The NCT DREAM came true on the stage at KPOP.FLEX
NCT Dream on the stage of KPOP.FLEX in Frankfurt (DKphotos)

The NCT DREAM came true on the stage at KPOP.FLEX

Less than a year ago, NCT DREAM showed us the different flavors of their "Hot Sauce". After "Glitch Mode" they are now ready to deliver a comforting feeling with their2nd full-length repackage, Beatbox, that will be released on May 30th.

Born as a teenage subunit of NCT - the supergroup counting 23 members under SM Entertainment - NCT DREAM debuted in 2016 when their members Mark, Renjun, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin, Chenle, and Jisung were all teens. Growing up and becoming adults, they now own the stages worldwide, as they showed us during their performance last week at the Deutsche Bank Park in Frankfurt. Despite not having with them two of the group members, Mark and Haechan, not only the boys command the stage but also lit the arena with a green sea of NeoBongs. A great show that transformed Frankfurt into the Dreamies-city for at least thirty minutes and left all the European K-pop fans with one desire: having more and more K-pop concerts in Europe.

Ahead of KPOP.FLEX spoke with the group who was part of the lineup for the concert on May 14th.

Nice to meet you, boys. The Italian public knows you well, but can you please introduce yourself?

RENJUN: Hello, NCTzens in Italy! It's RENJUN from NCT DREAM. I'm very glad to give my greetings through this interview! I really hope we can meet in person soon!
JENO: To all the NCTzens in Italy! Hello, it's JENO from NCT DREAM! If given the chance, I would love to meet you all in person. I hope for everyone's health and well-being!
CHENLE: Hello, this is CHENLE from NCT DREAM. I wish there comes a chance for us to meet each other in the beautiful city of Venice.

How do you feel to be back on stage in front of so many people on a show like the KPOP.FLEX?

RENJUN: At first, I was very nervous. But I want to have fun on stage and present a cool performance to the audience who came to see us at the concert. I hope to make unforgettable memories here.
JENO: I'm feeling nervous but very excited! It's been a while since we last heard cheers from the crowd and will make sure to bring an amazing performance with all the energy from the cheers of the audience. And we will continue to showcase a more mature and better version of NCT DREAM than before with all the energy we take away from this performance!
CHENLE: I'm really looking forward to this performance, and I'm sure it'll be very fun and exciting! I want to make great memories with the audience. We'll present a cool performance that we've worked hard to prepare, so please look forward to it!

Let's talk about your music. You debuted as NCT DREAM in 2016 with the digital single 'Chewing Gum'; now, in 2022, you released your 2nd album 'Glitch Mode'. How did you change?

RENJUN: At first, we greeted everyone as teens bringing happiness and' healing music'. Now, we've grown a little more sending messages of hopes and dreams. As much as we've matured, I believe we've become a team that can deliver greater and better energy than before.
JAEMIN: After the debut, we've showcased different sides to our fans as we've promoted our music with various concepts. And we've also grown a lot through those experiences. We'll continue to present new genres of music and performances, and better showcase new concepts no one has seen before!
CHENLE: Since the debut, all of us have grown both externally and internally. As we accumulated various experiences, I think there are many more charms to be found in our music because it also evolved with us.

What kind of suggestion would you give yourself if you think about your pre-debut years?

RENJUN: You're on the right track, so don't worry and keep on going!
JAEMIN: Things won't always be easy, but it'll be that much fun and fulfilling!
CHENLE: With persistence and more practice, a brighter future will be ahead of you!

You are record-breaking. Glitch Mode became your fastest' double million sellers' album. Do you remember how did you react when you found out?

RENJUN: I couldn't believe it when I first heard it! We'll make sure to work hard and bring better music, greater performances, and present storming energy to our fans.
JAEMIN: It felt surreal when I first heard the news, too. That day, I missed our NCTzens more than ever. I hope we can meet each other soon!
JISUNG: I was so happy and thankful because many people seemed to like our album. We were concerned and worried about whether the fans would like it, but this amazing news blew those worries away.

