Johnny



  • I. Introduction

    Johnny Suh, known professionally as Johnny (Hangul: 쟈니), is an American singer, songwriter, rapper and DJ. He is one of the lead dancers, sub-vocalists and sub-rappers in the permanent NCT sub unit, NCT 127. NCT 127 sings primarily in Korean, as well as songs in English, Chinese and Japanese. He is also a rapper, singer and dancer in the rotational sub-unit NCT U.


    II. Career

    III. 2013-2018: SM Rookies

    Johnny was born on February 9, 1995, in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. He was cast from the 2007 SM Global Audition in Chicago. During his trainee years, he trained with future members of EXO, returning to the U.S. to continue his education and training at SM during the summers. However, he did not debut with EXO and was later introduced as a member of the pre-debut SM Rookies group on December 23, 2013. Johnny began appearing with other members of SM Rookies in live performances and variety shows.


    Johnny appeared in the ongoing NCT reality show, NCT Life, from varying periods throughout 2016-2018. In April-May 2016, he appeared in NCT Life in Bangkok, focusing on the members of SM Rookies and their journey to debut. As part of the show, he prepared for shows and appearances in Thailand with other members, including Hansol, Taeil, Taeyong, Yuta, Doyoung, Ten, Jaehyun, Mark, Jeno, Haechan, Jaemin and Jisung. During the series, Johnny debuted one of his signature segments, "Johnny's Fashion Evaluation," reflecting his love of fashion.

    In December 2016, SM announced it would be adding two members to its permanent NCT sub-unit NCT 127: SM Rookies Johnny and Doyoung.


    IIII. 2017: Limitless and Cherry Bomb

    Johnny debuted with NCT 127 on January 6, 2017 on its second EP Limitless as a sub-rapper and sub-vocalist.


    Johnny returned to Thailand for the sixth season NCT Life in Chiang Mai in March-April 2017, with NCT 127 members Taeyong, Doyoung and Jaehyun with non-NCT 127 member Ten serving as a tour guide.


    In March 2017, Johnny also became a host of a radio show NCT Night Night with fellow NCT 127 member Jaehyun.


    NCT 127 released its third EP Cherry Bomb on June 14, 2017. It made its first appearances in live shows in the U.S. throughout the summer.


    IIIII. 2018: Empathy and first album

    Johnny participated with NCT during the NCT 2018 project on March 14, 2018, featuring all NCT members, and debuting three new ones. This project also included the first NCT full album, NCT 2018 Empathy. He appears as a singer on the NCT 127 song "Touch." He is also a dancer in "Black on Black."

    NCT 127 released its first Japanese EP Chain on May 23, 2018. NCT 127 released its first full album Regular-Irregular on October 12, 2018, featuring a popular English version of its lead single, "Regular", that was utilized during the group's United States' based performances. It also released a repackage on November 23, Regulate.

    Johnny's enthusiastic and outgoing personality made him popular for English-language based interviews during the tour. He also began creating social media content on NCT's official channel with an ongoing series, Johnny's Communication Center (JCC), that debuted in November 2018 and followed members off-stage and often encouraged them to speak in English. Because content is predominantly in English, 127's most fluent English speakers, Jaehyun and Mark, appear frequently, although all the members have appeared in an episodes.


    Johnny appeared in another season of NCT Life: Hot & Young Seoul Trip - touring Seoul along with other foreign-born NCT members, including Kun (China), Yuta (Japan), Winwin (China), Lucas (China) and Mark (Canada).


    IIIV. 2019: First World Tour

    In January 2019, NCT 127 began its first concert tour, Neo City - The Origin, with worldwide stops until May. For Johnny, who had not been home in several years, the tour stop in his hometown of Chicago was particularly memorable and celebrated in NCT social content at the time.

    The group also released its first full-length Japanese album, Awaken. The group then increased its publicity in the United States ahead of the release of its fourth EP, We Are Superhuman, including appearing at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. They also released an English version song "Highway to Heaven" of the Korean song on the EP and an accompanying video filmed in California. On October 24, 2019, 127 released a live album based on the Neo City concert tour: Neo City Seoul - The Origin.

    In addition to his activities with NCT 127, Johnny continued to appear as a guest on variety shows. Johnny appeared in the ninth season, NCT Life: Chuncheon and Hongcheon, with NCT 127 members touring parts of South Korea.


    IIV. 2020: Neo Zone and Resonance

    NCT 127 released its second full album, Neo Zone, on March 6, 2020, as well as a repackage Neo Zone: The Final Round on May 19. Johnny began to gain more lines within songs as a singer, in addition to his lines as a rapper. His look in "Kick It" became well-recognized, notably in year-end performance shows.

    Johnny participated in the NCT 2020 project in October 2020, featuring all NCT members, and debuting two new ones. This project also included a 2-part NCT full album, NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 1 and NCT 2020 Resonance Pt. 2. He appears as a singer on NCT 127's song "Music, Dance," as well as a part of NCT U combination units on 3 songs: "Misfit," an all-rap song, "Raise the Roof, "Dancing in the Rain," "Faded in My Last Song" and "Work It." He had an increased role in singing on this project. He also features in the combination single "Resonance," which combines multiple songs. He also moves to center as part of the dance formation at points in the choreography. The entire project also appeared on NCT World 2.0, a competition-focused show.


    IIVI. 2021: Double Million Seller, second world tour and NCT 2021

    NCT 127 released its second Japanese release, Loveholic, on Feb. 17. On June 4, NCT 127 released a digital single, "Save", a collaboration with the Korean hip hop label, Amoeba Culture.


