In 2019, K-pop boy band NCT spun off its fourth sub-unit, WayV. As NCT's first China-based collective, the septet performed a familiar blend of hip-hop, dance, and pop with R&B-stylized vocals sung in Mandarin. Unveiled in mid-2018, they made their official debut in early 2019 with the single album The Vision. The next year, they issued their first full-length, Awaken the World.
WayV is comprised of veteran NCT members Kun, Winwin, Ten, and Lucas, who, individually, were also associated with NCT U, NCT 127, and SuperM. Graduating from SM Rookies, new NCT recruits Xiaojun, Hendery, and Yangyang joined the crew in early 2019 for the group's official unveiling. While word of the sub-unit's creation had already been unveiled in August 2018 -- with the temporary project name of NCT China -- they were later dubbed WayV by S.M. Entertainment's China-based Label V. When WayV issued The Vision, they packaged the short set with a Mandarin version of the NCT hit "Regular." The song entered the China Top Ten and rose to number three on the U.S. World Songs chart. The three tracks on The Vision were later packaged alongside fresh songs on Take Off: The 1st Mini Album, which shot to number seven on the U.S. World Albums chart. Months later, they released another EP, Take Over the Moon, featuring the singles "Moonwalk" and "Love Talk." A repackaged version with additional songs arrived in early 2020. By this time, they were ready to deliver their first official full-length, Awaken the World. Landing that June, the LP featured the single "Turn Back Time," which also received a Korean-language version. ~ Neil Z. Yeung