K-Pop World Music Festival is coming to Manila in two weeks, and they’ll be bringing some familiar faces! The event will be on June 9, 2019 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena with Red Velvet, NCT 127, ELRIS, Sohee of ELRIS, and Kim Dong Han.
As we approach D-Day, let’s get to know the sole male group in the line-up: NCT 127!
From Seoul to the world
NCT 127 debuted on July 7, 2016 under SM Entertainment, as part of the NCT umbrella. Compared to Korea-based sub-units like NCT U (which rotates the line-up based on the members they want to highlight) and NCT Dream (which is composed of members under 19 years old), NCT 127 aims to bring K-Pop to the rest of the globe.
The group started with seven members—Taeyong, Taeil, Jaehyun, Mark, Yuta, Winwin, and Haechan—before new members arrived later on: Johnny and Doyoung in 2017, and Jungwoo in 2018. Winwin paused his promotions with the group to prepare for promotions with NCT’s Chinese sub-unit, WayV.
NCT 127’s music is experimental, their title tracks are usually a fusion of electro-pop, hip-hop, and synth. Here’s a look at their first two singles, “Fire Truck” and “LIMITLESS”:
Although it had taken a while for mainstream South Korean music listeners to appreciate their songs, NCT 127 finally made breakthroughs, as proven with their first win with the song “Cherry Bomb.”
The group also showed their versatility with the song “Touch”, a pop-infused song and a refreshing departure from their previous sounds.
A two-week promotion in the United States in 2018 for their first full album, Regular-Irregular, gave them a chance to appeal to a wider audience. It paid off, with their title track “Regular” earning four number-one wins in music shows:
The group had also been active in their promotions in Japan. They debuted in 2018 with the mini-album Chain, then released a full-length album, Awaken, on April 17. They held a month-long tour in Japan after their Seoul concert.
The title track for their latest EP, We Are Superhuman, is called “Superhuman”, an electropop and more melody-oriented track.
Also noteworthy is the B-side from the same EP, “Highway to Heaven,” a synth-pop ballad that highlights the members’ singing skills.
Fresh off their North American tour for Neo City: The Origin, the group is set to tour Bangkok on June 2 before flying for their Europe tour.
A crash course on NCT 127’s members
Now, let’s get to know the members forming NCT 127!
It’s amazing to see that the boy who initially had no idea of the existence of K-Pop’s big three agencies is now the leader of NCT 127. We first encountered Taeyong when he was featured in Red Velvet’s remake of the song “Be Natural.” Aside writing the rap lyrics for some of the group’s songs, Taeyong is also skilled in arts and crafts, as evidenced by his work in their group’s appearance at Weekly Idol.
NCT 127’s oldest member and main vocalist has proven even before debut that he brings a lot of vocal prowess to the group. Even when he was part of SM Rookies, he already contributed to the OST of the 2015 drama: The Merchant: Gaekju. He’s also smart, having graduated from Seoul Science High School and was almost part of Hanyang University’s Applied Music program until he decided to stay with SM Entertainment.
As the tallest member of NCT 127, Johnny may look intimidating at first, but he’s actually a softie who is considered as the most romantic member and admits to having a collection of plushies in his dorm room. He’s also NCT 127’s resident radio DJ, photographer, and vlogger. And did we mention he’s swoon-worthy when he plays the piano?
NCT 127’s sole Japanese member is known for his healing smile. Initially into soccer, he decided to become an idol after watching performances by TVXQ. During his time in SM Rookies, Yuta showed his eloquence on different issues as a guest in the show Abnormal Summit.
Voted as NCT 127’s most reliable member, Doyoung has taken various roles in his idol career: main vocalist, music show MC, K-Drama OST singer, and group mom. He admits to being a homebody, hardly coming out of the dorm and keeping a mini-fridge in his room. He also has the cutest relationship with his brother, actor Gong Myung.
Who remembers his trademark “I’ve lived in America for four years” during SM Rookies days? From being part of NCT 127’s vocal line to dancing, rapping, and vocaling, Jaehyun has proven that he’s more about his visuals. (But really, HIS VISUALS.) He’s also part of the famous 97-liner group chat, composed of GOT7’s Bambam and Yugyeom; BTS’ Jungkook; SEVENTEEN’s Mingyu, The8, and DK; and ASTRO’s Cha Eunwoo.
Jungwoo is the recent addition to NCT 127’s member line-up, but it feels like he’s been part of the group for a while. He actually trained at SM for three years, making an appearance in Super Junior Yesung’s MV for “Paper Umbrella.” We can’t wait for Jungwoo to show what else he’s capable of!
The words “absolutely, fully capable” (from their song “Mad City”) are the best words to describe Mark. He’s known as NCT’s ace rookie, having debuted in NCT U, 127, and Dream. (He graduated from NCT Dream in 2018.) Despite displaying amazing skills at singing, rapping, and dancing, Mark has also proven to be adorably awkward on many occasions.
NCT 127’s maknae skipped most of the group’s concert tour in Japan due to injury, but he’s now back and well! His stage name means “Full Sun,” and he certainly embodies it by showering his fellow members with affection. And did we mention he has a pudu at L.A. Zoo named after him? They even met during their Los Angeles stop!
Winwin specializes in traditional Chinese dance and is known for being the most flexible member of NCT 127. He’s admitted that he doesn’t like skinship, although he admitted that he didn’t mind being touched by Mark and Taeil on separate occasions. He’s busy promoting as a member of WayV, and the group’s hard work is paying off as they are enjoying success after the release of their first mini-album, Take Off.
Catch NCT 127 at the K-Pop World Music Festival, happening on June 9 at the Mall of Asia Arena. The event is brought to you by DnM Entertainment and All Access Production. Tickets are available at all SM Ticket outlets.