    NCT 127 released its third Korean studio album Sticker on September 17, 2021, which was also certified as a 2 million seller. On this album, Johnny continued to expand his singing parts, as well as continuing to act occasionally as center in choreography. Additionally, he appeared in a new season of NCT Life, NCT Life in Gapyeongand a pair of new shows, Stick Together and Analog Trip NCT 127: Escape from Magic Island.


    In October, NCT released a repackage album of Sticker, Favorite. On November 3, the group released a digital single "Freeze" in collaboration with the video game Kartrider.

    Johnny participated in the NCT 2021 project in December 2021, featuring all active NCT members at the time. This project also included a NCT full album, NCT 2021 Universe. He appears as a singer and rapper on NCT 127's song "Earthquake," as well as a part of NCT U combination units on 2 songs: "Birthday Party" and "Know Now." He also features in the all-unit song "Beautiful," which he also co-wrote. As part of NCT 2021 promotions, he also appeared in a special short digital series EuMARKJUNGsim, co-hosted by NCT group mates Mark and Jungwoo, and NCT 2021 YearDream, around the group's lore.

    On December 19, NCT 127 started its second concert tour, Neo City: The Link, with 3 nights in Seoul. Johnny featured in a solo dance stage to the song "Focus".


    Johnny appeared with the other active members of NCT in December 2021 as part of the 2021 Winter SMTOWN: SMCU Express album on the song "Hope for Kwangya."


    IIVII. 2022: More promotional opportunities

    Johnny became the fifth kpop star to appear at the famed charity and media event, The Met Gala, in May 2022, dressed by Vietnamese-American designer Peter Do. He was the only NCT member and kpop star to attend that year. He was named by multiple magazines as one of the best-dressed men and was reported as the most mentioned man at the event through social metrics.


    Johnny is an avid photographer and appeared in a photography web series and featured in a photography exhibition in Seoul. He also appeared on the DJ series, Showme.


    In September, NCT 127 released its 2 million selling fourth album, 질주 (2 Baddies). A new promotional series was also launched with the album, Fill It Up, which was similar to Stick Together, a mini reality series tied to Sticker promotions.


    NCT 127 headlined at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul for their respective tours, joining only a handful of kpop groups who have headlined there. As part of the shows, Neo City: The Link+, the group debuted new mini sub-unit tracks. Johnny featured on a song "Hello" with Taeyong, Yuta and Mark.

    III. Discography

    IIII. Songwriter

    Usually credited with other writers, typically writes his own rap lyrics.


    Key: L= Lyricist, C = Composer, A = Arranger, P = Producer


    US = Billboard US World Chart


    Title Year Album Artist Credit Chart
    "Love Song" 2020 Neo Zone NCT 127 L KOR 137
    "Pandora's Box" 2020 Neo Zone NCT 127 L KOR 135
    "Beautiful" 2020 NCT 2021 Universe NCT L KOR 195


    Reference: KOMCA: Searching Works (search Johnny 10024764 under Writers & Publishers)

    IV. Videography

    Television and Web Content


    V. Trivia

    - As a SM trainee, Johnny trained with members of EXO, flying over from Chicago to Korea during summer breaks, as confirmed on the NCT Night Night Radio Show when Suho and Sehun of EXO were guests in March 2017. Whether he or SM didn’t think he was ready to debut at that time, Johnny ended up being a trainee for 8 years before finally debuting in 2017.

    - Johnny is one of two native English speakers in NCT, including Mark. He is also extremely fluent in Korean, somewhat fluent in Spanish and speaks some Japanese.

    - Johnny is one of three baritones in NCT, including Jaehyun and Jisung.

    - He is the second oldest of all NCT.

    - He is the tallest member of NCT.

    - Johnny is fluent in Korean and English and often serves as the translator for other members.

    - Johnny plays the guitar and the piano.

    - Johnny DJs.

    - Johnny is warm, friendly and outgoing. He tries to engage with members, fans and hosts to put people at ease.

    - Members of 127 consider him the mood maker and throughout NCT he is seen as the loving big brother.

    - Johnny's interest in fashion drives his "Johnny's Fashion Evaluation," and members consider him one of the most fashionable members.

    - Johnny's fans are called Johfam.

    - Johnny has his own long-running web show, "Johnny's Communication Center" or "JCC."

    - The members sometimes tease him and call him "Chicago Hot Guy."

    - Johnny enjoys photography and has appeared on a photography YouTube show, as well as a physical show in Seoul.

    - Johnny is considered a member of the "Foreign Swaggers." During their pre-debut SM Rookies promo video, Mark dubbed the group of Johnny (an American), Mark (a Canadian) and Jaehyun (a Korean who "lived in American for five years, that's why he's here, man" as foreign swaggers. The joke has grown over the years and is referenced in social content. The group has expanded to include other foreign-born members who are fluent in English like Ten (Thai) and YangYang (Taiwanese).

    - Johnny used to host a radio show with Jaehyun, NCT Night Night.

    - Johnny's distinct "Kick It" styling trended on Twitter during a year-end performance on MAMA.


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    - Johnny has a large floral tattoo on his arm and chest. The chest and arm wraps of his "Kick It" costume were made to cover it on air, but SM began to let it appear openly in 2021 in photos and group content.

    - SM released a video using the audio from NCT's MAMA performance that captures the journey of the members through their career.

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    - NCT members have participated in a NCT 24 Hour Relay Cam that gives a snapshot of their daily lives.

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    - NCT members described their "beautiful moments" of 2021 as part of NCT 2021 Universe promotions.

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