With every song he’s released over the past five years, singer-songwriter JUNNY (@jnkmsc) is courageously fighting his way into mainstream territory with a multi-faceted and impeccable sound. From his radio-friendly pop potential to his inclination toward expanding the K-R&B genre, the 26-year-old artist has spent the majority of his introductory era mastering several passions within his expansive wheelhouse, which only continues to transcend expectations.
As of September of this year, the Korean-Canadian artist has surpassed 1.4 million unique monthly listeners on Spotify alone, with multiple tracks earning over 20 million individual streams – making him a high-ranking soloist of the streaming era. From his smooth, effortless vocal range scattered across “Thank You” to a soul-satisfying hit “By My Side”, his current style is unmatched – earning him a substantial global fanbase, with a North American summer tour in order to bring his organic talent to eager listeners.
On his long-awaited debut album blanc, JUNNY bestows listeners with a euphoric collection of what could be considered his greatest work to date, beginning with the spellbinding introductory track “mercury” that later evolves with the retro-daydream bliss of “Just a Number”, a well-versed display of unprecedented adaptability.
Aside from the solo fortitude included on blanc, listeners are even provided with a handful of features to enhance the scope of his creativity in the shape of prominent collaborations. Whether it’s the smash hit “Color Me” featuring CHUNG HA, or the hip-hop infused “Get Ya!” with pH-1, the album has reputable industry names eager to hop on a track for top-tier combinations, equating to an album that’s put in the work that’s required in order to stand the test of time.
Heading into the final months of an unforgettable year for JUNNY, the powerhouse singer is officially our new Vanity Teen Magazine digital cover star opening up about all things music and what’s to come.
For our previous interview, you were prepping to launch your album! Now, it’s been released into the world and it’s been such a hit with listeners! How would you describe your current frame of mind after getting to share your expansive vision?
JUNNY: I’m just enjoying every process, and just so glad to finally put out this album. To be honest, seeing the reception and amount of love blanc has been getting, I’m just excited to continue on and show more of what I have in me as an artist! To me, this is just the beginning!
blanc, as you’ve stated, is essentially a reflection of your 20s. When you started the process, did you already have a clear idea of how it would sound, or was that something that you solely developed in the studio?
JUNNY: It was continuously developed in the studio, sleepless nights just constantly perfecting the sound of this album along with my team giving their 100 percent every session. We all shared the same goal and it was to properly represent the Pop Genre in South Korea. I felt that it was my objective to show that it’s not only about K-Pop, K-Hip-hop, or KR&B, Korean-based artists can do Pop music as well! It’s also a mix of music styles that I’ve been influenced by throughout my career so far and I think my team and I were able to pull it off in a proper way.
From the very first moments of blanc, you incorporate a very Muse-Esque sound with “mercury,” but with some unforgettable instrumental choices that result in a totally unique experience! How was that introductory track conceptualized?
JUNNY: The title itself was imagined just from a conversation about mercury and how dangerous it is. I think I saw it on a youtube video and I thought it was interesting how beautiful it was yet so harmful at the same time. From my experiences, I realized it was similar to life itself. We see from afar all the good things in other people’s lives yet don’t see the hardship that we all go through inside. I wanted to express that in my lyrics while also being someone that was able to overcome that pain.
From there out, there are a lot of fun surprises, because you combine elements of R&B, pop, rock, alternative, etc. What style or track on blanc required you to step out of your comfort zone?
JUNNY: To be honest, I just wanted to be diverse as possible, I love listening to all genres and appreciate all sorts of styles of music and I wanted to show that on this album through the music. Myself being an R&B-based artist in my early days, It was definitely a challenge to incorporate these other genres but being such a big avid listener and having the experience as a songwriter, it felt very comfortable for me during the whole process.
Looking back at the overall process, would you say that the album ended up meeting (or exceeding) your own personal expectations?
JUNNY: I’d have to say it exceeded my personal expectations because not only myself but everyone involved in this album worked so damn hard to finish this album. Every single day we would always ask ourselves how we can make it better and doing revisions, mixes, and re-recordings it all was worth the time and effort we put in and I can’t say it enough without my team this album would not be what it is. I’m just so thankful for everyone and to answer yes this album definitely met and exceeded my own personal expectations.
There are some really rad collaborations with CHUNG HA, pH-1, and UNE on the album, but it’s not a surprise because you’re also known to have a lot of fellow heavy-hitter industry friends! How would you say those organic friendships in music can benefit a song?
JUNNY: (Laughs) I mean it’s truly a blessing of course to have friends in this industry and the fact that I was able to have them on the album. I feel like in order to have features for a song, the artist needs to connect with the track and really understand what the main artist is trying to express and CHUNG HA, pH-1 & UNE definitely understood that and I’m so so thankful for their help!
Because of your ability to masterfully work with other singers, rappers, and more, are there any possible artists that you’ve discussed working with – or perhaps ones that people can expect a feature with in the future?
JUNNY: I’m constantly wanting to work with others not only just artists but songwriters and I try and keep my options open! Definitely a few in the works that may pique your interest but that’s all I can tell you for now…
Since blanc is about the growth of your 20s – if you were envisioning an ideal life in your 30s, what type of life experiences/feelings are you looking forward to bringing to your music?
JUNNY: I’m looking forward to just continuing writing new music for my fans and continuously evolving as an artist and by then, I’ll have experienced so much more and felt new feelings that I was not able to feel now so I’m just excited to continue on and enjoy the rest of my 20’s for now (laughs).
For our cover shoot, you displayed two very different styles – but how would you describe the general vibe of your own closet?
JUNNY: I’m usually very laid back with my attire, usually monotone but sometimes I try and put in a color here and there lol I enjoy clothes but I wouldn’t call myself a good dresser like other artists in the industry (laughs). My vibe is just always chill and geared toward comfort!
In closing, what final messages or thoughts would you like to share with fans and Vanity Teen Magazine readers?
JUNNY: I just wanna say thank you so much to Vanity Teen Magazine for having me, I absolutely had a blast answering these amazing questions and also! I just wrapped up my North American tour and it was a dream come true. If it wasn’t for my fans I wouldn’t be where I am now and I promise you that I’ll continue on working hard to improve myself every single day. Readers of Vanity Teen Magazine! I hope you enjoyed this interview, and hope you have a wonderful day/night. Whenever you have the chance, please check out my album “blanc” and lastly thank you oh so much! Love!
Check out JUNNY’s new album blanc included here, and the music video for his new single included above!