"I feel more comfortable taking the lead": Junny dishes on Blanc, his favourite track from the album and wanting to meet his Indian fans
Korean-Canadian singer, songwriter and composer, Junny (born Kim Hyung-jun), released his first full-length album Blanc on August 12, 2022.
Junny debuted in 2017 with his EP Monochrome, and has so far released five mini-albums (including Monochrome), 14 digital singles and countless collaborations as well as features with some of the finest talents across the Korean as well as the international music industry.
Finally, five years after his debut, the versatile singer has now given the world a glimpse of his rich artistry and musicality with Blanc, which has nine tracks: Not About You, mercury, Obvious, Mugshot, Just a Number, boyhood, OH! and the title track, Not About You. It also consists his pre-release songs - Get Ya! (feat. pH-1) and Color Me (feat. Chung Ha).
The concept behind Junny’s first full-length album can be compared to the phenomenon of the dispersion of white light through a prism. Owing to this dispersion, white light (polychromatic light) splits up into its core colors when it passes through a prism to form the VIBGYOR (violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red), according to its varying frequency.
Similarly, Blanc, which is the french term for the color white, can be deemed the prism through which Junny pours out his lyricism into nine enchanting tracks.
In an exclusive interview with SK POP’s Anwaya Mane, Junny opened up about the process of creating Blanc, his personal favorite track from the album and wanting to meet his Indian fans.
Junny reveals which color he would dedicate to "Junniverse," excitement about his upcoming North American tour and more
Q) Thank you so much for taking out time to speak with us. Congratulations on your album and forthcoming North American tour!
If I were to ask you to choose between recording songs in a studio versus performing them in front of a live audience, what would you choose and why?
JUNNY: I love both, to be honest, but I have to say performing is what I have enjoyed the most. The thrill and excitement of performing in front of a crowd is something I have enjoyed ever since I was young.
Q) Your album is titled, Blanc, which means “White” in French. Since you are from Canada where French is an official language, was it a conscious decision to pay homage to your Korean-Canadian roots?
JUNNY: Yes it was! That’s an accurate observation and I’m so glad you mentioned it. My French is not very good, but I wanted to pay homage in a way to represent my Canadian side, and it was something I thought no one would notice, but you did!
Q) Blanc intends to take listeners through your life's journey, experiences and gamut of emotions. If were to ask you to dedicate a color to each track from the album, what colors would you dedicate and why?
JUNNY: From tracks 1 - 9, I wanted to use a variety of colors because I believe that’s what life is. You go through so many experiences in life that they can’t all be the same color. I don’t want to give away the mood of each track so you’ll have to decide for yourselves after listening.
Q) Which track from Blanc was the most creatively satisfying or liberating song to work on? Why?
JUNNY: That would be the title song, Not About You, because the message itself is something that I wanted to get off my chest. The song literally wrote itself following a long and personal conversation I had with my producer.
It’s one of my most personal songs to date and I think we created it all in less than an hour. I think that’s why I feel it’s so special to me and why I chose it to be the title song of the album.
Q) Do you sense a difference in your musical canvas pre and post-Blanc? If yes, can you describe the kind of changes you have undergone as an artist while making your first album?
JUNNY: Before Blanc, I wasn’t as personal as I am now in terms of writing because I was so used to writing for other artists as well. After finishing the album, I feel more comfortable taking the lead in each song and deciding on the big picture and I’m just excited to write more, to be honest.
Q) What color each do you think describes your music and your fans the best and why?
JUNNY: That's a tough question, I’ll just have to go with my favorite color, navy blue, because I know my fans (Junniverse) are sweethearts and they’ll be okay with me choosing that color.
Q) Given that you moved from Canada to Korea to pursue a career in music, do you sense a shift in people’s perspective toward Korean music and artists?
JUNNY: I think the fact that K-Pop as a genre is growing immensely, and it’s amazing to see the recognition it’s getting worldwide. It is also a great opportunity for up-and-coming artists to be noticed and given a chance to share their music with the world.
Q) You will soon be embarking upon your much-awaited tour of North America, a place you have spent your formative years in. What were your growing-up years like and what are you looking most forward to doing while on tour?
JUNNY: Growing up, I was always a curious kid with a lot of hobbies.
I’ve also always dreamed of performing all over the world and coming back to North America and touring in these cities. Furthermore, I’m excited to finally see my fans overseas for the first time! It is a feeling I can’t even describe. I absolutely can’t wait for the tour to start.
Q) What was the process of selecting songs to perform for your upcoming North American tour? How do you decide which track makes it to the setlist and which doesn’t?
JUNNY: I think I’m trying my best to figure out a setlist that can be special for my newer fans as well as those fans who have been around since day one. I’m bringing in a combination of old and new songs and blending them all into the setlist to have the best show possible.
Q) Do you have any special preparation for your concerts? Any interesting rituals you perhaps want to share with fans?
JUNNY: It actually takes a very long time for my vocals to warm up so I’m constantly going to be making loud noises in the green room for sure. No interesting rituals yet but I’ll probably start having some along the way.
Q) You have worked with some of the biggest names in K-pop (IU, NCT, EXO’s Kai, JAY B, and more recently Chungha). What qualities do you tend to look for, when identifying potential collaborating artists?
JUNNY: All these artists I’ve written for or collaborated with - I have so much respect for them and I’m a big fan of their work. I think it all comes from respect and to be able to write a song for or work with these artists is truly a blessing.
Q) I explored your YouTube channel and discovered that you enjoy making song covers. Which song would you want to cover next?
JUNNY: I’ve been listening to Glimpse of Us by Joji a lot and if I have time to do a cover, I think that’s the song I’ll choose.
Q) What are the kinds of themes/genres you wish to explore next in your musical career, now that you are ushering a step closer to your 30s?
JUNNY: I’m honestly open to trying various genres and I think I’ll start figuring things out after this album and the tour! For now, I’m just keeping my mind open and hope to re-imagine my sound again very soon.
Q) We wish you the best for blanc and your upcoming North American tour! Do you have any plans to tour India in the future and is there any message that you would like to convey to your Indian fans?
JUNNY: Thank you so much!
Yes, I would love to visit India for a tour and get to meet my fans. I just want to say thank you all so much for your support and hopefully, we will meet each other very, very soon!
About the artist's upcoming tour
Junny is all set to embark upon his much-awaited North American tour soon.
Here are the dates and venues for the same:
- September 4 – Los Angeles 1720
- September 5 – San Francisco The Midway SF
- September 7 – Seattle The Crocodile
- September 8 – Vancouver Harbour Event & Convention
- September 9 – Calgary MacEwan Hall
- September 11 – Dallas Trees Dallas
- September 12 – Houston Last Concert Cafe
- September 13 – Atlanta Center Stage
- September 14 – Toronto The Opera House
- September 15 – Brooklyn The Brooklyn Monarch
- September 16 – Montreal Le National
Tickets for the tour went on sale on July 25. Interested fans can check out the website of Unbound Entertainment Group and Modo-Live for more information regarding sale and prices.
Disclaimer: The interview was edited for clarity and grammar purposes.