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NCT 127 captures beauty of Seoul with new album 'Fact Check'

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K-pop act NCT 127 / Courtesy of SM Entertainment

By Pyo Kyung-min

With its fifth studio album, "Fact Check," K-pop boy band NCT 127 explores the quintessential beauty of its home, Seoul. The number 127 in the group's name refers to the longitude of the capital of Korea, the city that the group regards as its home base.

"We aimed to encapsulate the richness of Seoul with our new album," Canadian member Mark said during a press conference at a hotel in Yeouido, Seoul, Friday, which took place a few hours ahead of the album's release. Member Taeil could not join the event as he sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident in August.

Mark added, "As can be seen from our team name, our root is in Seoul. We want to solidify our identity this time, showing how we can harmonize with the city."

This is why the music video of its lead single, "Fact Check," was filmed in various locations in Seoul ranging from Gyeongbok Palace to Yeouido. Built in 1395, the former was the main royal palace of the 1392-1910 Joseon Dynasty.

Member Jungwoo said that the palace evoked a sense of nostalgia for him.

"I felt like I was returning to my elementary school days when I last visited the palace," he recalled. "Gyeongbok Palace is a precious cultural heritage of Korea, and I was deeply moved by its view when I entered it. After filming a dance scene there, we ate sujebi (Korean-style hand-pulled noodle soup) at a nearby restaurant."

For Jaehyun, Sewoon Cheonggye Arcade was one of the most memorable places.

"I remember eating kong-guksu (cold soybean noodles) with member Johnny at a restaurant there," he said. "It was a cozy place where I could enjoy the taste of Seoul."

The music video of "Angel Eyes" ― one of the tunes included in the "Fact Check" album ― also features the Han River as a backdrop.

"There was a scene where we took a boat," he said. "I have been living in Korea for a long time, but I was once again mesmerized by the beauty of Han River's night view. It left such a strong impression on all of us that we even considered buying a yacht."

NCT 127 members pose at a press event, marking the release of its fifth full-length album, "Fact Check," held in a hotel in Yeouido, Seoul, Friday. Courtesy of SM Entertainment

According to NCT 127, "Fact Check" will shed light on its neologistic musical style. Describing it as "the product of NCT 127's resolute dedication," front man Taeyong said all nine members made utmost efforts to gear up for its album.

"We got back to the basics and filled our album with our passion," he noted.

The title track, "Fact Check," which blends intense synth rhythms and Afro beats, portrays NCT 127 as "a creation of timeless worth." With its lyrics, the nine members ― Taeil, Taeyong, Johnny, Doyoung, Mark, Jaehyun, Haechan, Yuta and Jungwoo ― say there is no reason for them to fear scrutiny even if others 'Fact Check' them, since they are confident about their music and performance.

"We picked 'Fact Check' as our lead track because we believed we could perform it well and show people what they expect to see from us," Haechan explained. "We wanted to wow people."

Taeyong contributed to its choreography to make it more unique.

"Taeyong created a new choreography that surpassed the original version," Yuta revealed.

Haechan also praised Taeyong, saying, "He exuded confidence and I thought it was really cool. Our leader, who knows each of us very well, came up with the dance moves that perfectly match our styles."

Jaehyun added, "I'm eager to showcase what we have and prove that NCT 127 truly excels in performance."

K-pop act NCT 127 / Courtesy of SM Entertainment

Having debuted more than seven years ago, the NCT 127 members also talked about their growth and challenges.

"We recently had some personal concerns," Taeyong said. "We've encountered some external temptations and the moments that were incredibly tough to handle. However, our deep bond has helped us reach this point. We remain so tightly knit that we don't feel the weight of these years. All of us genuinely love music and the stage, so I hope we can accomplish as much as possible with our fans."

Mark elaborated, "This year has allowed us to reaffirm our commitment to our path. It has granted us the chance to affirm our dedication to our team and the stage."

Asked about their vision for the next seven years, Doyoung said, "If I could wish for something, it would be for our fans to continue supporting us in the years to come."

Pyo Kyung-min


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