NCT 127 is a bunch of talented lads, if it’s not already evident from our concert review. The group, comprising Taeyong, Taeil, Yuta, Jaehyun, Mark, Haechan, Johnny, Doyoung and Winwin (who is currently promoting with another subunit, WayV), recently appeared on Apple Music’s Beats 1 in Los Angeles, where they revealed tiny but important information, including the snacks they eat while working in the studio (so you can have them ready on your work desk too) and English songs that they want to do a cover of. Read the full transcript below.
Brooke: You’ve got Brooke Reese here out of Beats 1, LA. This is the Apple Music chart, the biggest songs today from around the world. A special guest, who I am absolutely obsessed with, I love getting to talk music with them, especially when they are going to drop brand new music. We Are Superhuman, their brand new mini-album. NCT 127 is here!
NCT 127: Hi! Hi, we are NCT 127!
Brooke: It’s been a little bit since they’ve hung out here at our Beats 1 LA studios, but I’m always always always happy to have NCT 127. How are you guys doing?
NCT 127: Very good! Long time no see!
Brooke: I know. When was the last time I saw you guys? When you guys dropped Regular – Irregular?
NCT 127: Yes.
NCT 127: The last time… it’s been around 10 months.
Brooke: Absolutely insane. Wait, the last time you were here, didn’t you guys get to FaceTime with DJ Khaled?
NCT 127: Yes! Oh my God, that was crazy.
Brooke: And also, you know, we have to talk about it before we talk about this new project that has arrived, but the album peaked at number one in 22 countries!
NCT 127: Wow, really?
Brooke: Yeah. When you guys hear about that, when that project came out, what does it make you think when you hear number one? Twenty-two countries, that’s a lot!
Johnny: Thank you, guys.
Mark: We just gotta thank our fans.
Brooke: I love hearing that though. That’s why to me, there’s something so special about K-Pop music. Because the fandoms are just so enthralled with you and everything that you do. And the cool thing is, it’s around the globe now. Right? It spread so much. I think we talked about this last time but, it’s even grown further and further and you’re seeing so many numbers on the charts, and you’re seeing so many groups flood over to the U.S now. It’s really special because you guys were one of the first groups, right, that was alongside that to really make that movement happen around the world and it shows. Right? When you had Regular-Irregular go number one in over 22 countries. That’s insane.
Mark: I mean, it surprises us too. So the fans are definitely part of the motivation and the inspiration as well, so we’re very thankful.
Brooke: So with this tour, what has it been like touring in the US?
Johnny: It’s a very special experience for all of us, definitely. From the beginning to the end, there was not a single moment where we were like, “Wow this is gonna be a part of our lives forever”, and just meeting our (US) fans up close is a very special experience and you can just see it on their faces and you can just tell when we’re touring, how happy we are. How happy the fans are and just to be able to show our music and perform in front of our fans, is just a huge blessing I think.
Brooke: Yeah. I was gonna say, what is the tour been like? Is there a song that sticks out, by the way, that the fans just go absolutely crazy for the minute the music comes on for it?
NCT 127: I mean, I feel like one of the songs where people are just like, “Oh, it’s starting!” is “Cherry Bomb” because it’s-
Brooke: It just goes off, that’s why!
Johnny: Yes. It’s also the first song that comes out and everyone’s just like “Ah! This song is first”. And you can just see everyone’s facial expressions and that just makes us very excited at the very beginning of the concert.
Mark: And I feel like “Cherry Bomb” is the kind of song that people can really know that NCT 127’s in the building. There’s no other song out there like “Cherry Bomb”.
Brooke: Yeah. It’s so funny too because we have a lot of musical instruments around our studios. We obviously have the guitars, we have the drums out there in the hallway because obviously I’m trying to explain it for people who are listening around the world. But you guys were getting down out there with the drums, which was amazing. I honestly don’t think anyone’s hit the drums yet except for you guys.
Johnny: Really? Really? I mean if there are drums, you gotta at least try it.
