With the aggressive publicity campaigns, many people knew about Fang Zhao's concert. However, as it wasn't a mainstream concert and Fang Zhao could only be considered a rookie in the music circles, naturally, he could not be compared to those singers with lots of experience and fans.
However, as someone involved with military affairs, gaming, and music, Fang Zhao had quite a lot of fans as well. On the first day of advanced ticket sales, live tickets were completely sold out and 70% of streaming passes were sold.
The problem of the venue not filling up that many had previously worried about would no longer occur. At the current rate, even streaming passes would be sold out within a few days.
As one of the three main music halls, "Golden Age" had a limit to its streaming passes. Regardless of what methods other business-minded concert halls used, "Golden Age" would only release a maximum of 10,000 streaming passes.
Thus, for many people who had adopted a wait and see approach, the moment they saw that live tickets could no longer be purchased and streaming tickets seemed to be selling out fast, they quickly went and booked a streaming pass, thinking that even if they didn't wish to go when the time came, they could still resell it to others. After all, it was better to get it first and decide later, thus preventing future regrets.
It was also at this time that Fang Zhao went for an interview with the other media organization that had arranged for an interview.
Previously, Silver Wing had helped arrange for Fang Zhao to appear on two interview talk shows. One was Huangzhou's "Star of Tomorrow," which had already concluded, and the other was Yanzhou's reputable media outlet "Prairie Fire."
The location of the interview was set at Prairie Fire's headquarters in the heart of Qi'an City and was not too far from where Fang Zhao stayed.
Fang Zhao's two bodyguards, Zuo Yu and Yan Biao, displayed their usefulness this time around and obstructed a few entertainment reporters that were already camping in the area.
This interview was different from the live broadcast of "Star of Tomorrow." This time, it would be a recorded interview. After filming, Silver Wing personnel would go through it once, and if there were no problems, it would then be broadcasted.
Having experience from the previous interview, this time, Fang Zhao no longer made the interview awkward at the start. Furthermore, this time around, the interview's atmosphere was more relaxed, as the style of "Prairie Fire" was different from that of "Star of Tomorrow." It was more entertainment oriented. The important points to be covered in the interview had already been set by Silver Wing, and they centered around the concert that would be held in August.
Matters about his military service and gaming had already been talked about in detail during the "Star of Tomorrow" interview. Thus, for today's interview, while these topics were briefly touched upon, but there was no need to ask about them again.
The host laughed and asked, "What will the duration of your concert in August be like? Will it be similar to other concerts, between 90 minutes and 2 hours?"
Fang Zhao nodded. "More or less."
"I would have thought it would be slightly longer. After all, it's all your own works. A symphony orchestra will perform the pieces—you don't have to perform them personally, right? It shouldn't be as tiring as those singers' concerts."
"I won't be tired, but the orchestra members will. A live performance isn't prerecorded. Furthermore, I have only set 10 songs, and there will be time for breaks, introducing the backgrounds behind my compositions, and other information. So, adding all this up, the time won't be too long."
"I hear that the pieces prepared for the concert are all related to your military service? I have also seen a year of channel S5 live broadcasts and heard Kevin Lin mentioned many times that you spent a portion of time composing at night?"
"All of them are pieces composed during my military service. Every song is related to my experience during military service."
The host faced the camera and made a sighing expression. "Taking a look at others' military service and then remembering my own military service experiences makes me feel like I have wasted away some years of my life." The host again asked, "That means to say that these 10 songs are pieces that have never been made public before?"
Actually, he had said 10 songs, but he would surely have prepared a few extra songs beforehand in the event of unforeseen circumstances. This was something everyone in the industry knew. Not just for orchestra concerts at music halls, even at those singers' large-scale concerts, if they were set to perform 15 songs, they would prepare at least 18 to 20, and sometimes even more.
Inside Fang Zhao's notebook, there were not just 10 completed songs, and for uncompleted songs, there were even more.
The symphony orchestra had 12 songs to practice, but the 10 songs that Fang Zhao had chosen were works he felt were most representative of him, and they were the 10 songs that he was most satisfied with.
The interview progressed according to how Silver Wing had planned it. After the recording was done, more stuff would be added during postproduction. For example, special effects and inserting certain videos. Of course, there was also a raffle where a barcode would be displayed. Viewers could use their personal bracelets to scan the barcode to see whether they won a prize.
For this interview, Silver Wing had provided one live concert ticket, 10 online streaming passes, 20 small ornaments that had been made from Baiji ore, and a few cards with Fang Zhao's autograph as prizes for the raffle. Therefore, even people who had no interest in this interview also had a chance to test their luck.
Generally speaking, for these sorts of Yanzhou interview talk shows, the audience was mainly people from Yanzhou. Foreigners generally would not watch them. However, when this interview was broadcast, in a certain senior management office in Fiery Bird's Huangzhou headquarters, there were a few people watching this interview.
"We have only signed Fang Zhao for the endorsement of the new model of earpieces?" the person seated at the head of the table asked.
