The Garage is one of the most iconic music venues in London. Although average in its capacity, the artists who have passed through its doors over the years include Green Day, Muse, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, My Chemical Romance, and Oasis.
On August 28th, JUNNY, a Korean-Canadian R&B singer came to The Garage to perform his sold-out show to over five hundred fans. The concert was performed prior to JUNNY’s North American tour as a way to promote his first full-length album, blanc. JUNNY’s two supporting acts were Blase, a rapper, and DJ Minjeong, both giving a refreshing opening performance before the main show. In the era of growing conflicts and deepening crises, any concert that we are able to attend allows us to forget about the hardships of reality.
Although JUNNY debuted just 5 years ago with the EP Monochrome, he has already established himself as a note-worthy R&B singer-songwriter. Before coming to London, the artist played in Paris where he charmed the audience with an atmospheric and engaging performance.
The London concert commenced at 8 pm with Minjeong playing a 20-minute solo set. By 8:20 pm, the mood drastically changed when Blase, a Korean Hip-hop artist, emerged on stage. The rapper’s music lies between grime and drill, with a clear influence from the UK’s drill scene which often features tunes played at a faster tempo, around 130-140 BPM. If you are a fan of Shaybo, Headie One, and Fizzler, or grime artists such as Kano, Wiley, and Dizzee Rascal, you will definitely enjoy listening to Blase. The rapper’s performance was strong enough to leave a lasting impression, especially when he performed Pop It and Peace Out. Watching and listening to Blase made for a great experience if you haven’t seen the artist perform live before. After 40 minutes, at almost at 9 pm, it was time for JUNNY to add more spiciness to the show.
JUNNY began his concert with Color Me, the title track from his newly released album, blanc. Dressed in a black Balenciaga t-shirt and blue buggy jeans, the singer greeted his fans with an irresistible smile before smoothly transitioning to perform Obvious, Not About You, and Mugshot. It wasn’t the first time I heard JUNNY’s music, but it was my first time seeing him performing live. While many artists might sound incredible in the studio but not so much during live performances, the singer showed that lip-syncing was not on the menu tonight. His delivery, from the first minute of his performance, came straight from the soul. His vocals added that warm, edgy, and sexy element to all of his songs.
Before performing By My Side, JUNNY turned his attention towards his fans, saying “I wanna talk to you for a bit. I wanna get to know you. And thank you for having me”. Asking the crowd about how long they have been his fans showed that JUNNY is not an unknown singer to the British public, on the contrary, the sold-out show proved that he has a more dedicated fanbase than he expected.
JUNNY’s voice is impressive, he hit the bridge perfectly and used his voice like an instrument. Although he didn’t use much vibrato, when he did, he was able to control it from one word to the next. I must admit, his music and voice “floated” in the air, pleasing his fans to the fullest.
After singing a few more songs, the heat of the show reached its maximum temperature when JUNNY invited Blase to perform Zone together. Listening to both artists at the same time was like taking a peek into another dimension. Obviously, there wouldn’t be a show if the artists didn’t throw water into the crowd, I guess it’s another way of staying hydrated. OH! from his newest album, blanc, was the fifteenth song that JUNNY performed.
Those who are familiar with JUNNY’s repertoire knew that the show would end with Thank You, a sincere ballad to the people who have always supported him. “Every day and night I wanna thank you for believing (…)”. This beautiful and unabashed R&B song truly demonstrated JUNNY’s talent. He is not only a skilled vocalist, but also a fascinating lyricist who can effortlessly evoke various emotions through his music. We can only wait for him to come to the UK again.
Written by Maggie Gogler
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.