Mark: They’re meant to be smashed on.
Brooke: So NCT 127 is here at our Beats 1, LA studios. They are taking over the Apple Music chart. The Apple Music chart, by the way, we’re gonna get into that in a little bit. It’s some of the biggest songs from around the world, there’s no doubt in my mind that when this album drops, it’s gonna hit. It’s gonna hit.
Brooke: So there’s the new mini-album. It’s called, We Are Superhuman. Fans are getting six new songs! That has to be really exciting to finally deliver some brand new music to them, and I know that you guys have been playing some of the songs already because a few of them have already become available to the fans. What is it like when they react to the new music for the first time?
Mark: When we showed “Superhuman” for the first time, in a surprise kind of way, we couldn’t see the fans that much because the lights and everything were so bright but we all knew that they were very excited to see it.
Brooke: Yeah. Is there this energy that happens maybe? Like something that you’re just feeling when you’re on the stage?
Johnny: While we’re dressing, we turn on “Highway to Heaven”. You can hear the fans being like “What is going on?” We hear them, cause we’re changing but we still hear them screaming and every time someone starts singing, they’re just like Ah! And then we’re like yeah. We definitely feel it even if we’re not on stage.
Brooke: So you guys worked with Social House on this project, which is huge by the way. So for people around the world who are tuned in and listening, and they don’t necessarily know who that is, you know they produced Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” and “Thank You Next”, which are two of the biggest songs out right now. It had to have been special to work with them as well on this project.
Johnny: Well actually, I think it’s one of Mark’s favourite songs.
Mark: It was a surprise for us to even know that they were a part of that whole song, cause for “Highway to Heaven”, we all loved that song and to have Social House be a part of that made it feel more special in a way. And so in all means, it’s a song that we really gravitate to.
Brooke: In front of you guys, by the way, we have these tablets and they have some of the artists that are on the Apple Music chart, artists who are charting around the world. Is there anybody on there that you guys are loving right now?
NCT 127: Post Malone, Wow.
Mark: We all chant to that song.
NCT 127: Johnny loves Lil Nas X, Old Town Road.
NCT 127: Yeah I’m gonna take my horse to the Old Town Road, I’m gonna ride til I can’t no more. I got the horses in the back. Love it.
Brooke: Oh my God, do you guys know the story behind that? Of what happened.
NCT 127: No, actually.
Brooke: So, Lil Nas X’s song went number one on the country charts. Yeah, they took it off cause they just felt like it wasn’t country. I don’t know why they did. So then what he did was he went and got country OG, Billy Ray Cyrus to get on the song. So then he got number one on the country songs and he got number one on the Hot 100 in the U.S.
NCT 127: He wasn’t on the song originally?
Brooke: No. SO that’s the remix. So he basically was like, “Imma show you guys” and then came back, and now look at! Now one of the biggest groups in the world is obsessed with Lil Nas X!
NCT 127: He wants him to collaborate with. I would love it. I got the horses in the back!
Brooke: I think you like just doing the accent and that’s your favorite part.
NCT 127: It was new. It was something at first I was like, “Huh!” When you start listening, it’s really catchy.
Brooke: It just grabs you, it’s one of those songs.
NCT 127: It’s a new feel. Country and hip hop at the same time. His voice is amazing.
Brooke: Is there a song from another artist that you guys wish you had written or recorded? Is there a song that you’re like damn, I wish we could’ve gotten that, in a dream world?
Jaehyun: I think the album is that kind of album, that’s a dream album, that we’ve been wanting to do. The whole track is really good. Honestly, the tracks are all the songs that I liked.
Brooke: I’m not mad at that!
NCT 127: Definitely, you’ll like it. The style too.
Brooke: I think that’s cool though, right? Cause what I feel like you’re saying is that this album feels really like NCT 127. You guys are saying, it’s a different sound that you guys are going into, so that’s always exciting when you’re growing as a group, as an an artist getting to try different things.
