NCT Dream’s Mark says the group’s graduation system was “traumatic”

NCT Dream member Mark has opened up about the group’s now-scrapped graduation system.

NCT Dream had originally launched with a rotational graduation system, where members would leave after turning 20 years old. Mark had been the first to “graduate” from group, in December of 2018, following the release of the holiday single ‘Candle Light’.

However, their label SM Entertainment later removed the system in April of 2020 in favour of a fixed group, consisting of the boyband’s seven original members. Later in 2020, NCT Dream, including Mark, contributed the song ‘Déjà Vu’ to ‘NCT 2020 Resonance’.

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Mark has since spoken out on what it was like under the group’s original system. “The graduation system was traumatic but we had to endure it and go on,” Mark told Rolling Stone UK. “Coming back [to NCT Dream], to be honest, I don’t think I was fully relieved.”

“I didn’t know how everyone, including the fans, were going to react and I didn’t know how I should react. I felt like it might complicate things too much, but it also meant we could do something as 7Dream that we’d always dreamed of,” he added.

Meanwhile, member Haechan says that he views the release of ‘Déjà Vu’ in 2020 as their “unofficial starting date”, while calling the four years prior as “as a phase of preparation for our beginning”.

NCT Dream are currently on the US leg of their ‘The Dream Show 2: In a Dream’ tour, and are set to play the Texas Trust CU Theatre in Dallas tomorrow (April 14). Prior to the tour, the boyband released the English-language version of their hit 2022 single, ‘Beatbox’.

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