Once upon an NCT DREAM

NCT DREAM brings bubbly energy to the stage with their styling and staging. During the roundtable, they marked their world tour as an opportunity to reach fans worldwide. // Photo courtesy of SM Entertainment

Dreams reflect the true passions inside each person. It is exactly this passion that has become the shining light within K-pop sensation NCT DREAM. Making their way across the country in their first-ever United States tour, NCT DREAM took a moment before their Atlanta performance at State Farm Arena to share their journey and plans for the future.

Fresh off the release of their second album “Glitch Mode,” THE DREAM SHOW2: IN A DREAM marks the group’s second tour and aims to celebrate fans across the globe. By debuting in major cities within the U.S. as well as traveling to the U.K., France and Germany, NCT DREAM reveals the strength of their international influence. 

Beginning in August 2016, the boy band began making waves in the music industry with their debut song “Chewing Gum” by reaching second on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales Chart. Since then, they saw their first album surpass one million pre-orders while being named “Best Album” at Seoul’s 31st Music Awards. Their recognition doesn’t stop there. In 2018, Billboard noted the group as part of “21 under 21: Music’s Next Generation,” and NCT DREAM was the only Asian artist named one of TIME’s “25 Most Influential Teens.”

This seven-member group is made up of MARK, RENJUN, JENO, HAECHAN, JAEMIN, CHENLE and JISUNG. As NCT DREAM’s leader, MARK assisted in facilitating the group interview involving student journalists from across the country. MARK highlighted why it was important for them to speak to aspiring journalists. The members debuted when they were younger than 18, and they built their group around being a symbol of healing for listeners and a beacon of hope to young dreamers. The band knows there are people just like them who are striving for their passions, so they wanted to make it their goal to support future journalists and fellow dreamers. 

When asked what lessons the group would want to share with their past selves, NCT DREAM’s JISUNG spoke on the challenges of being a dreamer.

“I would tell myself to not be scared or shy. Back then I was very concerned of what people would think … but I don’t think there is a need for that,” he said.

MARK followed up to explain how their growth is reflected in their music. By starting at a young age, the group has been able to share their new experiences through their music while watching their fans grow with them. Music, especially K-pop, is a medium that allows for a greater exploration of dreams. 

NCT DREAM uses their platform as a symbol of how pushing against fear and growing confidence in oneself are tools to foster one’s passion. Member RENJUN shared how college is the time when most students have the greatest passion and strength to pursue their dreams. It is the fear of judgment and fear of failure that holds people back. To believe in oneself is to find the power “to do everything you want to do so you live without regrets.” 

Fans of NCT DREAM recognize the uniqueness of the group. To those unfamiliar with the K-pop industry, RENJUN said, “what sets us apart is our history and the story we created … For NCT DREAM, it is the hope that we are trying to give to the youth.” The narrative they create is one meant to inspire and give hope to their fans. 

In the midst of a world tour, NCT DREAM makes sure to give their all in every performance. This means the members take the time to recharge and keep themselves healthy through playing games, shopping and going to the gym. With this being their first U.S. tour, members are also excited to enjoy local cuisine and visit landmarks as they tour across the country.

As their name suggests, NCT DREAM strives to support listeners in pursuing their dreams. The group uses music as a tool to inspire hope and spread confidence. In the midst of their second tour and first-ever U.S. debut, NCT DREAM’s THE DREAM SHOW2: IN A DREAM marks a shift in breaking cultural limitations. 

With the growing number of “NCTzens” and the powerful symbol they stand for, there is no question that NCT DREAM will continue to amaze. The success of their tour sets the tone for what U.S. fans can only hope is the first of many international tours.