So far, 2016 has been a year in which entertainment companies debut K-pop groups with innovative concepts. At this moment, the one K-pop group getting the most attention on such is Black Pink. The new four-member group created under the YG Entertainment banner hit it hard with their debut, releasing not one but two songs titled “Whistle” and “Boombayah.” From what is known, YG Entertainment wants to promote all of Black Pink’s songs as featured tracks. Eventually, their heavy promotions of both the K-pop group and their concept accumulated plenty of anticipation resulting in Black Pink slaying their debut week.
Though Black Pink is the most talked-about new K-pop group with a unique concept, they do not have the most unique concept per se. That moniker is given to NCT, the newest K-pop boy group created under the SM Entertainment banner. According to Lee Soo Man, the founder of SM Entertainment, NCT is a group with an “unlimited number of members” who will be deployed into sub-groups, sometimes with certain members being in more than one. Right now, there are 14 members. Early this year, six members formed NCT U and debuted with “The 7th Sense” and “Without You.” During the summer, seven of the members formed NCT 127 and debuted with “Fire Truck.”
Now a third NCT sub-group, NCT Dream, has made their debut with the extremely catchy song “Chewing Gum.” Also, is NCT member Mark being groomed to become the K-pop group’s leader?
NCT Dream officially released their music videos, one performed in Korean and the other performed in Mandarin (Chinese), on Wednesday, August 24. As seen in the music video, it is refreshing, vibrant, and smoother than “Fire Truck,” the featured song performed by NCT’s last sub-group, NCT 127. The song also seems to portray a sense of innocence in which NCT Dream are dressed up as school boys pulling off fun pranks while, well, chewing gum, as reported by Koreaboo. This portrayal does make sense since NCT Dream, which consists of NCT members Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Chenle, Jisung, and Jaemin, are aged between 14 to 17 years.
Today, NCT Dream made their stage debut performing on M! Countdown, one of the music competition variety shows in South Korea. According to KpopStarz, NCT Dream went above and beyond making an impact with their stage debut by not just showing off their impressive choreography for “Chewing Gum,” but by utilizing a hover board as a stage prop. It was also said the hover board further enforced the youthfulness that NCT Dream is supposed to portray too.
After NCT Dream debuting as the third sub-group under NCT, one single point stood out and that is all three sub-groups have one member in common: Mark. It must be noted that at this moment, there is no single member of NCT recognized as the leader of the group. To be fair, it is kind of hard to have a leader for a group that consists of members in which only a certain number are called up for specific sub-groups, but with Mark being in all of them so far, one must wonder if he’s being groomed to become the leader of NCT.
Usually, the oldest member of K-pop groups are considered the leaders, but that is no longer the case these days. For example, Jihyo is the leader of Twice, but she is technically smack center when it comes to age. As for an older K-pop group, Hyorin is the leader of Sistar, but Bora is older than her.
To be frank, Mark being in all NCT sub-groups thus far is just circumstance. Remember that NCT has an “unlimited” number of members mostly pulling male trainees out of SM Rookies. Ergo, any kind of NCT sub-group can be made for any specific reason. As a matter of fact, it is known that NCT will eventually have a Tokyo and Beijing sub-group. Given that Mark is Korean, he cannot be a part of them.
[Image via SM Entertainment]