to search for a lifeline.
There was a very aggrieved complaint from the other side: “Yes! I reminded them yesterday morning and even showed them the post pre-sale numbers. At that time, they said we had inflated our sales records. They deserve it now!”
Although he was also busy and angry, Gu Yaxing was afraid that his subordinate would also treat customers with this aggrieved attitude and so he had to reassure him in a gentle voice.
Picking up the landline, there was an urgent call from the Japanese side. In Yaxing Studio’s original plans, albums in all Asian countries were scheduled to be stocked on the shelves at the same time, but there was a small problem during shipping and the inventory to Japan had been a little delayed. As a result, after fans there learned that China had started to sell albums, they all rioted.
Gu Yaxing was anxious and afraid. His head was covered with sweat. While still on the phone, he called the managing department to inquire about the latest developments. After confirming that the record store in Tokyo could start selling by the afternoon at the latest, he was finally at ease, and notified his other subordinates of the restock of the goods.
With a long sigh of relief, he slumped tiredly into his chair and lay his head down on the desk without saying a word.
Obviously, he had prepared enough yet he had still underestimated Luo Ding’s popularity.
Record stores all over the country sold out in a just one morning and many fans who had arrived late could only look at the empty shelves and mourn. There would definitely be a time lag before the albums are restocked. On Weibo there were fans everywhere asking if someone could help them buy albums from other places.
Taking into account the number of e-commerce websites that were still counting the rapidly increasing deliveries one by one, Luo Ding’s EP sales volume in mainland china had reached an amazing number.
The release and sales of albums by mainland singers were always unsatisfactory. Due to the limitations caused by piracy and bootlegging, few people actually bought and kept albums. Thus, from the beginning, Gu Yaxing had not focused on album sales in the mainland.
A large number of the album inventory was first supplied to Japan, followed by South Korea, and finally Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. The number of records left in the Mainland was only less than half of the combined number in these regions. Although it may seem a lot, if you calculate the population of this large country and divide the proportions, you could immediately see the gap.
But the response of the market so far clearly told him that he had underestimated domestic fans. Fortunately, the second batch of goods shipped from the factory had already been packed. That batch of goods was originally intended to supplement the Japanese supply, but it could only be used to temporarily hold off the domestic sales boom. In the next few days, they needed to hurry up and manufacture the third batch of records for shipping to Japan. Fortunately, there will not be too many mistakes.
In the end, as this was his first time leading such a popular artist, Gu Yaxing couldn’t avoid mistakes even though he was careful. Although this was not a big oversight, fans who couldn’t bear Yaxing Studio’s pheasant style were already furious.
Poor Gu Yaxing was tied to the headlines in the forums and his corpse was being whipped.
“Mr. Gu, what really happened here? Are you out of cash? Have you run out of goods?!”
“Distressed for my son, the company is too much of a cottage industry. There are not enough albums to sell.”
“Please ask the company to contact a larger production factory. If you don’t have money to pay the deposit, ask fans to contribute. Can you not drag our male god down?”
Gu Yaxing was very aggrieved. He had looked for the largest production studio in the industry. The album stock was based on the sales volume of first-line singers. Considering the existence of overseas fan bases, he had also intentionally increased some of the original numbers. Even the owner of the production studio had advised him to not place such a big order in one go. Gu Yaxing had felt that he was being daring at that time. Now he was being scolded for not being able to make money. How unjust!
Although the company was really poor, the reason this album was out of stock was not his fault, ok!
Although he was being wronged and scolded, he was still happy that the album had achieved good sales. At this time Gu Yaxing was simultaneously happy and in pain.
Luo Ding’s fans were mostly rational fans. They had a little understanding of the domestic album market. Before the EP was released, they had privately formulated rules for the fan circle: After getting hold of the EP they would first search the Internet for the original resources and upload audio. It was prohibited for the full MV and behind the scenes tidbits to be reuploaded, it was prohibited for screenshots exposing key details of the MV to be re-uploaded. As much possible describe MV scenes in words. If someone violates the rules, others must use every method either hard or soft to force the other party to delete it.
