Cherry Bomb: Inside The NCT 127 Whirlwind

Cherry Bomb: Inside The NCT 127 Whirlwind

Up close with the K-Pop phenomenon...

Nine-member K-pop group NCT 127 have been making waves recently for the release of English version of their single ‘Highway to Heaven’, and for the successful close of their first world tour ‘NEO CITY – The Origin’ at Singapore on July 20th. But outside of all of the music, dance, adoration and accolades, they are just ordinary 20-something young men; a fact made clear as they sit down for a surprisingly casual chat after their first London show at Wembley Arena.

Charming and humble, they want to be asked about “where they are going tomorrow” or “what they’ve eaten that day”. And when their request is granted, there is child-like joy and laughter as they gratefully exclaim “we are going Paris tomorrow!” From this exchange it’s clear what they value most seems to be a personal and genuine connection with whoever they are speak with.

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The mention of this connection continues as talk about their tour and fans. Firstly discussing their London stop, rapper Mark says, “Performing in London was beyond our expectations. The people in the city who have been so nice and uplifting, so it made me look forward to the show. At the show itself, the fans had so much energy and passion, I still remember that connection I felt with them.“

While Johnny adds, “To be able to meet our fans and feel that connection in person is amazing. We’ve always known about the fans in other countries, but the connection gets so much deeper after seeing each of them in person.”

This tour, they exclaim, is the highlight of their career. There’s a lot they love about the whole experience, but aside from connecting with fans, their favourite part of touring seems to the cultural exposure. Yuta explains, “Getting to experience new cultures, countries as well as meeting so many people, it really broadens our horizons.”

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So it’s no wonder that they want to indulge in some sight-seeing around London, with the London Eye being high on their list of must-sees. They say: “We’ve seen London in a bunch of movies, and we hope to go around the city today or maybe next time. We’ve heard that the London Eye is amazing and has the best view.”

Expanding on “maybe next time”, Johnny delves into dream venues and countries for the future “ I want to perform in Europe more. This time around we have the chance to perform only in two cities, so more cities would be exciting!”

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Asked what else their future holds, they say: ”Wrapping up our tour and then we are always making music as well, so that’s what everyone has to look forward to.” On the topic of new making music, Mark explains what excites them most: "For NCT it’s all about being ourselves and experimenting at the same time. Whatever we make, we put our hearts into. Making music is what we are best at and it’s something we are always excited to do.”

Adding on about the importance of their fans, he says, “Another thing that always excites us when we put out something new is the fact that our fans are waiting for it. We always anticipate our fans reactions and opinions.”

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Adoring reception from their NCTzens mean a lot to them. When asked who inspires them, their answer is one with no second thoughts. Leader Taeyong who remained relatively silent through the chitchat, is the first to say “our fans are our biggest motivation” with Yuta adding on that they inspire and motivate each other as a band; both answers are met with seven enthusiastic affirmations of the sentiment.

Finally, they are asked what sets NCT 127 apart from the contemporaries. They are confident as they reply: “Performance. That definitely sets us apart, you’ll know if you attend our show!”

There is definitely truth in this statement if their electrifying show at Wembley is anything to go by, something that overcomes language barriers, imbuing a sense of comfort and familiarity that sets them apart from their peers. 

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Words: Malvika Padin // @Malvika_Padin26

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