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Q&A: K-pop group NCT DREAM talks 1st US headlining tour ahead of LA show

NCT Dream sings together on stage dressed in all-white outfits. The K-pop group will play at the Honda Center on Tuesday as part of its first headlining tour in the United States. (Courtesy of SM Entertainment)

“The Dream Show 2”

NCT DREAM

Honda Center

Tuesday

By Victoria Ke Li

April 14, 2023 3:37 p.m.

This post was updated April 14 at 4:31 p.m.

Six years after its debut, K-pop group NCT DREAM has touched down in the United States for its first-ever stateside headlining tour.

The group – composed of members MARK, RENJUN, JENO, HAECHAN, JAEMIN, CHENLE and JISUNG – is set to perform in Anaheim on Tuesday, following recent shows in Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and other cities across the country. Known for songs such as “Hot Sauce” and “Glitch Mode,” the group has found widespread success both in South Korea and globally, landing its in the Billboard 200.

NCT DREAM spoke with the Daily Bruin’s Victoria Ke Li and other student-journalists in a roundtable organized and hosted by Rogers & Cowan PMK about preparing for their first U.S. tour, their growth and what they like to do to destress.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

NCT Dream poses together for a group photo wearing brightly colored outfits from their album "Beatbox.". (Courtesy of SM Entertainment)
NCT Dream poses together for a group photo wearing brightly colored outfits from its album “Beatbox.” (Courtesy of SM Entertainment)

[Related: Music preview: Singers blossom and deliver fresh sounds in spring albums]

Daily Bruin: While NCT DREAM has performed at KCON before, this is the first time the group is touring in the U.S. How do all the members feel about this, and how have you prepared?

MARK: We’ve never done this before, even though it’s been around eight years since we debuted. And so we have a lot of history and a lot of reasons for why we’re doing it now. But long story short, we’re now beginning to really see the world and to travel all over the world to see our fans, and so this first world tour really means a lot. So we really had prepared very strongly performance-wise and just our mindset-wise to make sure that we can show the world our capabilities and what we are striving for.

Her Campus at Washington: Touring around the world can be quite physically and emotionally draining. What are some activities that you do between schedules to help you recharge?

HAECHAN: Playing games and shopping and drinking beer.

JAEMIN: And then for me, as soon as I arrive, I go straight to the gym.

CHENLE: I played basketball with MARK.

The Mercury: If you could talk to your past self, what is one piece of advice you would give yourself knowing what you know now? Do you feel like your music reflects this personal growth?

JISUNG: I would have to say that I’d like to tell myself to not be scared or shy. Back then, I was very kind of concerned with what people would think, and I was very shy, but I don’t think there’s a need for that. So that is what I would tell my past self.

MARK: And to answer the music section of your question, our growth is definitely visible in our music as well, and technically, our voices have also changed as well over the years. But besides that, just our inspirations and the way we kind of convey our emotions in music itself has grown, I’d like to say, and so we really like to put our experiences and our emotions into our music as much as we can. And we’re still growing, and I feel like our fans are growing with us.

The Vector: What is one piece of advice that NCT DREAM would like to communicate to their college student audience?

RENJUN: I would have to say that your college years are when you have the most passion and the most strength as you pursue your dreams. And I would want to say to do everything that you want to do so that you live without regrets.

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Victoria Ke Li | Editor in chief
Li is the 2022-2023 editor in chief. She was previously the 2021-2022 assistant News editor on the Science and Health beat and a contributor for News, Illustrations, Design and Photo. They are also a fourth-year human biology and society student from San Diego, CA minoring in public health and professional writing.
Li is the 2022-2023 editor in chief. She was previously the 2021-2022 assistant News editor on the Science and Health beat and a contributor for News, Illustrations, Design and Photo. They are also a fourth-year human biology and society student from San Diego, CA minoring in public health and professional writing.
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