Mark Lee of NCT – and one of the most recurring members to be in the various NCT sub-units – has officially made his solo debut with the release of the new single, “Child”, since his debut in 2016.
The single release also marks the start of a new SM STATION music project called “STATION: NCTLAB”. NCTLAB will allow all the NCT members to release their self-composed tracks, either as soloists or as different units; this is another opportunity for the artists to express and share their creativity, artistry, and express themselves. The platform also allows fans to learn more about the members’ musicality as these future releases won’t be tracks featured on any NCT album. And “Child” is precisely this.
Produced by dress – who also took part in the songwriting and composition – “Child” sees Mark take the role of songwriter and composer. With “Child”, Mark has 50 writing credits under his name.
Mark described the genre of “Child” as alt-rock due to the electric guitar riffs and steady drums, but the song changes the atmosphere around the chorus, with a heavy beat and trap-like synths, blending rap and singing. The latter half of the second verse has a more energetic and upbeat tempo, to then be taken back to the chorus with the electric guitar from the beginning.
To wrap the song up, “Child” givess a more dramatic vibe that perfectly matches the lyrics “I’m saying what’s on my mind (Woo-hoo) / I’m tryna spend this day just like (Yes, sir)”.
“Child” is a deep and melancholic song that gives an insightful view into Mark’s thoughts and experiences, and struggles as a person and an artist. The song’s topic is taking on responsibilities even when you are young and should live a child’s life.
Mark has shared on Bubble’s messaging platform that “Child” was made quite some time ago and went into the archive. He also said that he wanted fans to listen to this song because in 2021 NCT were incredibly busy. To repay Czennies endless support, he wanted to reach out to them more comfortably, without fans spending money but simply enjoying listening to the song and watching the music video.
The music video has the same melancholic and sentimental vibe and lyrics. Through the different scenes, Mark takes us on his journey of being a young idol while trying to understand himself while working hard to achieve success and expectations. In the video, Mark does a lot of running away from hooded figures that seem to represent society and the environment around him, telling him how he should be under the spotlight and the hardships he’s been experiencing. Running away – and into the darkness – might be seen as an expression of standing for himself, his views, and going towards that freedom of expression, while singing “No I’m saying what’s on my mind”.
“Child” not only grabbed the top spot of multiple Korean real-time music charts – including Bugs, Melon, and Genie – but it also topped the iTunes Top Songs Chart in over 14 countries, including Singapore, Thailand, Colombia, Saudia Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The song also debuted at No.6 on the Worldwide iTunes Song Chart.
“Child” is Mark Lee’s first solo release, and it was released via NCTLAB on February 4.