"Yes, it's the model of earpiece dubbed the 'Diting.' Aren't Fang Zhao's ears called 'divine ears'? Back then, shortly after the discovery of Baiji ore, we approached him for a contract."
The person seated at the head of the table fell silent, and the entire room became quiet.
Several minutes later, the person at the head of the table drummed his fingers on it, making everyone turn their attention to him. "Increase the endorsement."
The other people in the room had astonished faces. "This... shouldn't we exercise more prudence and consider this some more? After all, Fang Zhao is still considered a rookie in the music circles."
The person at the head of the table did not get angry. "Voice your opinions."
"Fang Zhao is, after all, a newcomer in the composing circles. Although his first concert seems amusing and he has accumulated popularity from his military service days and the publicity of the company behind him, if the concert doesn't turn out well, won't we experience the repercussions as well?"
"Even if his concert results aren't up to scratch, as long as his ears are good, we can still continue to generate buzz. From what I know, a few reality singing shows were already considering looking up Fang Zhao even before he discovered the grade A power ore on planet Baiji. The deals probably have not been sealed yet, since Fang Zhao is putting all his effort into preparing for the concert. Furthermore, behind Fang Zhao stands Silver Wing. Given what Silver Wing's publicity has shown, they surely won't give up on Fang Zhao."
Although it was not known how Fang Zhao's concert would turn out, they had selected Fang Zhao mainly because of his ears.
"Divine ears," "Diting," and other sorts of nicknames given to his ears, which were much more effective than a normal human's, were things that everyone would still acknowledge in times to come, regardless of how his concert turned out.
With planet Baiji's development now, some science books had already published new editions crediting planet Baiji's grade A ore's discovery to Fang Zhao. Also, the new element "Zh," or Zhaoium, had already been recorded down and was timeless.
This was something that other global stars did not have. This was the advantage that Fang Zhao had!
Back then, wasn't this the reason they had picked Fang Zhao out of so many other candidates?
There were no idiots sitting here, and their minds started pondering. From the things that the head of the table had pointed out, everyone here now understood.
They were letting Fang Zhao endorse earpieces and other sound and stereo equipment. With the primary focus on "listening," there was nobody more suitable than Fang Zhao!
"So what you mean is?"
"Just an earpiece endorsement is being wasteful. We should create a series!" The person at the head of the table had a burning gaze and stared at the blueprints displayed in front of him. On the blueprints was an abstract drawing of the mythical beast Diting. Originally, the plan had been to use it as the decorative design on the model of earpieces that Fang Zhao endorsed. Every series rolled out by Fiery Bird had an individual characteristic; this had been Fiery Bird's style all along.
After the meeting ended and everyone else in the room left, the person who was seated at the head of the table picked up his internal comms device and contacted the deputy head of the sound effects department, Hua Li. He remembered that Hua Li had talked about Fang Zhao before. A more important scene in "Battle of the Century" had made use of a piece composed by Fang Zhao.
"Hua Li, do you still remember Fang Zhao?"
"I remember him, all right. As a matter of fact, I still keep in contact with him. I even received live tickets for his concert from him. When the time comes, I will surely be there. Why, do you also want to attend the concert?" Hua Li was curious. Besides people from their sound effects department, other people in the company did not have this sort of interest toward music, and among those in their department that often went to concerts, only a few truly enjoyed it. Most of them only went to raise their artistic style and as a way to package themselves better by being pretentious.
"I don't have much interest in concerts. Even if I wished to listen to it, I would purchase a streaming pass. I called to ask you something. According to what you have seen, do you reckon Fang Zhao's concert will be a success?"
Hua Li paused and did not give an immediate reply. Instead, he asked, "Tell me what you mean by your concept of 'success'? An evaluation from an academic? Or the points of view of fans and the masses?"
"We are a business-oriented company."
With this sentence, Hua Li understood.
What the other part meant was Fang Zhao's commercial value!
Viewing it in terms of pure commercial value, the most simple and straightforward way to judge whether the concert would be a success was whether the copyrights of the pieces brought out by Fang Zhao to be performed could be completely sold out and whether they would fetch high prices!
Pondering for a bit, Hua Li replied, "I have only listened to Fang Zhao's previous pieces. Whether his style has seen any changes in his one year of military service or what the quality of his pieces will be like, I have no idea and can make no assumptions. However, making a guess from what I know about that little fellow and taking reference from his older works, I feel that his concert will be a success."
"That should be enough." The tone of the person in the office sounded more relaxed. He did not understand Fang Zhao, but he understood his old colleague Hua Li.
Since Hua Li had say this much, it verified that the probability of Fang Zhao's concert being a success was really high.
This was more than enough!
After ending the call with Hua Li, he instructed his subordinates, "Contact the Yanzhou branch, get them to contact Fang Zhao regarding increasing his endorsements."
Although there was some risk in deciding now, if they waited till after the concert ended and commenced talks in August, that would be too late. He still wished to borrow the traction of Fang Zhao's concert to promote some specialized earpieces for listening to concerts and for other stereo equipment. Even when watching recorded videos of Fang Zhao's concert, specialized earpieces would sound much better than normal ones.
His plan was to create a series!
The "Diting" series!