Around 7 pm, Lu Chen arrived early at the Forget Grass bar.
He hadn’t forgotten the lesson this time, after taking a good rest in the morning, he had then taken a train before peak hours to reach Rear Lak and found a random restaurant nearby to have a simple dinner.
Upon entering the bar, what surprised Lu Chen was that boss Chen JianHao was nowhere to be seen.
In his stead, a bartender with a slender build and a well-trimmed beard welcomed him a smile and a nod.
Before yesterday, Lu Chen wouldn’t have been able to enjoy that kind of treatment.
He went over and the both them greeted each other. Lu Chen then curiously asked, “The boss didn’t come today?”
Chen JianHao had invested all his lifetime savings into the Forget Grass bar, therefore he was particularly meticulous when it came to managing its operations. Usually, unless he was met with something unexpected, he would be present in the bar every day without fail. During peak periods, he would even personally serve the customers.
David poured a cup of peppermint water for Lu Chen, and said, “Boss probably had some matters to attend to…”
David’s mandarin wasn’t perfect, it contained the slightest hint of a western accent. Although he was a full-fledged Chinese, he had grown up overseas since young, and only came back a few years ago.
“Thank you, David!”
Lu Chen drank the peppermint water in one go and prepared to head backstage. He was unaware of tonight’s performance arrangements.
“You’re welcome… “
David took the cup back and earnestly said, “I liked the song that you sang last night, cool!”
He then flashed Lu Chen a thumbs up and said: “Add Oil!”
Lu Chen smiled and gave his thanks, and headed backstage.
What surprised Lu Chen was that he was not the first arrive, instead there were already several people inside the room.
Other than Forget Grass bar’s resident singer – Rainbow Li Hong, brother Ye – Ye Zhenyang and Wang Xiaoshuai, even sister Na was present. The 5 of them were currently seated together and having a chat.
Seeing Lu Chen come in, sister Na stood up first, her face full of smiles, and tenderly hugged him, “Congratulations you got promoted!”
Lu Chen embarrassingly said, “Thank you Na Sister …”
Sister Na – Zhang NaNa turned 40 this year, in Forget Grass bar and Rear Lake singer’s circle, she was a veteran. Rumour said she left her house to work and became independent at the age of 17 to pursue her love and passion for music.
Zhang NaNa was Forget Grass bar’s contracted singer, and this despite having ordinary looks that tilted more towards the scale of ugly with her high cheekbones, thick lips, sagging nose and prominent crows’ feet when she smiled.
However, no one would underestimate NaNa thanks to her unique talent for singing. With a great voice range coupled with her rich life experience, it had allowed her to easily grasp a wide variety of difficult songs, thereby letting people acknowledge her as a singer with real abilities.
Chen JianHao had once said that the reason why Sister Na had yet to be famous despite being in the industry for more than 20 years, other than her lackluster appearance, was that she lacked a good personal song as well as supportive fans.
If not because of that, he would never have been able to recruit Sister Na to perform at the Forget Grass bar.
Sister Na’s personality could be described as open-minded, with no trace of scheming. Whether in front of the most common server in the bar, or the well-known band, her attitude towards others had always been warm and friendly.
With these qualities, Sister Na would be well-received wherever she went.
Lu Chen’s relationship with Sister Na could be considered good, the reason why he could perform in Forget Grass bar was mostly due to Sister Na speaking up for him which eventually lead to boss JianHao’s stamp of approval.
And precisely because of that, Lu Chen had always been grateful to Sister Na.
After Sister Na had congratulated him, the other singers went up to give their congratulations too. They all knew that Lu Chen had officially become a contracted singer for the Forget Grass bar.
Originally, Lu Chen was the only “request singer 1” of the bar and his status was undoubtedly the lowest. Right now, however, he had the same status as Li Hong and Ye Zhenyang, and would be enjoying the same treatment they had.
“Sister Na, Xiao Lu sang an original song during last night’s performance…”
Li Hong smilingly said, “Lu Chen certainly hit the jackpot! There are even some companies that have expressed interest in signing him!”
Although it seemed like a normal conversation, their tones contained a hint of sourness that couldn’t be concealed.
Other than Sister Na, Ye Zhen Yang and Wang Xiaoshuai’s expressions were rather unsightly to behold.
Forget Grass bar was considered a big establishment; however, there weren’t that many employees and singers so any news would spread quickly amongst themselves.
Lu Chen’s performance of his own original song “<<You Who Sat Next to Me>>” won over the hearts of all the customers in the bar. Not only that, he had captured the attention of Rain Media who now wanted to sign him as an idol to nurture and package.
If it was just that, the others would at most be envious and jealous as ultimately in this industry, there was no shortage of singers and Lu Chen would only be one of the lucky ones who had the chance to skip stages.
However, what made others dumbfounded was; Lu Chen had rejected the offer!
This made them unable to understand. A precious chance that many would readily die for, how come Lu Chen didn’t treasure it?
Ye Zhenyang chuckled, “It’s a pity that Xiao Lu’s too proud, or else in the future when he becomes a popular celebrity he could have even paved a path for us in the industry!”