This was necessary because there were many fans who were waiting for leaked resources. The issue of consumption was a problem. Most would rather use their money to eat and drink so if the album resources could easily be found on the Internet then they will definitely not buy the album.
The mother-in-law fans had been worried about Luo Ding’s album sales. When they received the album and put it on the record player, most were still thinking about how to describe the songs in the most tempting way in order to persuade fans who were unwilling to buy albums to empty their wallets.
Each EP contained two DVDs, which were the normal album and the song’s MV accompaniment. Two album photos of Luo Ding were also included with the EP.
In the advertisements of the EP, the studio had not focused on the existence of these photos, thus many fans lost their voice in surprise, when they saw the two photos after opening the album.
Later, their attention was drawn back to the melodious fast-frequency beat.
An EP of four songs, two fast and two slow, intermingled with each other. The first was the most explosive dance record.
The practice room dance video had been widely spread. Basically, as long as you were a fan of Luo Ding, you would have worshiped that video ten times, a dozen times, hundreds of times, even countless times. Everyone knew that Luo Ding’s dance skills were good, so fans expected dance music. However, after the MV started playing, they suddenly realized that the previous version from the practice room was really trash!
Unlike a private video shot from a direct frontal point of view, here there was professional lighting, professional clothing, lens switching, and post-processing to add a lot of color to the work.
In reality Luo Ding’s stage costume may have appeared a bit exaggerated, but on camera, it emphasized the advantages of his body and shape to perfection. After putting on makeup, the look in his eyes as he glanced at the camera was enough to make people feel excited as the lyrics jumped out of his mouth between each swing of his body.
This song was written by He Guan and Ye Zhou to set the theme for Luo Ding’s EP.
The plot of the MV for title song was a story about a celebrity fan who also desired to be on the big stage and tried to get closer to his dreams.
In contrast with the style of the ordinary dance music genre, the song had particularly deep lyrics, a passionate melody and trendy composition. When the young man on the screen finally achieved his dream, he stood on the dark stage, stopped dancing, closed his eyes, raised his head and then held his right hand high.
The spotlight illuminated him from top to bottom.
The noise of the audience suddenly broke out in the next moment.
The whole world had become an ocean shouting his name.
It wasn’t until the music stopped that many fans found themselves in tears.
It felt like they were children who accompanied Luo Ding and had accepted a long and heavy challenge that was bitter and toilsome but gratifying.
Ever since Luo Ding became popular, the rumors, insults and abuse from all walks of life had continuously stretched the limits of negative emotions that the fan circle could bear. However, at this moment, that burden was completely torn down. Because while they were working hard to grow their strength, the idol they loved was fighting alongside them.
A line of large characters slowly appeared on the screen and made many people press the pause button to cry bitterly while covering their faces.
“Thank you for staying with me.”
Such a simple, straightforward and gentle sentence.
On the forum, a big fanbase from the fan circle quietly appeared: “You know, this is the first time I have cried after listening to dance music.”
Many people reposted the comment: “+1” “Crying myself into a dog.” “This is the sourness of being confessed to by an idol …” “You know, I will never let him go in my life!”
Fans who were waiting for the shipment of their pre-ordered album or fans who had not bought the album were all itchy at heart to watch the MV but after searching the entire Internet, they did not find any uploaded resources from Luo Ding’s EP.
At most, there were a few screenshots of album images, but they were quickly deleted when the screen was refreshed. Where did these screenshots come from? Obviously, these fans were ready to fish!
Luo Ding was wearing a motorcycle suit that emphasized the advantages of his figure. He looked at the camera during a break while dancing. After makeup, his sharp facial features and the corners of his eyes were charming. There was no need for 4K resolution to enable him capture the heart of fans.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Damned E-shop hurry up and deliver the goods!!!!!!”