What's NCT DREAM's strength?

RENJUN: I think it's our bright energy of youth! With our energetic music and performances, we hope to bring happiness to our fans to make their day (more) delightful!

JAEMIN: The unique color and the charm of each member stand out on their own, but the synergy created when all seven members come together is also outstanding. Strength comes from our limitless charms, both individually and collectively.
JISUNG: Every member is nice and holds a kind charm. Our strength is that these members come together and create music to spread positive energy to our fans.

You walk a long road together, Jisung debuted when he was only 14... What does it mean to grow together as a group?

JENO: We've spent a long time together ever since we were young. We give strength to one another by leading and motivating each other toward a positive direction.
JAEMIN: Experiencing good, happy, and sad times together for many years, we became stronger and these times helped us grow better and more maturely.
JISUNG: I've been together with the members since a young age. I received a lot of positive influences from them because I was able to not only grow up with them but also rely on them. Because we were always looking after each other, we learned a lot from one another. NCT DREAM takes place as a very important part of my life.

Are there some memories you recall from time to time while talking to each other that you can share with us?

JENO: We tend to talk a lot about the past episodes. I like reminiscing about first impressions, the first times we each met, and the moments that brought us closer together.
JAEMIN: For me, conversations about food remain the most memorable! It makes me the happiest when we talk about whether we ate, what we ate, and what to eat for our next meal!
JISUNG: Spending time talking about our first impressions back in our trainee days, joking around with each other, and reminiscing about happy memories are our favorite things to do. Even if we talk about the same things over and over again, I love talking and spending time amongst ourselves.

If you could describe your last album with an adjective, which would it be?

JENO: I think it would be NCT DREAM's 'NEO'!
CHENLE: I would say 'DIVERSITY' is the best fitting word!
JISUNG: Because of the great energy in our album, I want to choose the word 'HAPPINESS'!

What do we need to expect from you now?

JENO: We are always working and thinking hard about how to best interact and communicate with all the NCTzens around the world. Please look forward to a more mature and evolved NCT DREAM!
CHENLE: Please look forward to our continuous growth and our overflowing energy!
JISUNG: It's already been 7 years since our debut, but we are still young with so much we want to do. In order for us to accomplish and showcase everything we wish for as NCT DREAM, we are going to try our very best with all our passion! So please keep an eye out for what's about to come!

Following an incredible inaugural event in Frankfurt, which saw 65,000 fans descend on the city, K-pop continues its Global Tour as KPOP.FLEX, Europe's largest-ever mega K-Pop festival, with two already confirmed appointments in 2023. KPOP.FLEX will be returning to Frankfurt's Deutsche Bank Park Stadium on Saturday, June 17th, and Sunday, June 18th, 2023 and will come to London for three exhilarating nights at The O2 from 22nd to 24th September 2023. The three-day cross-campus event will utilize the venue's iconic arena, indigo at The O2, and other locations across the campus, with a Fan Fest offering fans a range of activities to immerse themselves in Korean culture.

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Marianna Baroli

Giornalista, autore

(Milano, 1986) La prima volta che ha detto «farò la giornalista» aveva solo 7 anni. Cresciuta tra i libri di Giurisprudenza, ha collaborato con il quotidiano Libero. Iperconnessa e ipersocial, è estremamente appassionata delle sfaccettature della cultura asiatica, di Giappone, dell'universo K-pop e di Hallyu wave. Dal 2020 è Honorary Reporter per il Ministero della Cultura Coreana. Si rilassa programmando viaggi, scoprendo hotel e ristoranti in giro per il mondo. Appena può salta da un parco Disney all'altro. Ha scritto un libro «La Corea dalla A alla Z», edito da Edizioni Nuova Cultura, e in collaborazione con il KOCIS (Ministero della Cultura Coreana) e l'Istituto Culturale Coreano in Italia.

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