Johnny: That’s us. But I actually think people are gonna think, wow they’re different now. You know? I think we matured as people as well, and I think they’re gonna feel that in the music as well, cause I definitely felt that when we were monitoring our music.
Brooke: What song do you want to go number one from the project and why? If we’re gonna make the fans like let’s do it! What’s the song that we want?
Mark: It’s gotta be “Superhuman”! We also shot a music video for it as well, so it’s gotta be “Superhuman”. In all means, we put the most of what we have for that song and we believe that that had the potential to channel all we have to the world, as well. And so, we’re looking forward to Superhuman as much as the fans are.
Brooke: When you guys are in the studio working, what are the must-haves? There’s a lot!
NCT 127: Coffee! We need snacks.
Brooke: Snacks? What kind of snacks though?
NCT 127: Chocolate chips.
Brooke: All the healthy options.
NCT 127: Peanut butter, ginger ale, Reese’s. He loves Reese’s! He really likes ginger ale as well.
Brooke: I really like ginger ale too. You know we have ginger ale over there for you? Why don’t you have one? What the heck!
NCT 127: Some of us already drank it.
Brooke: Drank it, yeah let’s clarify.
NCT 127: This is like heaven for him right now.
Brooke: Have you guys been able to catch any shows or any live performances in the last year that you were really surprised by?
Jaehyun: Mark and I, when we were on the tour in New Jersey, we had the time to travel in New York and we saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.
Brooke: Oh, how was that?
Jaehyun: It was awesome. I loved it.
Brooke: Have you been to a Broadway show before?
Jaehyun: No, I saw Lion King when I was 8 or 7. I don’t have an exact memory, but Phantom of the Opera was really good.
Brooke: Yeah. You know there’s the new Lion King movie coming out? Live action.
“We all knew it was gonna be a smash hit.” – Mark
NCT 127: Yeah, did you see the teaser? Unbelievable.
Brooke: Beyoncé’s gonna be in it. You got Childish Gambino.
NCT 127: Disney’s crazy!
Brooke: I know!
NCT 127: They got all the good stuff. Aladdin! Zayn.
Brooke: I was gonna say, did you hear Zayn did the cover? That sounded amazing. It’s been a minute also since he’s put out new music.
NCT 127: I mean, Disney’s getting it all.
NCT 127: Disney, shoutout to Disney!
Brooke: I was just gonna say, scoop em’ up!
NCT 127: Shoutout to Disney!
Brooke: Do you guys go on your social media at all? When the new music comes out, to see the fans reactions and then when you see the fans have a favorite, are you like next time we tour we’re definitely putting that one in the set list.
Mark: Of course! It’s always good to know what the fans like and we always keep that in mind, and then whenever we have a chance to perform it in front of them, we try.
Brooke: It’s insane too because the fan base has just literally continued to grow, nonstop. Your social numbers, just everything, even since we talked the last time. What do your fans mean to you? I know that you guys say that they mean a lot, but they’re making your dreams come true.
Mark: I mean, I feel like it’s in a way what we aspire for cause what we do, we always think of it as a journey and having our fans come with us on their journey, we like to see them grow as we grow as well. And so, when it comes to our music, to us, to our fans, we would like to see that whole development happen together. And so, when it comes to these results, we’re always happy for not only us, but for the fans as well. And so, that’s always why we’re doing stuff like this tour itself. We’re here to see our fans up close.
Brooke: Who lately have you guys been inspired by or looking at and you’re just like, damn what they’re doing with music is special?
NCT 127: I like Migos.
Brooke: Migos fan? So you’re waiting for that new project then.
NCT 127: Yeah, it’s coming out, right? Culture III.
Brooke: I was just gonna say, everyone’s waiting for Migos to come back together finally, collectively.
Johnny: They’re amazing, honestly. We’re just adlibbing everything we do now
Brooke: That’s what you guys need to do. When you’re on stage now, just throw in the adlibs, that’s what’s gonna be a little extra zest on the show. A little sauce, a little something on there.
