Versatile singer-songwriter and lyricist JUNNY continues to grow and establish himself in the music industry through his ability to illustrate and craft emotionally evoking stories through his lyrics and skillful vocals. The Korean Canadian artist broke onto the scene back in 2017 with his debut EP Monochrome. From there he took the leap and moved to Korea to develop his sound and image, which led to the release of one of his most popular songs to date, the 2018 single “Thank You.” JUNNY has since gone on to make immense strides in his career while also composing and collaborating with major players in the Korean music scene.
JUNNY’s latest album, blanc, details personal moments and experiences that shaped him into the artist and person that he is today. Released on August 12, the album consists of nine diverse tracks, including the pre-released song, “Color Me,” featuring CHUNG HA, and the bittersweet title track, “Not About You.”
blanc takes fans through the intimate journey of the artist’s 20s by discussing love, growth, and reflection through varying emotions and melodies. Written like an autobiography, JUNNY hopes to allow fans to peer further into his emotion and character. “I wanted to let my fans know who I am through the music,” he told Kpopconcerts.com. “I created an album that consisted of my past, present, and the future that I am thinking of. It was a good opportunity to express that through the album.”
Contrary to other projects that consisted primarily of singles and double singles, JUNNY knew he wanted to take a different, more raw approach to the creative process for his first album. He started with the title of the album, blanc. “It kind of hits on my Canadian side because of the French, and I always imagine myself as someone that adapts through these experiences and views these experiences as colors. I think of myself as a blank canvas, so it was natural for me to name the title blanc.”
Building off the theme of colors on a blank canvas representing life’s influences, JUNNY engaged in diverse discussions and conversations to tap into old memories and feelings. “Just working on this album took me down memory road. It’s been a while since I was a kid in high school, and I went all the way back to those days. I had to recapture that feeling, and in order to do that I had a lot of conversations with my team.” Together, they came to the conclusion that this project represented more than just an album. Throwing away the idea that each track needed to sound good or needed to do well, JUNNY wanted to create a proper record that would personify meaningful stories and his history. He smiled brightly and chuckled before saying, “It was honestly more like a therapy session, and we thought maybe this is a good topic to tackle.”
JUNNY describes himself as a white canvas filled with the colors of others’ influences. When thinking about his biggest musical influences, he credits all of the musicians and artists he has worked with for pushing and motivating him to become the best artist and person he can be. In regards to who made the biggest impact on his life, he spoke of his older brother without hesitation. An artist and painter, JUNNY’s brother showed him what it meant to take risks and follow your dreams. He especially remembers one defining moment that shifted his focus onto his own dreams. Prior to JUNNY’s high school graduation, his brother visited his room and asked what he wanted to do with his life. “Him being my older brother, he was like a close friend and has always been there for me, so for him to ask that serious question made me really think about my future. That’s when I decided music was the way to go. That moment has stuck by me my whole life, so he’s one of my biggest inspirations for sure.”
Looking back on his early twenties, he recognized his personal growth and improved approach to life. “I definitely grew and have become an adult. My early years in Korea I was 22, and it was my first time living in a different country. There were some struggles and hardships I had to go through, but those tough times made me who I am and made me grow as a person and figure out things on my own.” When taking the time to look back on his accomplishments, he feels a sense of humility and pride. “I’m so thankful for the opportunities. I’m a lucky person.”
To dive into the contents of the album, he gave Kpopconcerts.com a glimpse into the creative process for “Not About You.” During his team’s “therapy sessions,” he recalled a story from his teenage years that prompted the idea. “I learned that my first love back in high school had been talking about me to my friends saying I was writing about her, and at the time I was young and I couldn’t handle that.” He laughed before continuing, “I was like ‘That’s not true,’ and those feelings you care about a lot when you’re young, but when you’re older you don’t care about that stuff anymore. There’s more important things to care about, but at that time that was everything.”
After sharing the story with his team, they eagerly decided to create a track based on his experience. From start to finish the track took approximately thirty minutes to create. “It wrote itself. To finish a song in that short time, we knew. We all knew and looked at each other like ‘This is it,’ and it has a special place in my heart.” The track includes lyrics capable of being interpreted in two different ways. “It can be seen as if I’m actually really cool and over it, or that I’m not over it and I’m still talking about her. It goes both ways and can be interpreted in any way. I think that’s the beauty of it.” When asked about his personal interpretation of the lyrics he playfully teased, “A little bit of both, but I wish the best for her. I have to thank her for inspiring me to write the song. I hope she’s doing well.”
