On Aug. 4, 1981, MTV launched its 24-hour music stream, airing its first ever music video. The song? “Video killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles.

The literal interpretation of the lyrics was the predicted fate of radio at the time. The television industry would eventually take over as the main source of entertainment and information, leaving radio to only be a forgotten fragment of entertainment history. However, what was not accounted for in the 80s was a rise to a new pop culture, one that proudly embraces radio.

NCT and NCTzens are one of the many group-fan relationships that bear witness to the new radio culture and benefits that came with it. While not all radio segments have the exact same structure, most follow a similar pattern of fan-idol interaction. Unlike surprise V LIVEs however, radio has an organized schedule and letter system creating both efficiency and intimacy, allowing for idols, such as NCT, to listen and reply to fans without the rush. In addition, NCT’s global concept has allowed for further outreach than just it’s Korean audience, giving fruit to radio opportunities in different languages.

YUTA at Home

Dec. 4, 11 pm JST, Yuta successfully debuted the latest radio project hosted by a NCT member. His weekly radio segment, dubbed YUTA at Home, is an opportunity for Yuta to interact with fans through letters sent to the email [email protected] and messages using #YUTA897 on Twitter. The program aims to have a “homely atmosphere where you can enjoy the weekend while healing the tiredness of the week by coming to Yuta’s room.”

In accordance with his mission, Yuta spoke as if in a casual conversation with listeners in his native tongue, Japanese. YUTA at Home topics varied and depended on the messages sent by listeners. The first episode was filled with multiple congratulatory messages and music picks from Yuta himself. Playing a total of eight songs throughout the hour-long broadcast, Yuta chose four of his favorite NCT 127 tracks and another four tracks by artists he has recently been listening to.

YUTA at Home is hosted by InterFM897 every Friday until February. For international fans, listening to the live broadcast may be difficult without a Japanese VPN, but there is a method on PC that has been successful for many. By downloading the chrome extension Rajiko, “a tool for unblocking geolocation restriction of radiko.jp,” and then searching up InterFM897’s host website www.interfm.co.jp/yutaathome, international listeners should be able to stream directly from the site.

In the event that those steps don’t lead to success, don’t worry! There are several alternatives to listening directly from the site. While the site does not officially translate NCT 127 Yuta’s YUTA at Home, fan translators such as @neocityjpn work hard to live translate on Twitter.

NCT Night Night

YUTA at Home may is the latest installment to NCTs radio experiences. On March 8, 2017, members Johnny and Jaehyun began their work as radio DJs for NCT Night Night, an SBS radio program. Eventually, Doyoung would join them and become part of the official DJ lineup.

During their time as DJs, Johnny and Jaehyun invited guests including other NCT members, EXO, LOONA, Day6, and Gfriend. In addition to conversing with the guests, they read letters from fans and responded to them live on air. The daily radio show ran for nearly two years before airing its final episode on Jan. 27, 2019, due to NCT 127s overseas promotions.


Aug. 5, the same year as the Night Night departure, Renjun became the special DJ for the TBS Radio program Akdong Seoul. The position was temporary, set for two months on weekdays. In September, Renjun announced his full-time position as the Akdong Seoul DJ. Not only did his new contract extend the time he was given to host the radio show, but it also changed his weekly schedule from only broadcasting on the weekdays to broadcasting all days of the week.

Akdong Seoul is mainly broadcasted in Mandarin, with listener letters either being accepted in Mandarin or Korean. It is organized by a weekly schedule, each day of the week dedicated to a different segment and featuring a different co-DJ. Visual radios became more constant as Renjun became accustomed to his role, at one point being held at least once a week.

Renjun continued giving song recommendations and connecting with fans for over a year before announcing his decision to retire. Scattered throughout his time hosting, he was joined by other NCT members, Jaemin and Chenle, on a few occasions. This prompted him to recommend Chenle as the next DJ for the program, confirming in a bubble message Akdong Seoul would remain active under the nurturing of his fellow NCT Dream member.

Chenle’s Takeover

After Chenle’s transition in October, Akdong Seoul’s basic format did not change. Every day of the week, Chenle opens up with a segment that can be translated to “Today’s TMI” in English. Listeners are encouraged to send a quick message about their day before the show starts for a chance their letter is read by Chenle. As of today the rest of the weekly schedule is as follows: Monday is for 我们的的小树洞 (Our little Tree Hole) in which Chenle and co-DJ Guozhen read letters from listeners regarding their little secrets. Tuesday is for 音乐波浪线 (Music Wave) in which Chenle and co-DJ Jinyoung discuss a Chinese, Korean, and Western artist and play their music (no listener letters are accepted on this day). Wednesday is for 听世界 (Listening to the World) in which Chenle and co-DJ Lanlan discuss a city or country’s music (no listener letters are accepted on this day). Thursday is for 月光影院 (Moonlight Cinema) in which Chenle and co-Dj Zhuma discuss two movies (no listener letters are accepted on this day). Friday is for 偶像日记 (Idol Diary) read letters based on a preselected topic centered around idols. Saturday is for 我的私人歌单 (My Personal Playlist) in which Chenle and co-DJ Chuyuan play Chenle and listener’s song recommendations from their letters. Sunday is for Top of 乐动首尔 (Top of Akdong Seoul) in which Chenle and co-DJ Kun read listener letters based on a preselected topic and choose their favorite at the end.

To submit a letter, send emails to [email protected]. Letters must all be in Mandarin or Korean and the subject line must be the Mandarin segment name of the day you are submitting for. Try to submit letters a few days earlier than the day you hope for.

The radio is mostly audio-only and can be streamed through the tbs efm app or the tbs efm 24-hour livestream on YouTube. The show is live-streamed daily at 9 p.m. KST and lasts for an hour. There is a 12-hour playback option on the YouTube livestream just in case you miss the stream. If you don’t understand Mandarin, there are fan translators in the comment section of the YouTube livestream and on Twitter, including @ZCLRADIO and @squishyychenle. Chenle has made it a habit to air a visual radio spontaneously at least once per week, which can be streamed on the YouTube livestream.

Haechan Radio

One final radio type program hosted by an NCT member is 37.5MHz Haechan Radio. Posted on NCT’s YouTube channel, 37.5MHz Haechan Radio is a viewable radio that aired in split up episodes from March to April 2020 during Neo Zone and Reload promotions. Haechan used this radio program to interview his fellow group mates and host challenges. Episodes are still available for streaming on NCT’s Daily channel.

NCT’s collective personality can’t be described in one word—all 23 members have a different charm they bring to the group. Whether it be talent, language, culture, each and every member has made an impact on NCT’s global image. You can try to find the perfect word, but the only thing you get from attempting is a headache. One thing is for certain, the video did not expect the radio star to originate from such a unique group.

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