Entertainment

Reintroducing NCT, The 23-Member K-Pop Band Of The Future

Ahead of Pt. 2 of their latest comeback, we checked in on K-Pop's most forward-facing boy band.

What if your favorite boy band functioned more like a global franchise? Where, instead of one static, centralized group, there were instead several smaller subdivisions based around the world, each with their own songs, projects, band lore — and infinitely more boys to crush on.

Enter NCT, major K-pop label SM Entertainment's massive and ambitious boy band that's essentially, and incredibly, just that. (Its full name — Neo Culture Technology — even nods to the forward-facing aspect of that concept.) At a staggering 23 members, the mega-group is currently comprised of four different subdivisions: NCT U, a non-fixed band designed to have a different cast every comeback; NCT 127, a fixed subunit based in Seoul; NCT Dream; and WayV, a fixed seven-member subunit based in China; plus, two new faces that were introduced this past September: Shotaro and Sungchan.

Although each subunit usually operates as its own malleable and ever-evolving organism, occasionally they all come together for one supersized family project. They did it once in 2018 with their first album as a mega collective, NCT 2018 Empathy, though they only had 18 members at that time. Now, with a newly expanded cast of characters, NCT have come together again for their second major reunion: NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1, out now.

Full of songs that range from whistling, ear-catching pop and old-school hip-hop to piano-backed slow jams and K-pop's classic sugary pop zingers, the record is a colorful mosaic that proves the infinite versatility of the group. And if you were worried about how 23 people would sing one track — the group’s got that figured out, too, and quite ingeniously. Different combinations of the cast appear on different tracks, a strategy that truly makes the most of every member's unique talent. It's like the world's most well-curated grab bag, and it surely makes one wonder: Could this be the future of boy bands?

As the name of the album suggests, NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 2 is on the way. Ahead of its release later this year, NYLON caught up with all 23 members and got to know everything from their astrology signs and last-played songs to their guilty pleasures.

1. Taeil

Taeil
  • Full name: TAEIL MOON
  • Nickname: Teddy Bear
  • Astrological sign: Gemini
  • Favorite singer/band: Stevie Wonder
  • Guilty pleasure: Eating ice from the freezer like a snack
  • Last-played song: “Alright Summer Time” – LOCO (ft. Sam Kim), “We Go High” – Chance the Rapper
  • If I wasn't a singer, I'd be: A regular businessman working at a company
2. Johnny
Johnny
  • Full name: JOHN JUN SUH
  • Nickname: JOHNNY
  • Astrological sign: Aquarius
  • Favorite singer/band: Coldplay
  • Guilty pleasure: Staying up all night and playing games till morning
  • Last-played song: “Tick Tock” – Joji, “Let it Go” – Summer Walker
  • If I wasn't a singer, I'd be: Actor