With the album serving as a farewell to his youth, JUNNY recalled the moment he truly grew up. “It was all of a sudden to be honest. I thought I was the same kid from Vancouver just trying to make and fulfill my dreams. I’ve always worked really hard, and I realized one day I looked back and was like wow I’m an adult.” He found himself at a point in his life where he needed to accept adulthood and begin setting new goals. As a thank you to his mother for raising him, the track “boyhood” encapsulates the essence of childhood through the eyes of a child. “I had never written a song to my mom before, so I thought it’d be really cool to have that in the album. It’s really personal.” Eventually, the young boy in the song realizes that the time has come to move on and that he must take control of his life.
Through the journey of self-reflection and discovering his own individual identity, he found himself at a point where he had become the main artist on his blank canvas instead of always letting others hold the brush. “I think it’s more up to me now. From the influences that I’ve had in the past, I think that’s made me who I am. It’s not like I’m going to block others off now. I’m still going to be influenced, but I think it’s more about me taking control of the wheel and seeing where this life takes me. I’m just enjoying the ride, accepting it, and looking towards the future.”
He also hopes to keep up with his fast-paced lifestyle and remain in good health. He feels humbled by the safe and solid foundation that he has created and wants to ensure that his hard work does not go to waste. “I think maintaining everything and staying healthy and continuing to improve and grow as an artist and human being is the most important. If I keep that up then I can only expect the best for me.”
Regarding his fans, he acknowledges that without them, he would not have had the chance to produce this album or even stand on his current platform. blanc serves as a testament to JUNNY’s past and present, and to how it will shape his future. His hard work would all be in vain if it were not for his fans’ unwavering support. From his days as an independent artist distributing his own music until now, he hopes his fans can connect to his past and present through this album and continue to support him in his future endeavors. “I want them to be by my side and want them to know the direction I’m going. I hope that they will enjoy it as much as I am. It’s almost like we’re all holding hands and getting to that same place.”
In conjunction with his new EP, JUNNY will embark on an eleven-city North American tour starting this September. JUNNY is curating the perfect setlist that offers a collection of tracks from blanc as well as a number of special performances and songs. He finds himself eager to specifically perform two of his most recent releases. He mentioned blanc’s title track, “Not About You,” as it will lead to endearing fan engagement as well as “Color Me,” which offers a lively and bright atmosphere. Leading up to the performances, he’s focusing on staying both mentally and physically healthy in order to provide the best performance and atmosphere for his fans.
The tour also serves as JUNNY’s first opportunity to travel since the COVID-19 pandemic, and he couldn’t be happier. “I’ve been in Korea for like three years now, unable to go home or anywhere else.” His brightened smile continued, “I’m looking forward to the feeling of getting on a plane, going to a different country or city, breathing a different air, and just taking in the culture.”
The tour will take JUNNY back to his hometown of Vancouver, giving him the opportunity to reunite with his friends and family. He will step back into the city that raised him as a full-fledged artist and will finally perform at the Harbour, which is a dream he has had since he was a child. “I always dreamed of performing on that stage as a kid. It’s a really cool feeling, and you know, I have no idea how many times I dreamed of performing on that stage. To be able to do it I want to make it perfect and seamless. Just being back home is so important and putting on a performance for my parents to actually watch that’s very special for me too.”
Both the tour and the album provide JUNNY with the chance to showcase an authentic side of himself through revealing experiences and influences that have contributed color to his previously blank canvas. As a final note to fans, JUNNY expressed his admiration and gratitude. “Thank you to everyone who has been listening and supporting me. I was able to put this album out and go on tour and see these lovely people. I am forever grateful and I want to make them proud. I hope to put on a good show for them if I go to their city and I hope they enjoy my album blanc. It’s been in the works for a long time and I put my heart and soul into it.”
Make sure to stream blanc on all streaming platforms and stay up to date with The “blanc” Tour on Instagram and Twitter!