These were the fans who had been lazy for a while and didn’t go in person to grab a copy but had bought the EP during the pre-sale. They were now so sorry that they just wanted to drag out the big fanbases who were showing off through the computer screen and beat them hard to get the pictures out of their hands.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I’m dead. I’ll spend my life earnings to buy it. Tell me where I can find it in stock! I’ll buy it!!!!”
Fans could not sit still now. To tell the truth, how many adults could not afford a two or three-digit banknote? It was all a matter of consumer concepts. Earlier they did not want to buy it, but now that their interest had been hooked, their earlier reluctance was worthless.
However, though they were ready to give money no one was selling.
The other fans, who were unlike this group, had begun to gloat: “No, no, the sister groups around the world are ready to grab the second batch of goods from the shelves in the afternoon. I have to grab some stock for friends in smaller cities. It’s only if there is some excess stock from the first -tier cities that you can break through this blockade. Friends, imagine thousands of horses and soldiers crossing a single log bridge.”
At the same time, the second wave of big killer resources came.
“Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah! These are beautiful. I could cry! There are angels and demons!!!” Some people posted photos from the album that they had been allowed to spread.
The fan circle suddenly boiled over again.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh is that a demon.”
Luo Ding was playing the guitar this time. This series of pictures were intended to compliment his jazz record. The light penetrating through the liquor on the wine rack shone brightly on Luo Ding. On his body, the young man sitting on the high stool with his legs crossed, was wearing a simple white t-shirt and jeans. He was embracing a guitar and singing affectionately. The whole world went quiet because of this picture.
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh This series was shot during the recording of the last love song.”
Luo Ding was slowly stroking the blue brick walls of an ancient city while heading down quietly under an umbrella. The pictures were so fresh from composition, to color selection, that people felt as if they could smell a breath of air in the early spring morning.
The whole rice circle suddenly began to germinate again. People who had the album in hand shared the new songs after listening to them while exchanging the photos they got. For this EP there were really a lot of exchanges yet there weren’t many resources that overlapped.
The sincerity of Yaxing Studio could be seen. Many people began to think that they should forgive Gu Yaxing for not doing enough.
The fans who had failed to buy the album were so agitated by these assholes that most of them opened the online pre-order page and started to buy wildly. After their desperate purchase, they discovered that the delivery date was actually in September. In other words, those with bad luck may not understand what those bastards were talking about until next month.
Those who could not wait began to call relatives and friends in other areas.
For example in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
Who’s free to help these people!? Even they can’t get it by themselves, OK!?
After repeatedly encountering obstacles, many people indirectly learned the latest sales situation overseas.
Japanese and Korean fans were notorious for their willingness to spend money. As soon as the news that Luo Ding’s album stock was insufficient spread from home to overseas, fans in the support clubs began to worry about themselves.
Many who had learned from the official press release that Tokyo would be the first city to stock the album, quickly rushed from the neighboring counties and cities to Tokyo by shinkansen to snap them up. However, despite this, many were unsuccessful. Various forums were filled with complaints in various languages, and Chinese fans couldn’t help but sympathize.
After the first day’s sales statistics came out, the entire Yaxing studio, including Luo Ding, were in disbelief about the figures.
Luo Ding had always followed the domestic route in the past. That is, he was a member of a duo that was not so popular. Although their records often ranked high on domestic singer sales charts, he was merely the tallest among dwarves, no more than that. Currently, sales numbers that could only be reached after a week of tracking had been broken through on just the first day of the album release. This kind of achievement in China could probably only be attained by Korean idol groups with amazing fan power. In the Chinese circles, there was no precedent for this.
“Broken … It broke the record …” Gu Yaxing, who was still a little dazed, reached out and slowly stroked the computer screen. When the numbers were first calculated, no one believed that such numbers could be true. However, this was the result of a third confirmation. Gu Yaxing felt like a passerby who had been smashed by a huge pie on his head. Originally, he had only wanted Luo Ding’s album to sell gratifying numbers, but now the final result was not only gratifying, but terrifying!
