On October 10, R&B singer-songwriter JUNE graced the El Rey Stage in Los Angeles, marking four years since his last performance in the City of Angels. Prior to his debut, he established himself in the industry by participating in the songwriting and composing of several hit tracks such as BTS’ “Lost,” “Awake,” and “Not Today” and Suran’s “WINE (Feat. CHANGMO) (PROD. SUGA)” and “Love Story (Feat. Crush).” In 2018, he signed with Planetarium Records and began producing his own solo music, writing and composing all ten tracks in his first full-length album Today’s as well as his Ending EP and his single, “10cm.” From R&B and hip-hop to bossa nova and jazz, each release showcased his tenacity for his craft as a multifaceted, self-producing musician.
In 2019, R&B singer-songwriter JUNE and his former label mates put on a thrilling hip-hop-centric show at the El Rey Theatre. Four years later, the 27-year-old crooner took the same stage once again, this time for his very own solo tour. Presented by MagicKorea, the JUNEtober mini tour took JUNE across five U.S. cities and included an intimate performance at the historic Mid-Wilshire theatre.
L.A.-based dance group Team B.U.K, who recently performed at the 2023 KCON LA concert stage, took charge of warming up the audience. Known for their K-Pop dance covers as well as their self-choreographed routines, Team B.U.K divided their 20-minute set into three impressive performances of EVNEE’s “Trouble,” NCT DoJaeJung’s “Perfume,” and ENHYPEN’s “Go Big or Go Home.” Each routine was well executed and dynamic, perfectly hyping up the audience for the main act of the night.
To a roar of screams, JUNE appeared on stage and kicked things off with the funky jazz number “Now” accompanied by charming original choreography by Team B.U.K. After he moved into the pop song “Anywhere,” JUNE shared how happy he was to be back in L.A. and how the two songs perfectly reflected the city’s bright vibes, “It’s been four years since I came back to LA and it’s such a pleasure to meet you [all] again!”
JUNE’s set was as soulful as it was endearing, featuring a carefully curated setlist that spanned across his career. The mood shifted as he took a seat and slowed things down for his jazzy number, “The Moment,” followed by “Autumn Leaves” where the audience joined and sang along to his verses. JUNE confessed that both tracks were some of his personal favorites, but the following song “For” was especially close to his heart. The all-English track is a song of gratitude to his loved ones and fans who have been by his side since the beginning. The song particularly moved the audience as JUNE’s soulful live vocals and adlibs perfectly conveyed the song’s sentimental lyrics. He then moved on to his debut song, “Sérénade,” and shared that his first trip to L.A. was to film the song’s music video.
As the show was coming to a close, JUNE invited everyone hovering at the sides of the theatre to join the rest of the audience on the dancefloor. As he performed his energetic numbers “GOT U” and his latest release, “DAY N NIGHT,” the audience let loose, throwing their hands up in the air and jumping along to the beat. JUNE’s set closed with him and the audience belting the lyrics to the feel-good track, “Beautiful,” while those at the barricade held up paper signs that spelled out “JUNETOBER.”
Before the fans left the theatre, JUNE sent them off with hi touches and solo photo opportunities, allowing time for fans to interact with him directly and express their appreciation for his music and their eager anticipation for his future releases.
After the show, we had a chance to catch up with JUNE and get his personal reflections on his JUNEtober tour and the seasonal inspirations behind his music.
KPC: Congrats on your JUNEtober U.S. mini tour and welcome back to LA! How were you feeling before the tour started and how are you feeling now that it’s almost coming to an end?
JUNE: If I was 100% excited before the tour, I feel a lot of disappointment now that it is over.
KPC: You shared at the concert that your music is greatly influenced by the weather. Could you share a bit more about how the different weather/seasons shaped your songwriting and musical compositions?
JUNE: Actually, my favorite season is spring. This is because I think the direction and atmosphere of my music best suit spring! However, I think summer suits my personality well. I usually look for wild and sporty things! Also, fall and winter may have their own moods, but I still feel like I need to find out more!
KPC: What factors do you take into consideration when deciding what songs to include on tour and how to arrange them on your setlist?
JUNE: First of all, the most important thing is to think of music that the audience can enjoy and create a set list first! It seems like the set list is drawn up with calm songs that can refresh you in between.
KPC: Right before going on tour, you released your latest single, “DAY N NIGHT,” and were credited as the executive producer for the song. Tell us about the creative process behind it and what the song means to you.
JUNE: The song “DAY N NIGHT” was written based on the idea of “let’s put all our worries aside and have fun all night long.” I usually do a lot of work in the early morning hours, but one day, while browsing social media, I saw people around me enjoying clubs or parties in the early morning hours, and the thought of wanting to have fun like that struck me, so I wrote this song.
KPC: What is it like to be back in LA what are some of your favorite things to do or places to visit in LA when you have some free time?
JUNE: After the LA performance, I visited Santa Monica and Venice Beach for the first time in a while, and it was great! This is my third visit to LA, and it feels new every time I visit. In particular, when filming the “Serenade” music video, it was my first visit to the United States, and it left a very strong impression on me. Should I say that I felt a free atmosphere that cannot be felt in Korea? It was really amazing that there were palm trees all over the streets, reminding me of Jeju Island in Korea but creating a different atmosphere. It is a thrill in itself to come back and perform at the same place where I filmed and performed in the music video for my debut song.
KPC: What is the first thing you want to do once you finish the tour and return to Korea?
JUNE: When I arrive in Korea, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get used to jet lag, but I’ll have to go to my favorite restaurant right away. I’ve been eating Korean food, but nothing beats the taste of my regular restaurant.
KPC: What’s next for JUNE this year? What are some personal goals that you would like to accomplish before the end of this year?
JUNE: Since I accomplished the big thing of touring the U.S. this year, I am planning to hold a concert in Korea as well. If given the opportunity, I plan to release a song with a winter feel in the winter.
KPC: Thank you for your time! Do you have any messages you would like to send to your fans who attended your shows?
JUNE: First of all, I would like to say thank you to everyone who enjoys and listens to my songs. Because of the support you give me, I feel like I have the strength to sing and make music anywhere. I am truly grateful and I will always come back with good songs to repay your support. Thank you!
Thank you to JUNE, MagicKorea, and Amplify02 for the coverage and interview opportunity!