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Lighting the Candle
Talks his upcoming release,
"Not About You [English Version]"
Photos provided by Unbound Entertainment
If JUNNY is a candle, emotion is the lighter. And while he admits to a brisk burnout, there is no blaze quite as brilliant. Anything from watching movies and meeting fans to being with family and performing on stage is the flicker of feeling that sets him alight. When asked about burnout, he shares, “Burnout is something that we all go through as creators. It’s part of the job. For me, I write for myself and for other artists. Being a songwriter, it’s double the burnout because I’m constantly writing so much music. The first time I had my first proper writer’s block, it was really hard for me to get through it. The best thing I did was taking time off the job and focusing on my life and my friends. I took my mind off of everything related to music. When I came back to it, I realized how much I missed it and how happy I was to be able to create music. You just have to take a step back and realize how appreciative you can be towards your craft. I still go through it. I went through it a week ago. I got back into it just from watching an amazing movie or hearing a cool story online. This moment right now could give me motivation to write more music. It doesn’t have to be a specific thing, just anything in general to overcome that burn out. As an artist, it added a lot of depth to my character and it helped me grow, for sure.” JUNNY’s upcoming release, “Not About You [English version.]"
JUNNY, Korean-Canadian singer/songwriter, producer, and composer, began his career like a spark to gasoline. While JUNNY was making music in his parent’s home in Vancouver, Luhan, Chinese singer and former K-POP idol, bought his demo, igniting a 5-hour decision to move to Korea. After attending several SM Entertainment songwriting camps, and improving his craft, JUNNY is credited on many notable projects like EXO KAI’s “Mmmh,” NCT U’s “From Home,” EXO Baekhyun’s “Privacy,” IU’s “Troll,” NCT Dream’s “ANL,” among many others. Following the release of five EPs of his own, Monochrome (2017), A.G.E (2017), Genuine (2018), Vivid, Pt.1 (2019), and Vivid, Pt.2 (2019), He released his first studio album, BLANC, on August 12, 2022. He recalls the North American tour in September to celebrate the album’s release as being one of many sources of fuel for him. He says, “[I loved] the tour and being able to meet the fans and feel the energy and love. I hadn’t been in North America for a very long time and for me to go back and breathe the amazing air felt so great. When I came back, I felt like I became a different person, in a good way. I started getting more ideas. Halfway through the tour, I kept saying that I want to go back to the studio. There were so many emotions that I hadn’t been able to feel in such a long time. I think I’m just slowly peeling these layers. It’s been great.”
“Wow! Well, the first thing when you said a lego set that I thought of was when I was on tour and I was performing this song [“Not About You”] actually and just the whole vibe of the fans just singing along to the main chorus- that scene, that picture, I keep imagining in my head- I would make that into a lego set! I’d have the stage and myself on stage and the fans all together singing the same lyric and the same melody. If that came to life as a lego set, wow, I would buy that in a heartbeat!”
When we asked JUNNY, who is also a long-time Lego lover, what lego set he would create inspired by a feeling or description related to a song of his, he shared “Wow! Well, the first thing when you said a lego set that I thought of was when I was on tour and I was performing this song [“Not About You” English Version] actually and just the whole vibe of the fans just singing along to the main chorus- that scene, that picture, I keep imagining in my head- I would make that into a lego set! I’d have the stage and myself on stage and the fans all together singing the same lyric and the same melody. If that came to life as a lego set, wow, I would buy that in a heartbeat!” He does, however, want us to forget about his love for legos as he laughs out, “But I’ve gotta stop saying I like legos! I’ve been saying it so much that a lot of my fans keep buying me legos, but I feel bad legos are expensive! I don’t want them to spend too much money. I gotta stop saying I like legos!” I suggested a fan project, to which he realized that he may have now opened up the lego floodgates, saying “Oh man! I think I gave them more pressure to do that now!” He then makes no effort in closing the gates as he continues, “If I had to choose a song, one that I really enjoy personally is a song called “Thank You,” I don’t know how anyone would express that song into a lego set, but if you have any ideas, let me know!”
JUNNY has built a vibrant world for himself, piece by piece, where he is able to stand center stage and sing to thousands. JUNNY burns the brightest on stage, and that light is especially evident when he performs “Not About You.” He expects the English version, to be released on December 1st, to be even more explosive. He shares that the track “Definitely hits closer to heart in English,” but continues, “I really spend a lot of time learning Korean and I’ve learned to connect with the Korean language as well. If I imagine myself performing the song in English, I think I put more emotion in it. It’s my goal to be good at both. In English, I’m just talking - it’s just what I felt.” The track was originally written in English, despite the first release being in both English and Korean. He wrote the song after a break-up as the heavy emotion set off a flame that is now contained in a time capsule of passion, anger, and catharsis. When he performs the track, it is expected that it will be like opening up that time capsule and unleashing the inferno of emotions. He says of the release of emotion, “I’m a very tame and boring person, but there was a lot of emotion built inside me and I really wanted to finally say it to someone. I hope they’re doing well… (his voice trails off and he laughs).”
“I’m a very tame and boring person, but there was a lot of emotion built inside me and I really wanted to finally say it to someone."
On "Not About You" English Version
PORTRAY-TS: “Not About You” is almost like a time capsule of heightened emotion specific to one period of time. On the other hand, some other songs you have written are more retrospective. Do you feel like you gravitate towards writing when an experience or emotion is very present and potent, or when that feeling or experience may have passed you and has been processed?
“Definitely when I go through the whole process- this song literally wrote itself. I wrote it in such a short time and it just goes to show that all this emotion I kept inside, like you said in a time capsule, was an opportunity to let these words out that I had been keeping inside. It naturally started becoming a song and lyrics went in place in certain areas of the song. It just worked out very well. And seeing that happening, I can’t tell you what’s right or wrong, but having the emotions I felt before and building it up to become a song is how I like it to be. Of course, I can’t write every song like that because then I’d probably have to live 1000 years! I try to say things sometimes from different perspectives. Maybe if I’m writing a different song in the future, let’s say “Not About You,” I can think about a different side of the story and build from there and put myself in place and just write more creative things. It’s been working so far!”
Only passionate love can quickly burn into ashy aversion. In retrospect, however, he says, “In life you meet a lot of people, friends or someone you love, and they can come and go and if you think about your whole life it’s such a long process and journey. It may hurt but in the end it’s for the better. I try to stay positive. It’s a new direction and a new door so I can take a different road and become someone new and better than before.” While we are excited to see JUNNY re-visit the past with “Not About You [English Version],” we are equally excited for his future work. He did serenade us with a snippet of an unreleased song at the end of our Zoom call and we can say for sure that there is a lot to look forward to!
“Not About You [English Version]” out on December 1st!
JUNNY on Spotify
JUNNY on Instagram
JUNNY on TikTok
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