If this was not reality, giving him ten imaginations, he could not have foretold that his little studio would create a Chinese music sales legend!
Luo Ding licked his lips and hummed softly.
These results … It had really surprised him too much. For an E.P. to sell this much, the domestic news media will be shocked.
Luo Ding was right.
After the EP sales were collated, the results quickly pushed down the original weekly ranking champion and topped the charts. After refreshing the chart page, many people suddenly found that there was an extra paratrooper above their heads. Their first thought was “what a joke! “
However, after many parties had verified the data, many found that this “paratrooper” was not the result of a network failure or a data error, but real, crushing statistics!
Currently, sales figures were still rising. On the second and third day of sales, Luo Ding quickly pulled away from the runner-up that had previously not been too far away. On seeing the difference of nearly a full digit many did not dare believe their eyes.
For the first time, the news media were surprised.
Were they really looking at the sales charts of a Chinese album and not the charts of European and American music forums? You must know that the runner up singer was a new idol whose sales figures had been praised by the industry in recent years. His fans were famous for their purchasing power, and he had topped the domestic album sales chart three times in a row. The day before Luo Ding parachuted to the top, many people were still speculating that this kid was going to top the charts again. However, the winds in the entertainment industry changed directions so fast and in just one night, the world had changed.
For the first time, all eyes in the industry were focused on Luo Ding. This time, it was definitely not the online media circle that was boiling, but the real TV media for mainstream audiences.
From TV filming, to movie filming, to getting a Hollywood role at a later stage, and now, his first EP had swept all the major charts as soon as it was released. Luo Ding’s name had gradually become known, but this was the first time that he had used the most fair and impartial data to counterattack those who had questioned him.
Sales statistics were always carried out on official platforms and any changes in data must be carried out with the coordination of the entire market. Even those famous companies in the industry could only spend money on albums to boost up part of their sales figures.
However, Luo Ding’s sales miracle today was no longer an issue that could simply be explained by counterfeiting. In contemplating the numbers, many people had speculated that the sales data was fabricated, but even more people knew that if the company had an ounce of intelligence, it will not falsify sales numbers to the extent that it will be seen as fake at first glance.
Thus, inferring from reverse thinking, after all kinds of doubts, even if they were reluctant, many still believed the official figures.
That is to say, this time Luo Ding had truly fired his first shot.
It wasn’t until this time that many media agencies in the mainland discovered that long before they paid attention to this young man, his overseas audience circles had already formed.
Many domestic artists could not do such a thing in their entire lifetime. However, Luo Ding had achieved this only by relying on one music video collaboration when he first debuted. Unlike those who simply claimed to be “Asian Global stars”, his overseas fans had shown their existence through strong and practical overseas album sales.
Throughout September, Luo Ding’s calendar was full and busy.
However, as a growing number of albums were sold, more album resources became available on the internet, but this had little impact on sales. However, because of these gradually increasing online resources, he began to gradually become more known. When the name “Luo Ding” appeared, it was no longer just hollow.
As has been the case throughout history, the smaller the audience, the more the praise, the higher the position, the hotter the critique. In the past, Luo Ding’s name was widely spread among fellow fans. Other than those who disliked him, few of those who did not know him were willing to go to great lengths to scold a little unknown star. However, in this short month, his existence had been refreshed to a level that could not be ignored, and voices that were “disinterested”, “irritated” and “hateful” also began to appear consistently.
Everything explained one thing.
That is… Luo Ding was really popular. He had gone beyond the influence of the internet and had started to enter millions of households.
Brand merchants began to look for him as an endorser. Among a variety of messages from manufacturers, Luo Ding and Gu Yaxing ignored the inferior products that offered high endorsement fees and selected two really high-quality big brands to shoot promotional advertisements.
