How NCT made an album with 23 members

With all the social distancing and coronavirus issues around the world, releasing an album in 2020 is cause for celebration. But this feat calls for a new level of celebration when you successfully bring 23 different artists together to work on an album like NCT.

As part of K-pop superlabel SM Entertainment’s ambitious boy band project, which has an unlimited and ever-growing number of members promoting together and in splinter groups, the NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 the album is just the first step up to present the brand’s current roster of 23 singing, rap and dance superstar idols.

Whether it is the NCT quartet of Taeyong, Kun, Doyoung and Sungchan manipulating Unusual “light bulb” for hip-hop or the seven member lineup with Taeyong, Doyoung, Jaehyun, Lucas, Xiaojun, Jaemin and Shotaro presenting the album with its catchy lead single “Make a Wish (Birthday Song)”, not to mention the Korean, Chinese, Japanese and English mix on the second single “From Home”, Resonance offers a mix and correspondence never before seen in the world of K-pop for pieces as satisfying as they are experimental.

The group says they generally record separately rather than completely – currently NCT ​​is split into four main groups of the Seoul-based company. NCT 127, China WayV, a fixed group of seven members called NCT Dream while the whole NCT U includes every member, with music producers finding the right combination of voices. While Resonance took over a full month of voice recording, the results logged in one reported over a million pre-orders worldwide and 4000 equivalent units of album earned in the United States in less than a week. And there is still more to come in what should be a Pt. 2 with more new songs to come.

Future versions of NCT also mean more mixing, matching as well as mixing between the nearly two dozen members. Speaking on a conference call as midnight local time in Seoul approaches, the “Make a Wish” team all appear in high fellowship with one another. Although seated in the center, Taeyong passes part of the call to rest his left arm comfortably on Lucas’ leg, patting his young bandmate’s thigh for extra encouragement or when someone is making a joke. . Meanwhile, Xiaojun passionately extols Shotaro – one of the two new members who officially joined NCT with this album – putting his arm around his junior’s shoulders when Shotaro answers his first question in the interview, adding that ” he really does a great job so far; “making sure the audience and Shotaro himself know that there are no difficulties in growing up in this ever-expanding musical family.

Ahead of the NCT family’s next adventure, let the “Make a Wish (Birthday Song)” unit give you a taste of the intricacies of how 23 guys work, record and deliver an album together like the awesome feat that is. Resonance Pt. 1.

Jeff Benjamin: Nice to see you, NCT. I spoke to Taeyong and Lucas just a few weeks ago; a long time not seen for some and happy to meet some of you too. I am really happy to speak to this unique unit. But first of all, can you help me understand how this massive project comes together?

Doyoung: No sight for a long time and thank you for having us. So when the 23 members get together, that’s when the different NCT U units come out. They’re usually picked by our production team and we try to figure out which songs have the best synergy or which members should or would do the best being on that genre or track. We try to mix things up in that sense.

Jaehyun: We register our parts separately. It took over a month to prepare and record this album. I think it’s much longer than it would take for small individual groups.

Jeff Benjamin: Taeyong, I saw in an interview you said, “Today I have 22 kids at NCT.” How do you run such a large group?

Taeyong: Oh did you see that? [Laughs] Yeah, I’m not actually the frontman of NCT right now because the other 22 members are very awesome and these guys don’t need a lead. So I am not the head of the NCT. I just say “hi guys” and “Set Hana dul … [1, 2, 3…]To begin our greeting.

Jeff Benjamin: When I first heard “Make a Wish (Birthday Song)” I thought it was so cool, especially with you seven. How does it work together?

Jaemin: Honestly, it’s just great to have such an awesome synergy between WayV members, 127 members, and NCT Dream members. I think “Make a Wish (Birthday Song)” highlights each of our strengths and each of our charms. You can really see that in every individual through this song. I really like the result – it’s really great to be a part of it.

Jeff Benjamin: Doyoung, I wanted to ask you the question in particular because you were part of “Make a Wish” but also of the second single “From Home”. I’m curious what are the differences in your experiences with these two NCT U units?

Doyoung: These two songs seemed experimental. For me, and for NCT itself, these two songs are very, very different styles. For example, in the “Make a Wish” unit it’s more performance based and all of these members here are so good at performing on stage – I don’t do much. [Laughs] Just kidding, doing my best and doing my best. When it comes to “From Home,” this song is a more vocal-oriented ballad, which NCT hasn’t done frequently, so I really wanted to make sure this song had that aspect of NCT. But I have worked very hard to prepare for these challenges.

Taeyong: [While all members clap for Doyoung] Doyoung, yeah! Double music videos!

Jeff Benjamin: NCT Bands Also Have Their Own Song Resonance as well as. Can you tell me about the process of each of these songs?

Doyoung: For [NCT 127’s] “Music, Dance” in particular, the song itself is very energetic. I just remember having a lot of fun recording it, but we were also trying to deliver the same energy when I recorded it. I remember actually sweating in the studio.

Jaehyun: Yeah, very hot in the studio.

Jaemin: “Deja Vu” is a track where the original seven members of NCT Dream were able to meet. The theme of the song was: “Let’s get back on stage together”. It was great to be reunited again at seven and to be able to present this reunion on Resonance Pt. 1. I also had so much fun recording it.

Lucas: WayV’s song is sexy! WayV are the bad boys.

Xiaojun: Yes! All the members, when we were recording the song [“Nectar”], we wanted to use that feeling – like bad boys with this very special juice. We called it that. [Xiaojun and Lucas laugh] We also get a lot of love for working on this song.

Jeff Benjamin: And Shotaro, I haven’t forgotten you! The new member! The NCT universe is constantly expanding. Congratulations on joining this great team. How has it been and what is your future?

Shotaro: It was a huge honor for me to be able to join, especially through “Make a Wish” because it’s such a great and awesome song. Besides that, I have a lot to present in the future, so look forward to me and I will continue to work hard.

Xiaojun: Yeah, Shotaro is so talented and has so much potential. And he’s really doing a great job so far. I want to add that I also think you can expect Shotaro.

Jeff Benjamin: Your dancing is really good, Shotaro. I will certainly look forward to it. As a fun recap question, my favorite lyrics from the English version of “Make a Wish” were Lucas and Jaemin’s lines in the second verse listing all those great desserts. Can you each share your favorite desserts?

Taeyong: Oh did you hear that? Wow. Well, for me, I love maple syrup waffles.

Lucas: Chocolate cake.

Jaemin: Americano, tiramisu and, I don’t know if you know but it’s really popular in Korea right now, a croffle. It’s a combination of a croissant and a waffle.

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Xiaojun: Green tea and mint chocolate ice cream. I love ice cream.

Shotaro: Pancakes. And ice cream.

Doyoung: Chocolate, but not too sweet chocolate.

Jaehyun: I like the Häagen-Dazs bars.

Jeff Benjamin: Finally, any messages you would like to leave with your international fans?

Jaehyun: We want everyone to be safe and healthy, and go through this situation with love and positivity. We hope that our album, our music and our performances will give strength and energy to everyone. I want everyone to be safe and healthy.

Taeyong: Let’s go through this together.

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