3. Taeyong

Taeyong
  • Full name: TAEYONG LEE
  • Nickname: “Ttyong”
  • Astrological sign: Cancer
  • Favorite singer/band: NCT, SuperM, TVXQ!, SHINee, EXO, WayV
  • Guilty pleasure: I like to watch my pet snail and crawfish play in the tank
  • Last-played song: “Fog” – Zitten, “December” – Zitten
  • If I wasn't a singer, I'd be: Farmer
4. Yuta
Yuta
  • Full name: YUTA NAKAMOTO
  • Nickname: “Nayuta”
  • Astrological sign: Scorpio
  • Favorite singer/band: L'Arc-en-Ciel
  • Guilty pleasure: Watching a sad drama alone at night and crying
  • Last-played song: “From Home” – NCT U, “Make A Wish” – NCT U, Piano music
  • If I wasn't a singer, I'd be: Hairdresser/hairstylist
5. Doyoung
Doyoung
  • Full name: DONGYOUNG KIM
  • Nickname: “ddoing”, “doyochi”
  • Astrological sign: Aquarius
  • Favorite singer/band: Girls Generation, Park Hyo-Shin
  • Guilty pleasure: Drinking decaf Americano to wake up
  • Last-played song: “From Home” – NCT U, “Make A Wish” – NCT U
  • If I wasn't a singer, I'd be: Working at a stage production job
6. Ten
Ten
  • Full name: CHITTAPHON LEECHAIYAPORNKUL
  • Nickname: TEN, Lee Yong Qin
  • Astrological sign: Pisces
  • Favorite singer/band: Taemin, BoA, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake
  • Guilty pleasure: I always watch dramas before bed no matter how early I have to get up the next morning
  • Last-played song: “Gone” – NSYNC, “Rainberry” – ZAYN, “Lonely” – Justin Bieber
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Something related to creative art and performing music
7. Jaehyun
Jaehyun
  • Full name: YUNO JEONG
  • Nickname: Jay
  • Astrological sign: Aquarius
  • Favorite singer/band: Usher, Tom Misch, D'Angelo, Justin Timberlake
  • Guilty pleasure: Pistachio ice cream
  • Last-played song: “Holy” – Justin Bieber ft. Chance the Rapper, “Say So” – PJ Morton ft. Jojo
  • If I wasn't a singer, I'd be: Theme park designer
8. Winwin
WinWin
  • Full name: SICHENG DONG
  • Nickname: 昀昀 (Chinese nickname)
  • Astrological sign: Scorpio
  • Favorite singer/band: Jay Chou
  • Guilty pleasure: Eating late at night until I’m super full
  • Last-played song: “Baby” – Jung Key, “My Dear” – Jung Key, “Weekend” – Jung Key
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Maybe a businessman
9. Mark
Mark
  • Full name: MARK LEE
  • Nickname: Seagull
  • Astrological sign: Leo
  • Favorite singer/band: Justin Bieber
  • Guilty pleasure: Eating late at night
  • Last-played song: “Spicy” – Ty Dolla $ign ft. Post Malone, “Why Would I Stop” – Big Sean
  • If I wasn't a singer, I'd be: Author/Novelist
10. Renjun
Renjun
  • Full name: RENJUN HUANG
  • Nickname: RENJUN
  • Astrological sign: Aries
  • Favorite singer/band: One Direction
  • Guilty pleasure: I like the smell of the sauce bar in the kitchen
  • Last-played song: “Always Remember Us This Way” – Lady Gaga, “Always I’ll Care” – Jeremy Zucker
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Something related to the arts
11. Jeno
Jeno