Now was not the time to make money, the first thing to do was to manage his own value in the circle. If the brand endorsement was too low in the beginning, then there will be fewer and fewer boutique manufacturers coming to you later. There were a lot of short-sighted artists in the circle who were later unable to rid themselves of the shackles of their endorsement of inferior products. Luo Ding had already seen too much, and it was easy to remain unmoved by these small profits. Fortunately, Gu Yaxing, one of the beneficiaries, was also very supportive of this, which saved him a lot of worry.
Coming out of the studio, Luo Ding drank a cup of warm salt and sugar water and fell asleep on his seat.
Gu Yaxing had provided him with a new “nanny” car. It was expensive but low-key, and its comfort was far beyond the reach of the previous vehicle. The music was very low, and it had been turned to the radio station with the highest listener rate. After the hostess said hello gently, she introduced the next song and though Luo Ding was already a little sleepy, the familiar melody that sounded made the corner of his mouth tick upwards.
Among the four songs in the album, the last love song in the EP “concerning” was the most popular song in the domestic mainstream media. Compared to the dance music that wore out quickly because of its catchy melody, this tune was more lyrical and stylish. From the moment the single was available on the internet, it quickly occupied major radio stations and became one of the most recommended tracks by the hosts. Many domestic music news broadcasts also liked to use this song as a background.
This meant that Luo Ding’s music was broadcast to a large majority of audiences in the country, ranging from the youth to the middle-aged.
In contrast, in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, the jazz-styled song “Afternoon Black Tea” was obviously more popular. This was gleaned from the reactions of many fans from Hong Kong and Taiwan. In addition, mainstream media were always replaying this song and most of the more stylish Hong Kong and Taiwan restaurants had added the song in their playlists.
Subsequently, data records of major music clients also showed that this song was indeed more popular in the westernized Hong Kong and Taiwan. The streaming and download rates topped the charts for several weeks in a row. It had even suppressed the new singles from the original big-name singers in these areas and had firmly retained its position.
In Japan, the hottest song was “Victory’ which featured Duan Xiubo in the MV. The beautiful images of the fight between angel and a fallen angel was more in line with the taste of Japanese fans.
Starting from the day the album was released the song entered the top 20 “favorite music” charts of the local Japanese entertainment circle with its overwhelming popularity. When the album sales cycle was nearing its end and the MV and audio was available everywhere, the second wave of chart ranking jumps began. The incomprehensible Chinese characters did not affect the enthusiasm of the fans. The plain angel and the perverted fallen angel were spontaneously printed into posters by fans and posted on advertising billboards in Tokyo. They even hung posts on the walls of department stores. The name Luo Ding also became widely known by local people in Japan.
The response from the South Korean side was not far behind that of Japan, but compared with Japan ’s wild popularity, it could be considered warm praise.
Though genetically similar, it was not difficult to distinguish between Chinese and Koreans. Among Korean stars, with the stereotype of thick eyebrows and awl-shaped faces, Luo Ding’s appearance was almost unforgettable. After all, natural and artificial creations are different. What is more, though Koreans had developed an assembly line of stars what they really loved was always pure natural beauties. This was the real charm of human beings that had been lost due to modern developments.
Although most domestic stars were pure and natural, their packaging was flawed. Compared to South Korea, where bucked teeth, crooked faces, and squinty eyes, could be transformed into eye-catching looks, the domestic entertainment circle that vividly portrayed handsome men in a village – like style was a lot worse. It was precisely because of this that it was impossible for domestic stars to break into overseas countries that already had local protection policies in place.
However, this time Luo Ding completely reversed the situation because of various opportunities. The term “Chinese handsome guy” quickly gained attention overseas and because of the foundation laid by Luo Ding, many domestic new-generation singers began to promote their new work towards Japan and South Korea. The great Chinese wind was just around the corner.
