Without a doubt, NCT 127’s recent release “Kick It” is one of the group’s most memorable songs to date. From the first time you listen to it, it’s impossible to get those chants of “Bruce Lee!” out of your head. However, while “Kick It” may sound like it was purposefully engineered to be one of the catchiest songs in K-Pop, one of the track’s composers has now revealed that the entire concept was a complete accident! Read on to find out how this masterpiece came to life.
“Kick It” was composed and produced by a number of songwriters, including famous names like Dem Jointz, Deez, and Rodnae “Chikk” Bell. In an interview with The Korea Herald, Chikk talked about how NCT 127’s “Kick It” came about.
Titled “Hero” in Korean, the whole song has a martial arts theme, which is highlighted with repeated chants of “Bruce Lee!”—one of the most famous martial artists of all time.
The song’s production reflects the concept perfectly, bringing in heavy bass and shouted vocals that give the track a boisterous, fighting image. But surprisingly, despite how perfectly executed the theme the song is, Chikk says the concept was a complete accident.
That Asian concept wasn’t intended at all.
Poor listening is rarely a good thing, but in this case, it was accidental genius—the whole theme came about because the team misheard one of the songwriters.
One of us randomly mumbled something similar to Bruce Lee, and somebody said, “Wait, did you just say Bruce Lee?”, and we were like “Wait, that’s kind of cool.”
Of course, as a black woman, Chikk had to double-check that it was okay to theme a Korean pop song around Bruce Lee. After all, Bruce Lee was a Hong Kong martial artist. But when SM Entertainment gave the team the go-ahead, the song came together with a mind of its own.
Once we got Bruce Lee, we got very intentional with the sound, adding some martial art nuances and lyrics.
Despite its accidental origins, the concept was such a success that SM Entertainment even decided to keep elements of it for NCT 127’s new song, “Punch”.
Chikk has worked on a very diverse portfolio of K-Pop hits, including EXO’s “Monster” and “Lotto”, Girls’ Generation’s “Mr. Mr.”, Taeyeon’s “Why”, and Red Velvet’s “Love is the Way”. But even with all those songs under her belts, “Kick It” is still one of the most unique tracks she’s ever had the privilege of working on.
We were so excited about that concept, as it was so different from anything we’ve done. As creative artists, that’s what you live for.
All in all, Chikk says that working with a group as fresh and musically innovative as NCT 127 was a great moment for her as a composer.
The group’s still so young and fresh that they can do anything at this point… I know NCT 127’s been around for quite a while, but they are still new to us, and it’s always exciting to work with those ‘newer’ ones.