Relating to "CHILD"
Even if he’s not your bias, he’s your bias. This statement has never been truer than when mentioning Mark Lee. From his iconic The "7th Sense" debut to being awarded Artist of the Year with his 127 members, Mark has showcased his musical talent as well as captured the hearts and attention of those in and outside of the world of Kpop. This is why when the rap phenom finally announced the release of an official solo project, fans went wild.
With such a well-rounded artist, the possibilities of what "Child" would sound like were endless. Would we get a hard hitting banger like "Talk About" or will it be closer to the experimental sound that NCT 127 is known for? Would we finally get to experience vocal Mark filling our ears with a soft indie guitar sound? There were many speculations, but I don’t think any of us were expecting to get all three of these elements as we rushed to listen to the much anticipated release this morning.
We know Mark to be sweet and endearing off stage and an absolute beast on stage. He proves this time and time again with every NCT 127, Dream, U, and SuperM song he raps on. But, very rarely do we get to see the more vulnerable side of him. I believe this is why "Child" resonated with so many of his fans. It’s easy to see our favorites, especially those like Mark, as superhuman. Constantly on the go from schedule to schedule, performance after performance without a single flaw. We sometimes forget that underneath the incredible talent is someone who may feel just as lost and confused as we are.
This is what makes "Child" so powerful. Mark was a literal child when he left his family to pursue his dreams. From the start, SME knew the gift that they had with the little trainee and in the words of Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility” or in Mark Lee’s case, with great talent comes great responsibility. We have all experienced the pressures of school and family and trying to discover who we are while also navigating what others feel we should be.
It’s a lot.
It is a lot for me at 30 years old. It is a lot for those in their 20's trying to traverse the beginning of adulthood during a pandemic. It is a lot for the fresh faced high school student. It is a lot for Mark Lee trying to be the person that not only his company wants him to be, but who his fans and family want him to be, and more importantly, who he himself wants to be. It’s no wonder why in his pre chorus, my favorite part of the song, he states, “I’m a child. I can’t be the person you want…Who am I in others' eyes? Who am I? Who I'll be? Different nights, same nightmare”. It may feel like we are alone in this struggle but hearing those we respect and love sharing the same concerns gives us comfort. I know we are all tired of hearing this phrase but, during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic everywhere you looked people were saying, “socially distant but not alone.” When things get heavy, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one going through the darkness but, sometimes all it takes is for someone to reach out. Someone to be there through a text, a call, a slide into the DMs or even a Covid safe visit. We all need to know that someone understands, whether it be a best friend, a family member, a Twitter mutual or in the case of Mark Lee, a comfort Kpop boy.
Through the synth guitar and the mellow tones of Mark’s voice, it’s easy to see this song as heavy hearted. But, within the melancholy is something much stronger, hope. Hope through the spirit of relatability and solace. The kind of solace you get from a warm hug or a good cry in the shower. And yes, it may seem dramatic but this is what Mark’s music gives his fans. Comfort. Warmth. Happiness. There’s no denying his talent and I am extremely excited to see what else Mark will give us when he is ready. Through all the comfort he gives us I hope he knows that we are there giving it back to him tenfold. It has definitely been a long ass ride for Mark Lee, but it is one that I know will continue to go on with the love and support from his fans and his NCT family right by his side.