Because he had ventured abroad in Asia and even internationally, domestic news media were also very willing to report that Luo Ding, was a star with “prestige” in China. With his work at the forefront, his headlines on various websites and newspapers were even more straightforward. His favorability to passersby was also increasing day by day. After a few variety shows, Luo Ding’s fan circle was no longer the same as before.
When he ventured out he needed to carry a hat and a mask. Although it was hard, it gave a different kind of satisfaction.
Luo Ding thought to himself that it was probably in his nature to enjoy these gazes. People’s attention and admiration gave him a sense of security, as though he had found his own value.
Gu Yaxing found a trustworthy driver who had worked in Yaxing Studio for a long time. The album’s hot sales and Luo Ding’s popularity had made the company’s economy gradually become richer. Thus, his first priority was to improve Luo Ding’s quality of life. It could also be regarded as him repaying a favor.
Wu Fangyuan, who used to work part-time as a driver, had now truly become a full-time “assistant”. He only needed to manage Luo Ding’s clothing, food, shelter, and run errands on his behalf. Gradually, Gu Yaxing was also trying to teach Wu Fangyuan how to work as a broker.
The driver drove the car carefully as the congested roads in the city became much clearer on entering the suburbs. From time to time, he observed Luo Ding’s reaction in the rearview mirror to determine whether he needed to slow down. Wu Fangyuan in the front passenger lowered his head, poked a little bit on his iPad, and suddenly turned his head towards Luo Ding and said excitedly: Ten million!”
Luo Ding rolled his eyes and pulled off his blindfold. Wu Fangyuan, this fool, had been refreshing the weibo page nervously from 6 in the morning, eager to take a screenshot of the page when the 10 million mark was broken through. It was now almost 9.am and he had been doing this boring thing for almost three hours.
He did not know why Wu Fangyuan was so obsessed with the number of Weibo fans, but Luo Ding did not scold him. Since he became popular, Wu Fangyuan had been under a lot of pressure. To a limited extent, Luo Ding did not mind that he used his favorite way to celebrate occasionally.
Wu Fangyuan went into his photo album to enjoy the numbers displayed in the picture. Once upon a time, the number in this position was just a pitiful five-digit number. From the end of spring to early autumn, in just a few months, such a huge change had occurred. This made him lament not only the impermanence of life, but also be moved to tears when he realized that Luo Ding had made it.
He knew that Luo Ding always rolled his eyes secretly. Just roll it. Can’t he be happy on his own?
Wu Fangyuan sniffed and put away the tablet, then he said to Luo Ding in a choked voice: “Don’t sleep, you’ll be at the airport in a few minutes. It’s not good for you to be photographed sleeping.”
Luo Ding yawned and sat up. He glanced at the time on his watch and rubbed his temples: “Duan ge arrives at 9:30, we can wait outside. After a while you can go in and pick him up. There would likely be a lot of fans at the airport so be careful not to get hurt.”
After completing all kinds of fashion endorsement activities overseas, Duan Xiubo finally returned home and had called Luo Ding at the airport while waiting for his flight. After a long separation, Luo Ding suddenly found himself missing him. After seeking Gu Yaxing’s consent, he took the initiative to pick him up.
Duan Xiubo was pleasantly surprised. He probably did not expect Luo Ding to be so enthusiastic.
Luo Ding also felt strange. According to his past habits, he would usually not open his mouth to make such troublesome promises.
I must have been possessed
He looked out the window at the trees on the sidewalk that were retreating further and further away and for a while he imagined meeting Duan Xiubo. He couldn’t help showing an expectant smile.
It has been more than a month since my last post. I have no excuses. I will try to get back to a regular posting schedule. Happy Holidays!
 A bullet train network of high-speed railway lines in Japan. Initially, it was built to connect distant Japanese regions with Tokyo.
 The author uses this term to refer to someone “parachuting” to the top of the charts.
 Term used here is [wú gǎn] – Meaning: No feeling. Show no interest. To be not affected. This Internet slang term is used to show your disinterest in someone or something.