When I first met Kim Hyeong-Jun, a.k.a JUNNY, it was a scorching day in Seoul. We met nearby Hongdae, sat down on a white sofa, and spent hours chatting like we had known each other for a really long time. By then, I was already aware of what a one of a kind talent JUNNY is. His name is written on some of the top K-pop acts. One example? Mmmh by EXO’s Kai. Knowing how to create the most desirable lyrics in the industry is part of JUNNY’s talent.
The last time I spoke with him, he was about to release his first single in a while, called Color Me. A song, quoting him, “that means a lot for me because it helped me take a huge step into a different genre, a different world, and it kinda feels like when I came here from Canada and took a risk”.
JUNNY, born in 1996, has lived in Vancouver, Canada, since he was four. He chose to dig back into his roots and move to Seoul after spending years fascinated by the K-industry. It was 2018 when he told his parents he would leave Canada to build his career in music. A risk? Maybe for those who don’t believe in dreams, and JUNNY’s was too crucial for him to not make come true.
“I had the chance to meet great people, talk and work with them. I couldn’t have done [it] without their help,” the artist says.
Still, JUNNY’s childhood plan is now a crystal clear reality that has made him one of the most influential songwriters in the K-music industry. With his first-ever full-length album, blanc, released today (12.08.2022), JUNNY has almost completed the first circle of his career.
“It is my first ever studio album, and I’ve put my heart and soul into this album, as well as the outstanding musicians that contributed along the way,” he tells me while chatting with View of the Arts. blanc consists of nine songs: the title track Not About You, the pre-release tracks Get Ya! (feat. pH-1) and Color Me (feat. Chung Ha), and the B-side tracks mercury, Obvious, Mugshot, Just a Number, boyhood, and OH!.
As he usually does, JUNNY’s words are chosen with a mastery that is a rare gift for a 26-year-old. I ask why he chose the word blanc, white in French, he says, “I titled my album ‘blanc’ meaning the color white, and I imagined myself as a white/blank canvas.” Then he continues: “I’m a person who absorbs colors and characteristics from other people around me, and I think that’s who I have been since I was a teenager to now, as a mid 20’s young adult.”
“I wanted to describe my emotion and experiences with this album, and so it consists of a journey down memory lane, then to the present, and lastly how I feel about my future,” JUNNY adds.
Talking about the future, what we can foresee for this boy who turned into an adult through his music, is a golden path that, starting from the heart of the K-pop industry in Seoul, will bring him all over the world—starting this August, from Paris on the 27 and London the day after, when JUNNY will finally be back on stage performing a live show.
“The idea of coming back feels amazing! After a long break from being able to perform, now I’m so excited to be able to meet my fans and perform my songs the way I dreamed of,” JUNNY confesses candidly.
Then, he will fly to North America for an extended branch of his blanc tour. From September 4 through September 16, he will touch down in some of the biggest cities in the US and Canada, starting with Los Angeles and closing in Montreal after a performance in the town where he grew up, Vancouver, on September 8.
I also ask about his music and which songs he’s the most excited to perform live on stage, the multi-hyphenate artist says: “Definitely the songs from my upcoming album: Not About You and Color Me, I think they will bring a fresh vibe, and lastly Thank You because that’s a song that makes me connect with my fans and audience the most.”
Still, touring in North America is not enough. His exceptional talent and being recognised by none other than BTS’ Jungkook, who expressed his love for the artist by covering his track, By My Side, made him so famous worldwide that the requests to see JUNNY perform live globally are growing day by day. “There are so many other places I would love to bring my tour to,” the singer admits then adds, “but unfortunately the schedule, timing, and a lot of other things need to line up for it to happen. I’m eventually going to go in the near future, and til then I hope I can have a successful tour and stay focused!”
A trait of JUNNY’s that makes him so unique is that despite being very collected and tranquil, he smiles and laughs a lot when speaking with people. And it happens again when I ask him if he has any rituals before coming up on stage. “No rituals,” he reveals.
“But I try my best to keep calm and collected before a show and get my vocals warmed up! When the gig ends, my energy is usually very high, so I’m always wanting to perform longer,” JUNNY adds with a chuckle.
As we were about to wrap up our interview, I ask JUNNY a straightforward question: what’s next? “New music and collaborations, hopefully, more performances and hopefully more opportunities to promote my upcoming album blanc” the artist adds, and concludes our interview. Let’s not forget, that the best is yet to come.
Written and interviewed by Marianna Baroli
Edited by Roxy Simons
View of the Arts is a British online publication that chiefly deals with films, music, arts, and fashion, with an emphasis on the Asian entertainment industry. We are hoping our audience will grow with us as we begin to explore new platforms such as K-pop and continue to dive into the talented and ever-growing scene of film, music, and arts, worldwide.