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.
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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Style + Culture, delivered straight to your inbox.