EMTG: One and a half year has passed since your Japan major debut, and your major 1st full album is finally completed!
JUNIEL: I was in Japan since before the major debut, doing indie activity such as street lives. I remember various memories and I have feeling that “I have worked hard up to here”. I’m very glad.
EMTG: How long time did it take you to complete this album?
JUNIEL: Not only single albums since (major) debut, there are songs that I wrote for this album, and also songs that I wrote before debut.. It seems like I took 2 or 3 years to make it. And this is why I’m so happy completing the album.
EMTG: The title “JUNI” is from your name, right?
JUNIEL: Yes, it’s my real name. I titled it so because I wish my name to be more known.
EMTG: The album includes a variety of different songs. Is there any theme throughout the album?
JUNIEL: Talking of theme, it’s “I want to lighten up everyone”. Lead song titled “Everything Is Alright” is a song that I wrote when I was tired. I wrote it with feeling that “I want to lighten up myself”.
EMTG: When did you write it?
JUNIEL: Because it was around my Korean debut… last May or June. I wrote it in Korea.
EMTG: Like the lyrics, did you write it with looking up at the night sky?
JUNIEL: Yes. I was looking up at the stars and saying “I love you” to myself with crying.
EMTG: “Owaranai Ame (Endless Rain)” is a very sad love song, describing complex feelings.
JUNIEL: When I was about 17 years old, I wrote the song in rainy season before summer, in Japan. You’ll feel gloomy when it rains, right? It rained so hard then, and I remembered a person who I had loved and felt sad, writing the song. I sang with feelings, thinking of the lyrics.
EMTG: “Tsuki (Moon)” is beautiful piano ballad.
JUNIEL: I wrote this in Japan, too. That was when I was on the way back home after one man live show. By chance I looked up at the sky, there was the moon. Somehow I felt like I saw the moon after a long period, although I liked the moon and watched everyday as a child. Because I was busy for preparing for one man live show, (looking at the moon) like “haaa” (sigh). (laugh)
EMTG: There is Korean lyrics meaning “feel nostalgic”.
JUNIEL: In the lyrics, I put the meaning that I feel nostalgic for my childhood. I tried thinking of singing in Japanese, but I thought this word (in Korean) suited the best and I can put my feeling well. That’s why I wrote in Korean.
EMTG: “Summer Vacation” is a cheerful summer song, just like the title.
JUNIEL: This is a song that I was inspired by anime “One Piece” to write. (laugh)
EMTG: Is it?! Absolutely, the lyrics make sense! (laugh) It’s a cheerful song, giving listeners a supportive push.
JUNIEL: I really like “One Piece” a lot. As I studying Japanese, I watched many anime. I liked it among them the most. I enjoyed writing the song, too. (laugh)
EMTG: “Lucid Dream” is an up-tempo number.
JUNIEL: Two years ago, around the same time as when I wrote “Tsuki (Moon)”? I first knew “lucid dream” then, searched about it and found it interesting. I wanted to have a lucid dream, too. So I wrote the song with imagination.
EMTG: And “My Sweet Revenge”. I was surprised. Rock side of JUNIEL appears on its sound, lyrics and vocal. (laugh)
JUNIEL: Everyoen says “I was surprised” at this song. (laugh) I like a song that dramatically changes. I wanted to write such songs for a long time. Many people tell that I am a “good girl, kind girl”, but I’m scary when I’m angry.(laugh)
EMTG: Yes, I was a little scared listening to it.(laugh)
JUNIEL: I have such aspect, too. (laugh)
EMTG: “Hello” is a uplifting song, bouncing rhythm is impressive.
JUNIEL: It’s a refreshing song. I wrote it in spring with happy feeling.
EMTG: The last track titled “Babo ~ Duet with Jung Yong Hwa (CNBLUE)” is a duet song with Yong Hwa, who is a guitarist and vocalist in CNBLUE. Did he request regarding the way you sing the song?
JUNIEL: Only a comment that “sing cutely as always”. Yong Hwa produced the song, too. As I sang a part, he said “Well done. Ok, let’s try once again!” about 100 times. (laugh)
EMTG: Hahaha! He’s strict! (laugh)
JUNIEL: Yes, he is.(laugh) So… I became a bit tired.(laugh) But I wanted him to say(*) “Well done. Once again” gently, so I could try hard. (*translator thinks it may be supposed to be “He said”, not “I wanted him to say”.)
EMTG: What do you think is the reason why he told you to sing again and again?
JUNIEL: I think he wanted me to sing not only cutely but with a sense that I love him. Because (I sang many times) especially the chorus part that I sing with him.
EMTG: What do you think you learned from the recording with Yong Hwa?
JUNIEL: Hmm…… It’s hard to explain in Japanese, though. He catches the details that others would let it pass like “should be fine”. I was impressed by Yong Hwa, who is my sunbae.
EMTG: By the way, your Japanese is getting quite good compared to when I interviewed you a year ago.
JUNIEL: No, I came to Japan after a while and I feel I can’t talk well… (laugh bitterly)
EMTG: Not at all. You sing almost all in Japanese (in the album). Each song has a different expression.
JUNIEL: I have valued emotions and lyrics in singing for a long time. I think I became able to sing with feelings both in Japanese and in Korean, without a big difference.
EMTG: Then, how do you want people to listen to your songs?
JUNIEL: I can’t say “be sure and listen”. But, I want to say “when you are tired, or if you look for a song that helps you, please listen to my song”. Surely you will find a song that makes you energetic.
[Interview and text by Rie Makino]
My Search Word
“JUNIEL”, myself.(laugh) Because I want to know how people see me. I read many comments from fans. Reading comments such as “I want you to sing this kind of songs” or “I want you to write this kind of songs”, I feel like to try writing such songs.
EMTG MUSICをご覧のみなさん、こんにちはJUNIELです。デビューアルバム「JUNI」をリリースして、私本当にうれしいです。なんか…3～4年前からずっと日本で、インディーズの活動のときも…そのときの思い出もちょっとずつ思い出すし、ここまでがんばってきたな、という気持ちがこもっていて、なんかすごくうれしいし。リード曲である「Everything Is Alright」は自分が本当に疲れた時に作って、力になった曲です。みなさんもこの曲を聴いて力になってほしいです。
Hello, everyone visiting EMTG MUSIC. I’m JUNIEL. I’m really happy releasing my first full album “JUNI”. I remember the time when I was in Japan since 3 or 4 years ago and I had indie activity, too.. I have a feeling that “I have worked hard up to here.” Somehow I’m so glad. The lead song titled “Everything Is Alright” is a song that I wrote when I was really tired and that gave me energy. I hope you to listen to this song and get energy, too.
“Live” for me is what to play together. I tell my mind and emotions to you audience with singing, and the emotions reach you. Then, I see your claps and faces. When your emotions reach me, “Live” is completed. That’s it. Yes, this has been JUNIEL! Please support JUNIEL’s first full album “JUNI”. Thank you.
source: EMTG MUSIC
Translated by: yellow shoes