NCT are a male K-Pop group that debuted under SM Entertainment this year. They are a group that will have an unlimited number of members and multiple sub units to be based in various cities all over the globe.
Currently, there are 9 active members: Taeil, Taeyong, Yuta, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun, Winwin, Mark and Haechan. There are two sub units so far: NCT U and NCT 127. NCT U is the group’s main sub unit and they have released 2 music videos and singles: ‘The 7th Sense’ and ‘Without You’ (the latter was released in both Korean and Chinese). NCT 127 is the Seoul-based unit (127 are the longitude coordinates of the city). NCT 127 has released one music video: ‘Fire Truck’, and one album entitled ‘NCT #127’.
The NCT U members are: Taeil, Taeyong, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun and Mark, while the NCT 127 members are: Taeil, Taeyong, Yuta, Jaehyun, WinWin, Mark and Haechan.
The name NCT stands for ‘Neo Cultural Technology’, which is a term coined by SM Entertainment CEO Lee Soo Man. It is a strategy employed by the company to maximise the effect the Hallyu wave has on the world. It is said to involve three main steps: the training process, international collaborations and joint ventures. By giving comprehensive training to idols and engaging in forming global connections, it is Soo Man’s belief that K-Pop will have the widest success. It is an apt name for this group then, as each sub unit will be based in different places worldwide in an effort to achieve maximum global outreach.
As you might expect, the existing members come from various different countries. Taeil, Taeyong, Doyoung, Jaehyun and Haechan are South Korean, Yuta is Japanese, Ten is Thai, WinWin is Chinese and Mark is Canadian.
Despite only being active since April this year, NCT have already made themselves known on apps, television and soundtracks. ‘NCT On Air’, ‘NCT Live in Bangkok’ and ‘NCT Life in Seoul’ were all broadcast through the V-App. Taeil sang the track ‘Because of You’ for drama series ‘The Merchant: Gaekju’ (2016) and Doyoung collaborated with SHINee’s Key for the track ‘Cool’ which featured on the OST of ’38 Revenue Collection Unit’ (2016). NCT U have already won an award too, managing to bag the ‘New Star Award’ at the 2016 Asia Model Awards.
For the unfamiliar, the premise of an unlimited member, multiple sub unit group will be quite overwhelming, but with further plans to launch units based in Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai, things are set to get even more crazy for NCT!
The concept of tailoring idol groups to appeal to different countries is not entirely new. Those who are fans of J-Pop will have likely heard of AKB48 – a girl group based in Akihabara and with many sister groups throughout Japan, China and Indonesia. Of course, SM Entertainment have also experimented in the past with groups tailored to both South Korea and China with the likes of EXO-K and EXO-M as well as Super Junior and Super Junior M.
It will be interesting to see what the future of NCT holds and how far SM Entertainment will extend their reach. One thing is for sure, fans will certainly be spoilt for choice!
Check out some videos of NCT in action below:
NCT U – ‘The 7th Sense’ MV
NCT U – ‘Without You’ MV
NCT 127 – ‘Fire Truck’ MV