Brooke: Do you guys mind if we do some quick little buzz questions really quick?
NCT 127: OK, let’s go.
Brooke: A little quick round? How does it feel to have your guys’ music universally accepted?
Johnny: We really notice during the US tour, we’re doing Korean songs as well, but everyone is singing along. And you just notice that that barrier has been broken and that just really talks a lot about music, I think in general.
Mark: It’s really bigger than you think actually. Crazy.
Brooke: It’s a universal language!
NCT 127: Definitely.
Brooke: That’s why it’s so special. Especially right now with the streaming era too, right? You can get so many different genres, so many languages in music. And Korean is just one of the many that’s doing so well right now. Do you guys have a favorite track from the mini album? There’s six songs and then there’s been three that have been available and I know there’s been three that you guys have been performing on tour. But is there one that’s really special to you guys?
Yuta: (In Korean) “Jet Lag”.
Brooke: “Jet Lag”? Why that one?
Yuta: (In Korean) We haven’t shown songs with this kind of mood before. When we first perform it at concerts, I get nervous but I want to quickly show it [to our fans].
Brooke: I love that. If you guys were to cover any song on the charts, so any song that we were looking at on this list, what song would you guys wanna cover and why?
Mark: Haechan really likes “If I Can’t Have You”. He’s actually really thinking of covering it.
Brooke: You should!
NCT 127: Yeah! It’s a good song.
Johnny: Doyoung did cover Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”. He’s a big fan.
Brooke: I love that you guys do that. I love that you guys are this amazing collective that makes up NCT 127, but I love that you also have your own personalities, which is what makes it so special of picking what music really moves you and makes you feel some type of way.
Johnny: Doyoung was actually talking about how he likes to cover songs because he wants to show we have team music, and he wants to show he has a type of music that he really gravitates toward too. The reason he does cover songs is because he wants to show the fans that as well.
Brooke: If we were to talk about artists on this list that have truly inspired you guys recently or in the past, who would it be and why?
Mark: I have been and still am a fan of Justin Bieber, well I see his name right here and he’s one of my models that I really look up to.
Brooke: Yeah. Yeah, he’s got that new Ed Sheeran song. That song is a smash. It’s number one on the show right now.
Mark: We all knew it was gonna be a smash hit.
Brooke: The minute that they posted the photos together, you’re like yeah we know who’s gonna be number one everywhere.
Mark: I saw this meme where it had number one on it. The fans were making a joke out of it, but Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber being together is an automatic one.
Brooke: Yeah, what are you gonna do? You have one of the best song writers in the world and then you have one of the biggest pop stars ever.
NCT 127: Lady Gaga? Oh Lady Gaga.
Brooke: Oh my gosh. The song that won the Oscar?
NCT 127: Born a Star?
Brooke: A Star is Born!
NCT 127: A Star is Born! I love that movie.
Brooke: Oh my gosh, you guys that song was number one on my show for like three months in a row, I had to listen to Lady Gaga’s “Shallow”. No shade against Lady Gaga, I love her, but I could not listen to “Shallow” anymore.
NCT 127: I hope that’s gonna be our song too.
Brooke: Yeah! Exactly. That’s what it’s gonna be. “Superhuman” is gonna be number one three months in a row nonstop, here on the Apple Music chart. NCT 127, you guys are amazing. I always love talking music with you guys, I love hanging out with you guys. You are so sweet. And also, make sure fans go and stream We are Superhuman, the brand new mini-album, right now on Apple Music. Do you guys have anything you wanna leave your fans with before we wrap up the chart takeover?
Mark: Well, we always wanna say that we are thankful for everything you guys have done for us, all your support, all your love. We wouldn’t have been able to come all the way here without you guys. I hope you guys really enjoy the music because we put all of NCT 127 has in it. Thank you. I love you NCTzens! Thank you very much!
Transcript provided by Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio.
Images: TPG/Click Photos