Compared to Li Hong, his attitude towards Lu Chen was sourer. He wouldn’t feel comfortable without taking Lu Chen down a peg.
It must be said that, two days ago, Lu Chen was only a small fry that any of them could ignore! Now, however, not only did he stood on the same level as him, he was even more eye-catching and popular!
Lu Chen’s expression darkened.
He couldn’t just rebuke Ye Zhenyang because of the way he had phrased his sentence, however, he was also unwilling to stay silent or act like a hypocrite.
“Xiao Lu will definitely be a popular celebrity in the future!”
Sister Na approached Lu Chen and put a hand on his shoulder, “Last night I came late and didn’t hear you sing the song you wrote, tonight you must sing it again!”
Lu Chen hurriedly said, “Sure! I hope that Sister Na will give me some pointers too…”
Compared to others, Sister Na’s attitude towards Lu Chen was undoubtedly sincerer, she even helped him get out of a sticky situation with just a few words.
Even the dissatisfied Ye Zhenyang wouldn’t dare to continue.
Sister Na smiled, “I wouldn’t dare to give you pointers! You should have shown your talent sooner and helped your Sister Na write a nice song too! How about it?”
Lu Chen pondered and positively replied, “Sure!”
His serious reply surprised Sister Na.
She had just been teasing him and hadn’t been serious about asking Lu Chen for a song.
Nowadays creating original songs was harder than ever, the current domestic market simply wasn’t a suitable for the creative mindset. Other than a few popular ones, plenty professional songwriters weren’t even able to release a single hit song in years.
Freelance singers similar to Lu Chen who casually composed were lucky to even manage a single good song. It would be hard to repeatedly write another one, not to mention a tailor-made one!
She had initially thought that Lu Chen was joking with her, however looking at Lu Chen’s serious attitude, she was inevitably taken aback.
As someone who was experienced, she was only momentarily distracted before immediately laughingly, “I shall look forward to it then!”
She didn’t continue on this topic, instead garnering attention by clapping her hands, “We don’t have much time so tonight’s performance arrangement will be done by me. Xiao Shuai, you’ll be opening with two songs…”
Boss Chen Jianhao wasn’t present, therefore Sister Na assumed the role of the one in charge. Other than the Roaming band, even Li Hong and Ye Zhenyang would have to follow her instructions and no one could question her arrangements.
Even Roaming band’s lead singer Tai Hanyang treated Sister Na with respect.
Since it was Sunday, there was an influx of customers after 8 pm and most of them were university campus couples.
There are multiple big universities near Big Sea, including some of the renowned universities.
Numerous university student, especially couples, liked to patronize the bars around the area. They would usually walk around and settle their dinner before heading towards the bars to occupy seats and order a few beers or alcoholic drinks while enjoying the live performance and their partner’s presence surrounded by the romantic atmosphere.
Seeing the bar seats that were filled to the brim, the MC hurriedly went out to entertain the customers and was quickly followed by Wang Xiaoshuai opening performance.
When it was time for Lu Chen’s performance, it was already 9 pm.
He had just sat down on stage with his guitar when one customer immediately whistled with excitement.
“Xiao Lu, sing <<You Who Sat Next to Me>>!”
Lu Chen smiled and nodded. To be acting so carefreely, he was probably a regular.
It was a frequent customer who liked to joke and play around with youngsters.
Therefore, the request must definitely be catered to!
“Tonight, the first song I’ll deliver be singing, is an original creation…”
He softly strung the guitar strings, and said through the microphone: “<<You Who Sat Next to Me>>, I hope you’ll enjoy it!”
After Lu Chen just finished speaking, some people immediately started shouting, “Sing the song twice!”
The cheerful laughs reverberated around the bar, similar to the ripples produced when a stone hits the surface of the water.
Several new customers were surprised, as they had never heard the song before, and furthermore, it was an original composition.
Naturally, they wouldn’t understand why the regular customers would be so enthusiastic, especially since this type of enthusiasm wasn’t commonly seen at the Forget Grass Bar; at least not towards such a young singer like Lu Chen.
Lu Chen didn’t reply any further after playing the initial note, he just got on with it.
“Would you remember, the diary you wrote last night?”
As if magic was infused in his voice, along with the accompaniment of his guitar, it changed the entire atmosphere of the bar, and slowly, everyone’s attention was captured by him.
Regardless if it was the regular or the new customers, they were all quietly immersed in listening to Lu Chen’s performance.
In the ears of the regulars, the song <<You Who Sat Next to Me>> sung by Lu Chen was even better. His singing was infused with even more feelings. They had even closed their eyes and used their hearts to feel the emotions contained in the song; the memories and longing.
Whereas to the new customers who were listening for the first time to <<You Who Sat Next to Me>>, they initially just thought that the song was refreshing and subsequently, that it was a good song.
Afterwards, they were all deeply touched by it.
The influence of a good classic song could temporarily bend the laws of time and space, even if it came from another world, it could still reach out to the masses!
For a short 5-6 minutes, the Forget Grass bar was absolutely silent.
It was only after the song reached its ending, that a few seconds later, massive clapping and cheering erupted.