[27/02][INTERVIEW] JUNIEL’s Special Interview On MusicShelf

Posted: 2012/03/08 in Uncategorized

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JUNIEL, an 18 year-old singer-song-writer from Korea. While many of her fellow Korean artists struggle in the crazy competitions, she’s rooted in the ground to bloom her sweet and delicate big flower here in Japan. She came to Japan in 2010. Going to a Japanese language school as well as producing songs and holding lives aggressively, made a debut in last November. After releasing 2 Indie mini-albums. She put her main position in Japan from the start and kept writing and singing Japanese songs. The neatly written melody and her tender vocals on the 2nd major single, ‘Sakura~unreachable feeling~” reminds us Japanese of our original sentimentalism as Japanese people which we’ve almost forgotten.

We met her for the first time. She was trying to choose the words to talk to us although her Japanese was good enough. You will probably sense her obedient and strong character from this interview.

Q: Your Japanese is good.
J: Thank you. I’m OK (Laughter).

Q: You used to go to a Japanese language school and did indie activities at the same time.
J: Yes, Now I’m doing activities in both Korea and Japan. But when I was still performing my livestreet, I’ve lived in Japan for 1 and a half year and went to the language school.

Q: It’s hard to do both music and study.
J: Yes, but I just do it.

Q: Before asking about your new single, I would like to ask you about your past Since this is our first time to meet. First of all, what triggered you to be a singer?
J: No any special reason but I was grown up seeing my dad singing and playing the guitar since I was little. He used to do music in his college. So, I was familiar to music. I’ve just liked music and started to learn it when I noticed (Laughter).

Q: May I ask what kind of music your father was listening to?
J: Foreign music, Bruce, Rock and Pops. And J-POP, too.

Q: Did your father teach you guitar?
J: No, but I’ve been interested in it ever since I was a child.

Q: About when did you begin studying singing and playing the guitar?
J: I began studying singing when I was in elementary school and 3rd grade of junior high school for guitar.

Q: And making songs?
J: I think on 3rd grade of junior high school, too. I’ve always been thinking “I want to make these kinds of music” listening to variety of songs since I was a child. And I challenged making songs after learning the guitar cords.

Q: I see. Any favorite or impressive artists for you among those music you’ve listened to?
J: Yes. My favorite singer is Ringo Shiina. When I heard her music for the first time, I found it very different from which I listen to. Her music is heavy whereas my favorite was soft and tender. So, I’ve been away from her music for a while. And then I just remembered her voice all of sudden and I listened to it again. There, I was caught by her music… I read the lyrics and I’d come to like it more. Ms. Shiina is my favorate artist and the person whom I want to be like.

Q: So, you’re aiming Ms. Shiina.
J: Yes, but sorry to say aiming. I just like her that much.

Q: (Laughter) Ringo Shiina is different from other J-POP artists. What point are you attracted by?
J: The best point is her lyrics. And She has a great sense of music. I think she is attractive and talented.

Q: You came to Japan to study music. Why did you choose Japan?
J: In Korea, most of the artists are dance group. There isn’t many artists who play instruments or is a singer-song-writers. The system of being ‘indie’ is not quite popular there, either. Whereas in Japan, there are so many artists who play instruments and singer-song-writers plus the indie activities are active. That’s why I chose Japan for studying music. My favorite Ringo Shiina is in Japan as well (Laughter).

Q: And then you thought you wanted to challenge in Japan not in Korea?
J: Yes, I did. Of course I couldn’t understand Japanese but I was feeling familiar to it because of my father’s influence.

Q: You’ve stay here all alone and holding some street lives, too.
J: Yes, in Shinjuku and Shibuya. It was so much fun. I’ve always wanted to do that and was very happy to see that the number of audiences increased. So happy to see they were enjoying my music.

Q: Anything you learned by coming to Japan all alone and having great times with unknown people?
J: I’ve learnt many. I found it’s not OK if only I am enjoying… I found it’s important to do the music that I want as well as people find it fun.

