Music Radar: NCT 127, Latin K-pop/trap


Once that K-pop has turned from niche to mass market on a global scale, bilingual Korean/English boy bands do really stand a chance in making it in the US: this is what is going to happen to NCT 127.

NCT 127 엔시티 127 ‘Regular (English Ver.)’ MV

Boy bands: after the decline/split of One Direction, we were in acceptance of a world without boy bands. But it isn’t going to be like that just yet. We’ve seen it with K-pop, with BTS and EXO and, after only 28 months of their birth, with NCT 127.

A catchy name for ten boys who in just over 2 years have escalated to millions and millions of views, and just lately, with the release of their first full album, to conquering fans of music, not just fans of K-pop. Standing for Neo Culture Technology and referring to the Seoul geographical longitude, the name NCT 127 is actually part of a much bigger idea.

NCT 127, a different idea

In 2016 Lee Soo-Man, SM Entertainment’s CEO wanted to create a new boy band but with a twist: they would be based in cities around the world and orbiting through different units. An idea that might speak huge potential, but on paper was destined to be more impractical than productive. That year NCT debuted as NCT U with The 7th Sense and later in July the members of their first formation  Lee Taeyong, Moon Taeil, Mark, Jaehyun (Jung Yoon Oh), and Chinese member Winwin (Dong Si Cheng), plus newcomers Haechan and Japanese member Nakamoto Yuta, became NCT 127. Doyoung  and Johnny were added by the end of 2016 and Kim Jungwoo in 2018.

NCT 127: why they will lead the way

If you listen to Regular, the first track from their latest album, you will understand how NCT 127’s potential in appealing to a worldwide audience is real. Even though they come from an original idea that probably aimed at creating a ‘satellite’ group leading the other ‘gangs’ around the world’,  an idea that wanted NCT members to be very interchangeable, today NCT 127 can promote their own identity, and that’s exactly what’s getting people so hyped about them.

The track has been released in English and Korean at the same time, but the turning point is for what concerns the music video. Not only two versions of the same track, but two video versions of the same track.

NCT 127 Music style

A blend of excruciatingly good to watch dances performed on a type of music that could be considered a genre of its own, and we are not talking about K-pop per se. What NCT are doing with their music style is unique: they are able to blend trap with synth pop, and give it a final touch of latin oomph. Originality is written all over NCT 127 tracks, they just have to make sure they don’t get swarmed in by the increasing number of emerging K-pop artists.

NCT 127 엔시티 127 ‘Cherry Bomb’ MV

NCT 127 look

NCT 127 have been setting the bar high also on a fashion point of view: the 10 boys showcase themselves in gender fluid clothing and often wear colorful lipsticks to go with the likewise vibrant pink and red hair.

Watch out!


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