The video for NCT U’s ‘Rain Day’ opens with members TAEIL, KUN and YANGYANG arranging to hang out over the phone. The trio, with a very cute corgi in tow, then join up with a group of girls and we follow as the gang takes in the day together, enjoying a picnic, splashing around in the water and shielding away from the rain with a campfire. It’s a snapshot of the casual joy of friendship, of memories you didn’t know would end up your most cherished being born from easy companionship. It’s a comforting motif for the song, not only because its lyrics centre around reminiscing over fond experiences with loved ones, but because it was originally composed by KUN at the start of the pandemic when isolation became the world’s uncomfortable bedfellow.
Though the song was initially inspired over two years ago, it’s now the latest release from NCT LAB, a home for original projects from members of K-Pop’s most ambitious collective NCT. Made up of core subgroups NCT 127, NCT Dream and WayV, ‘Rain Day’ falls under the banner of NCT U, a revolving unit that allows any members from across the 23-strong group to come together and create music, regardless of their home subgroup. Though KUN and YANGYANG are in WayV together, ‘Rain Day’ marks the first time they’ve linked up with TAEIL, the eldest member of NCT 127. The result is a soothing, mid-tempo English-language tune that highlights the unique possibilities that come with forming a group like this.
Speaking to CLASH, TAEIL, KUN and YANGYANG share their memories of making ‘Rain Day’, working together as a unit and their hopes for fans’ reactions to the song.
Congratulations on ‘Rain Day’! What was the process of making this song together? Aside from the video, did much of the production take place as a group or did you all do your parts individually?
YANGYANG: KUN did almost all the producing by himself, but he always asked members for advice and feedback. It was fun to collaborate together in that way.
KUN: I was very happy to work on this song with TAEIL and YANGYANG. Both of them are very talented,so the recording process was smooth. We’ve also gained a lot of confidence in the completion of the song.
TAEIL: We shared our opinions and worked on the song together throughout the process. We also discussed about the things we felt that needs improvement and things we wanted to add more.
KUN, you mentioned before that this song was something you had in the works two years ago. Do you remember where you were when you first started working on it?
[KUN] It was two years ago on a rainy summer day. I usually don’t like rainy weather, but I loved the sound of rain and felt healed on that day. So, I was looking out the window from the terrace of our dorm, and suddenly, I was inspired to record the sound of rain. I ended up putting the sound of rain in the intro of the song. Then, I wrote this song while listening to the sound of rain.
Do you each have a favourite part of the song?
YANGYANG: My favorite part is “fallin’ down all night.” This part got stuck in my head, and I think it’s going to stay there for a long time.
KUN: Personally, my favorite part is “fallin’ down all night” that comes out repeatedly in this song as well. Whenever I hear this part, I feel the electricity running through my body, which is why I’ve put this part in the intro of the song as well.
TAEIL: In the chorus, the melody can be sung all together repeatedly which makes the song memorable. That’s my favorite part.
This is the first time the 3 of you have worked as a unit on a song together. What is it about the 3 of you together that you think is a good fit for this track?
YANGYANG: Each of us has a voice that represents the different characters we have, and it all goes along nicely with this song.
KUN: Each of us has our own unique color! Together, we create a special charm. Through this song, we were able to show our charms even better.
TAEIL: KUN told me that it’d be nice to sing this song together, and I happily participated after hearing it. It’s the first time for just the three of us to work together, and we had a lot of fun.
YANGYANG, I know KUN originally requested you record the rap in this song as part of the demo, how was it to be a part of the final released version?
YANGYANG: KUN kept it almost the same as the original demo, but added a little twist to it for the final released version. I thought that was a genius idea and suited the song so well!
TAEIL, how did it come about that you would be holding a corgi for most of this video?
TAEIL: Since I’m a dog person, I was very happy to hear that the music video plan includes scenes with dogs!
Was the corgi a good co-star?
TAEIL: I had a lot of fun hanging out with the corgi! I think the corgi also had fun filming since I took him on a walk all day. He was a great co-star.
I’m always interested in how it is to film scenes where you have to be in the water for a long time – how was it shooting those bits in the video?
YANGYANG: It was really cold but fun. I thought, ‘how many times in my life will I get to just dance in the rain without any worries?’ It was a really fun experience!
KUN: It was hot during the day, so the underwater scene was actually very refreshing and nice. Since I wore jeans during the underwater scenes, I remember that my pants wouldn’t come off well when I had to change later.
TAEIL: I think it was the last scene we filmed. It was quite cold because there was a big temperature difference between day and night on that day, but I was very happy to see that the scenes came out well.
You get to work together of course as NCT – and KUN and YANGYANG you are in WayV together – but do you get to hang out much in your free time?
YANGYANG: Since we live in the same dorm, we see each other every day. We mostly spend time while having lunch and dinner together.
KUN: Since each member has different schedules, it’s not as easy as before to make time to hang out all together. We usually spend time eating meals together which is really nice.
Have your fellow NCT members given their reaction to the song?
YANGYANG: All of us really liked the song, so when we first heard it, we all gave positive feedback.
KUN: WayV members listened to this song from the very beginning of production, so we listened to this song together long before the release. Our members gave us a lot of good comments and feedback.
TAEIL: The members who watched the music video commented that the corgi that I filmed together was very cute!
When would you like fans to listen to this song most?
YANGYANG: Really anywhere and at any time regardless of our fans’ mood. I think this song can suit a lot of different situations. I hope our fans can take away the energy the song is trying to deliver and that everyone would love this song.
KUN: I think it’d be nice if the fans would think of this song on a rainy day like the name of the song. I think it’s a song that makes you feel good when you listen to it on a rainy day. It also makes you forget about the hot summer weather for a while! I hope it serves as a turning point to appreciate every moment of the present, rather than realizing it once it’s too late.
TAEIL: I hope it’s a song that comes to mind when it rains. Also, I hope it becomes a go-to song for our fans so that they listen to it in the shower, while driving, and on their way to and from work. I hope our fans find comfort by listening to this song, and I hope they really love it.
Words: Lucy Ford // @lucyj_ford