Q: About a half year later after that, you made a major debut. How did you feel?
J: It had a big impact on me. I had a little anxiety of “I’m not good enough” and the delight of coming close to my dream at the same time… It was mixed, to be honest.

Q: You’re honest. What do you think of Korean artists being successful in Japan?
J: I think it’s brilliant. But I don’t compare them to myself.

Q: You just don’t care so much?
J: They’re different from where I’m walking. They come to Japan after succeeding in Korea whereas I started in Japan from the beginning and gradually getting to know by people from the indie. I just think I want to try more and more so that many more people get to know me… So, I don’t really think about them.

Q: You’re going your way. Have the anxieties gradually gone off?
J: Well, I still have many things to make up. But I always have a gratitude feeling. I feel I have to grow up more since I’m major now… I just feel I want to try hard.

Q: Got it. You said you are active in both Korea and Japan now. Were you in Japan when there was the earthquake?
J: Yes I was. There’re no earthquakes in Korea. I experienced it for the first time here. I was very scared.

Q: Did you see how the disaster areas are on TV or something?
J: Yes, I was so sad. And noticed that I’d been helped a lot by people. I thought what I could do for them … Then, made a major single, ‘Forever’.

Q: Really? We hope many more people will listen to your ‘Forever’. Now, we would like to ask you about the new single, ‘Sakura~unreachable feeling’. We Japanese love the flower, Sakura. How about you?
J: Yes, that’s my favorite, too. Sakura’s blooming period is very short. Only 1 week and they just go. I like it on the point of it’s a little sentimental.

Q: We heard this is the first song made by piano. You rewrote the one in the 2nd album ‘Dream&Hope’. How was the original one?
J: It’s originally about love. But this time I arranged the lyric to express the sentimentalism of Sakura and graduation.

Q: Is it only the lyric which is changed?
J: The lyric and arrangement is different but my feeling when singing has changed the best. The sentimentalism of love and graduation are different. I would like to show that point.

Q: You are writing in Japanese. But do Korean words come up first to you?
J: Recently, Japanese phrases come up first. I used to write in Korean first and translated into Japanese by looking up dictionary. But it’s hard so I just thought doing Japanese from the start!(Laughter)

Q: (Laughter) ‘Sakura’ is written with CUL and Junji Ishiwatari.
J: Yes. But I’ve never met Mr.Ishiwatari. I wrote the lyrics first and he corrected it for me. I was grateful to look at his lyrics. I could learn a lot about how Japanese people express their feelings on lyrics. I was very happy. I want to say thank you very much to him.

Q: And then, of course you want to write your own words even so?
J: Yes. I know my ability is not good enough but I want to write what I feel because it’s my songs.

Q: I see. I can sense your emotion from this song.
Yes. There’s stories in lyrics. I’m trying to express the feelings point by point just like there’s happy feelings and sad feelings.

Q: Now, about coupling songs. Talking to you today, I guess the song which is closest to your profile is this ‘Pinochio’.
J: You got it(Laughter).

Q: You wrote this song along with the story of ‘Pinochio’. Is there any links between the hero of the story and you?
J: Yes. I became pinochio myself when I was writing the lyric. I was thinking what I’d think if I was pinochio. So, my thought is in there, too.

Q: The 3rd song ‘with you’ is a pretty love song. It’s a spring song, too.
J: Yes. I love Sakura. I wrote this song while imagining a sweet couple in a park with lots of Sakura. My wish is in this song… maybe(Laugter).

Q: (Laughter) Your lyric will probably change little by little as you grow up.
J: I guess so and I’m looking forward to it.

Q: I heard you have a wish to make heavy songs lately.
J: Yes. I originally liked sweet and warm music. But I come to like heavy ones, too recently. So, the songs I make are becoming heavy, too.

Q: We’d love to listen to that.(Laughter) Maybe you are producing different types of songs in the near future.
J: Yes. I don’t want to settle just one genre. I always want to challenge many kinds of songs. Please look forward.

Source: musicshelf.jp
Translated by: @okmak111

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