NCT 127 Discuss Their Inner ‘Superhuman’ and Which Avengers They Relate to Most
NCT 127 proved K-pop is limitless as they kicked off their first solo U.S. tour, the Neo City: The Origins World Tour, at the Prudential Center on April 24.
No stranger to American K-pop fans who might've seen the group at previous KCONs or on U.S. television, NCT 127's ongoing rise in the west was certified when the Newark, NJ arena was filled with glowing neon green lights and fan chants.
Originally debuting as an NCT sub-group of seven — Taeyong, Taeil, Jaehyun, Mark, Yuta, Winwin and Haechan — NCT 127 released their first single, "Fire Truck," in the summer of 2016 under SM Entertainment. By the end of 2016, members Johnny and Doyoung had joined the band, making NCT 127 a nine-member group. They released two EPs the following year that featured crowd favorites "Limitless" and "Cherry Bomb," singles that only amplified the group's traction.
By 2018, the group carried a Japanese debut under their belt as well as a Michael Jackson tribute alongside Jason Derulo and Lay Zhang called "Shut Up and Dance." Their first full-length album, Regular-Irregular, featured an English version of their lead single "Regular" and they added a new member to the group: Jungwoo.
With sounds meshing upbeat hip-hop, R&B and electro-pop, NCT 127 garnered the interest of many as their music coincided with today's music trends. Their efforts expanding to the U.S. market as one of K-pop's most popular third generation groups haven't gone unnoticed as they began to make appearances on American television, radio and, now, their own U.S. tour for their new We Are Superhuman EP, out May 24.
After a whirlwind of press runs leading up to the first night of their U.S. solo tour, we caught up with NCT 127 before and after the show at the Prudential Center to talk about the tour, their new EP and the Avengers.
Leading up to the tour kick-off, you guys have been everywhere in NYC this past week! What was one of your most memorable moments you’ve had as a group?
Jaehyun: There were a lot of really fun and precious moments and memories we made during our time in New York. I think the most memorable moments were probably when we performed "Superhuman" on Good Morning America, and then when we rented an Airbnb in Brooklyn and cooked food and hung out together all day.
With We Are Superhuman dropping soon, can you tell us about what being "superhuman" means to you?
Mark: I believe that being superhuman is you having the ability to become your own hero, and that’s what the song is about. It’s about how everyone has the potential to become their own heroes. As long as you stay true to yourself and fully believe in yourself, the superhuman within you will shine. We are trying to spread that positive message throughout the song and it personally means a lot to me to be able to give off good vibes to all our listeners and fans. I really think it’s important that in whatever you do, you stay positive.
Which song off the EP song should fans look out for?
Johnny: Of course our title song "Superhuman" is the song that I am most excited about, but "Highway to Heaven" is a song that I’m looking forward to very much. "Superhuman" is a song you really want to dance to while "Highway to Heaven" is a song you really want to groove to. I feel our fans will love these two songs and our new EP very much.
Jungwoo: A song I’d recommend is "Jet Lag." It’s one of those songs that you want to listen to in the morning, and just puts you in a good mood.
How about the song you love performing the most live?
Haechan: "Superhuman" for sure! Because it’s the first time we’re performing the full version on stage for our fans. And I think our fans are enjoying it, so that makes it so much more fun to perform.
Yuta: Personally, it would be "Replay." For this particular performance, we get to enjoy it more with our fans—waving our light sticks in unison with them, it’s a sweet moment for us.
This is just the beginning of the tour, but after it wraps, what is one thing you want everyone to know about NCT 127?
Doyoung: I want all our fans to know that we are a group that pulls off the many genres and stages we have at our concert during this tour. I hope they remember all the performances we worked hard for them to enjoy. And especially traveling to different cities and meeting and seeing all these fans makes me hope that they can see how important they are to us. We’re definitely taking this opportunity to get closer to them, and I hope our fans can see that.
For fans who have tickets to one of your upcoming shows and just can’t wait, what are some things they can expect or anticipate from the show?
Taeyong: There’s a lot to expect and anticipate… But I’d say out of all of that, I want our fans to anticipate their meeting with us. I’m the most expectant and excited about this part—getting to actually meet and see our fans up close within the same space, spending time together and enjoying it together. Even though we speak different languages, the fact that we show our support for each other and express it to each other is really precious and unforgettable.
What are some of your favorite songs by other artists on your playlists right now?
Mark: A song that I have in my playlist that I am currently listening to is "Bad Luck" by Khalid. There isn't a bad song in his album! I was playing that song on the speakers in our tour bus.
Taeil: A song I’ve been listening to a lot these days is "Narcos" by Migos! I really enjoy Migos’ distinct groove and vibe, so I’d love to collaborate with him someday.
Considering NCT 127 is comprised of "Superhumans," which hero from The Avengers do you relate to the most and why?
Taeil: I like Spider-Man the best. His goofy side is quite charming!
Johnny: Thor is a character that I can sort of relate to. How he can be serious, but also a bit goofy at the same time. Also, he’s a pretty confident guy, and I think I can relate to that side a bit, too.
Taeyong: I like all the Avengers, but my favorite would have to be Iron Man. He looks like he has it altogether on the outside, but he is also lonely—and I think that duality is cool, so he’s my favorite.
Yuta: Iron Man! He’s strong, charismatic and also really funny.
Doyoung: I’d say Quicksilver! Because then I’d be able to wash up super fast… And just do everything really quickly.
Jaehyun: Spider-Man! I really love the Spider-Man movies, and I think within the Avengers, Spider-Man is pretty cute and an all-around charming character.
Jungwoo: The Hulk! Because I have my own Hulk within me.
Mark: I choose Spider-Man. The way Peter Parker, starting out as just an average student in school, then ending up with the supernatural powers of Spider-Man, and then choosing to use those abilities for the greater good is something that’s very admirable. In the same way, I wish to use my potential and abilities in the best way I can for what's good and right.
Haechan: Hawkeye! I tried shooting arrows for a TV show in Korea once, and it was a lot of fun. And I was pretty good at it. So I want to do it more often going forward now!
And most importantly... You guys have been to the States multiple times, so we just need to know: In-N-Out or Shake Shack?
Mark, Johnny, Yuta, Taeil: In-N-Out!
Haechan, Taeyong, Doyoung, Jungwoo: Shake Shack!
Mark: It's a tie! We love both!