  • Full name: JENO LEE
  • Nickname: Jeno-jam
  • Astrological sign: Taurus
  • Favorite singer/band: Nowadays, NCT U
  • Guilty pleasure: Buying four different kinds of sweet and sour flavored candy and eating them all at once
  • Last-played song: “Falling” – Harry Styles, “Make a Wish” – NCT U, “From Home” – NCT U
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Not completely sure but I think I’d be doing something that requires making or designing something like an architect or a car designer
12. Haechan
Haechan
  • Full name: DONGHYUK LEE
  • Nickname: Full Sun
  • Astrological sign: Gemini
  • Favorite singer/band: Michael Jackson
  • Guilty pleasure: Binge-watch Netflix shows on my computer while eating a late-night meal in my room
  • Last-played song: “Try” – Park Won, “Mistaken” – Yang Da Il, “1+1=0” – SURAN
  • If I wasn't a singer, I'd be: A regular student who likes music and dance
13. Jaemin
Jaemin
  • Full name: JAEMIN NA
  • Nickname: Nana
  • Astrological sign: Leo
  • Favorite singer/band: Justin Bieber
  • Guilty pleasure: Turn on some really moody music to set the atmosphere, then proceed to edit photos on my phone
  • Last-played song: “Positions” – Ariana Grande
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Surgeon
14. Chenle
Chenle
  • Full name: CHENLE ZHONG
  • Nickname: KH
  • Astrological sign: Scorpio
  • Favorite singer/band: Brian McKnight
  • Guilty pleasure: I tend to sweat a lot when I’m eating so I use a lot of Kleenex
  • Last-played song: “Time” – Hans Zimmer, “Tennessee” – Hans Zimmer, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Josh Groban & Brian McKnight
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Basketball player
15. Jisung
Jisung
  • Full name: JISUNG PARK
  • Nickname: JISUNG
  • Astrological sign: Aquarius
  • Favorite singer/band: Coldplay, Russ, NCT, Lil Peep
  • Guilty pleasure: I like to imagine the kind of stages I want to perform — and imagine those that make me look really good
  • Last-played song: “Mid Air” – Paul Buchanan, “Lying” – PRETTYMUCH (ft. Lil Tjay), “Gone Girl” – Iann Dior
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Dancer or an astronaut
16. Lucas
Lucas
  • Full name: YUK HEI WONG
  • Nickname: Giant Baby
  • Astrological sign: Aquarius
  • Favorite singer/band: J. Cole
  • Guilty pleasure: I always leave the last bite of my burger
  • Last-played song: “Holy” – Justin Bieber, “Lonely” – Justin Bieber, “Diamonds” – Sam Smith
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Fireman
17. Jungwoo
Jungwoo
  • Full name: JUNGWOO KIM
  • Nickname: Zeus
  • Astrological sign: Pisces
  • Favorite singer/band: One Direction
  • Guilty pleasure: Eating a late-night meal a couple hours after dinner
  • Last-played song: “Fallin’ Out” - Keyshia Cole, “September” - Earth, Wind & Fire
  • If I wasn't a singer, I'd be: I’m not really sure what else I’d be doing but something related to music and dance for sure
18. Kun
Kun
  • Full name: KUN QIAN
  • Nickname: Kun Ge/Xiao Nuo
  • Astrological sign: Capricorn
  • Favorite singer/band: Jay Chou & Boys II Men
  • Guilty pleasure: Eating late-night snacks while dieting
  • Last-played song: “From Home” – NCT U, “Call Out My Name” – The Weeknd, “Mojito” – Jay Chou
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Pilot
19. Xiaojun
XiaoJun
  • Full name: DEJUN XIAO
  • Nickname: DJ, JUNJUN
  • Astrological sign: Leo
  • Favorite singer/band: Justin Bieber, Sleeping At Last
  • Guilty pleasure: Eating a lot of fried and spicy foods
  • Last-played song: “Holy” – Justin Bieber, “Can’t Smile Without You” – Barry Manilow, “What A Wonderful World” – Louis Armstrong
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Game programmer
20. YangYang
YangYang
  • Full name: YANGYANG LIU
  • Nickname: 羊羊 (Chinese nickname)
  • Astrological sign: Libra
  • Favorite singer/band: Travis Scott, Ariana Grande
  • Guilty pleasure: I always eat dessert after every meal. I can skip a meal but not dessert.
  • Last-played song: “Yosemite” – Travis Scott, “Element” – Kendrick Lamar, “7 Rings” – Ariana Grande
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Race car driver
21. Hendery
Hendery
  • Full name: KUN HANG (HENDERY) WONG
  • Nickname: Donkey
  • Astrological sign: Libra
  • Favorite singer/band: Mac Miller
  • Guilty pleasure: I like to have all kinds of tissues and wipes in my room (Kleenex, a large pack of wet wipes, travel pack wet wipes, alcohol wipes and etc.)
  • Last-played song: “GIANTS” – True Damage, “Self Care” – Mac Miller, “History” – Rich Brian
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: A guy who likes to study
22. Shotaro
Shotaro
  • Full name: SHOTARO OSAKI
  • Nickname: Taro
  • Astrological sign: Sagittarius
  • Favorite singer/band: Official Hige Dandism
  • Guilty pleasure: Dancing in the middle of the street when I hear good music
  • Last-played song: “Holy” – Justin Bieber, “You Got It” – VEDO, “Make a Wish” – NCT U
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: Dancer
23. Sungchan
SungChan
  • Full name: SUNGCHAN JUNG
  • Nickname: “Jinsu-Sungchan,” which means “a sumptuous feast” in Korean
  • Astrological sign: Virgo
  • Favorite singer/band: Shawn Mendes
  • Guilty pleasure: Eating super-soggy cereal
  • Last-played song: “Holy” – Justin Bieber, “Wonder” – Shawn Mendes
  • If I wasn’t a singer, I’d be: University student