Terjemahan dalam Bahasa Indonesia. Klik! -> https://junielindo.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/trans-indo-juniel-interview-at-musicshelf/
(This interview is long but interesting 🙂 you’ll know about her better and will see her pure and artistic character. Though it’s rough translation, I’ll be glad if you enjoy ^^)
(Early spring’s voice that arrived from Korea ~ JUNIEL)
JUNIEL SPECIAL INTERVIEW
JUNIEL, a singer-songwriter from Korea, 18 years old. While many fellow Korean singers are having brilliant activities, she’s taking firm roots here in Japan and is going to bloom her delicate and lily flower wonderfully.
She came to Japan in 2010. With going to Japanese language school, she had activities of both production and performance with great enthusiasm, and released two indie albums. Then in November 2011, she made her major debut. From the very beginning, her activity basis has been in Japan. She sings songs with Japanese lyrics. If you hear her second major single “Sakura ~todokanu omoi~”, you will feel the light scent of her unique atmosphere that Japanese people nearly forgot.
For my first time, I met JUNIEL. Although her Japanese is great, she talked with choosing words carefully so that she could express her thoughts well. You will feel her character that is innocence with strong core.
— Your Japanese is great.
Thank you. It’s okay (laugh).
— I heard that you went to Japanese language school while you had indie activities.
Yes. Currently I come and go between Japan and Korea, but in indie era, I was living in Japan and went to Japanese language school for about one and a half year.
— It should be hard to do both study at school and music.
Yes (laugh). But I’ll try my best.
— As this is my first time to see you, I’d like to hear your story in the past. At first, what was your trigger to start singing?
Although there is not particular trigger, my father did music in the college years, and I grew up with seeing his singing and playing guitar, so I could become familiar with music naturally. So, I’d love music before I knew it, and I’d been doing music before I knew it (laugh).
— What kind of music were your father listening to?
Mostly it was foreign music, like blues, rock and pops, but he also used to listen to J-POP.
— Did you learn guitar from your father, too?
No, I didn’t. But I was interested in guitar as a child.
— When did you start learning vocal and guitar?
Vocal is since around I was in elementary, and guitar is since I was in the third year in junior high.
— How about composition?
It is also since around I was in the third year in junior high. Listening to lot of varieties of music as a child, I was hoping to compose songs, then I tried after I started guitar and remembering chords.
— Oh, I see. In the music that you liked to listen to, is there any musician who left special impression to you?
Yes. My favorite artist is Sheena Ringo(椎名林檎*)-san. Her song that I heard for the first time has a very hard taste, and it was different from songs with warm feelings that I often heard at that time. So, I left it for a while after I listened once. But I remembered her voice all of a sudden and tried listening, and it won(/caught) my heart… Then I listened while reading the lyrics, and I loved it more. Sheena-san is now my favorite artist and I want to be like her.
(* Her name is also romanized as “Shiina Ringo”. She’s a singer-songwriter and a vocalist in her band “Tokyo Jihen(東京事変) / Incidents Tokyo”, which is going to disband on February 29th 2012. omo, today!)
— Is she your goal?
Yes, but I like her so much that I feel sorry to say that she is my goal…
— (laugh). Sheena Ringo-san is a different type of artist from those who are singing current popular songs. What is attractive to you?
What is the most attractive to me is lyrics. And her multitalented musical sense is very attractive and great.
— I heard that you came to Japan for musical study, why did you choose Japan?
In Korea, there are many dance groups, yet few musicians who play instrument, especially singer-songwriters. The system of “Indie” is not well-known, either. On the other hand, In Japan, there are a lot of artists who sing with playing instrument, and lots of singer-songwriters as well. There are many people who have indie activities. So, I thought if I study music abroad, it’ll be in Japan. Then I chose it. Also, because the one i love the most, Sheena Ringo-san was in Japan, too (laugh).
— Yes (laugh). So, were you going to try in Japanese music scene, not in Korean one?
Yes, I was. Of course I didn’t understand Japanese at all when i was a child, but maybe because my father used to listen to J-POP, I felt familiarity with Japan. Since some time or other, I felt like to study music in Japan.
— You came alone for music study and did street live as well?
Yes, I did at Shinjuku and Shibuya. I had a lot of fun. I had wanted to try and I was glad that the number of audiences increased gradually. Because I thought that they enjoyed my music together.
— You came alone to Japan and knew the joy to enjoy music with people who don’t know about you well. Is there anything that you learned from that?
Yes, I learned a lot of things. I learned that it’s not meaningful if I do what only I think good. I should do music that I want to do, and the audience enjoys it. That is the important thing, I think.
— I see. In last April, you released your first (mini) album from indie label. How did you feel that your work came into the world?
As I thought that people who were glad or happy to hear my music would increase, I was so glad for that.
— About half year after that, you made your major debut. How was the feeling at that time?
It was a major event for me. I had a worry that I might not be good enough to debut, but also I had a joy that I came a little closer to my dream… So, actually I had mixed feelings. I was very glad to make the major debut, but I had worry too…
— You are a very honest person. How do you see that other Korean artists are currently active in Japan?
They are great. But I don’t compare them with me.
— You don’t have much concern?
They are going on a different path with mine. Other artists from Korea succeeded in Korea, then came to Japan and got more fans. On the other hand, I started activities as an indie musician in Japan, and I have a thought that I will work harder and harder from the bottom… Right. I haven’t had much thought about it ever.
— You follow your own path. Are the worry at the major debut getting smaller gradually?
Hmm…I have still many deficient points, but I always have a feeling of gratitude. I have a feeling that I should grow up more and more, because I made my major debut, but… I want to try harder.
— I see. Now you come and go between Korea and Japan, but were you in Japan at the great earthquake?
Yes, I was. Since there are not earthquakes in Korea, it was my first experience. It was scary, very scary.
— Did you see the situation at the suffered area on TV?
Yes. I was so sad. I noticed that I had not noticed something though I was living in Japan. At that time, I only found that I had been helped by Japan, in many ways. What should I do…with thinking so, I wrote the major debut single “Forever”.
— Did you? I hope many people will listen to “Forever” as well. From now, I’d like to hear about the new single “Sakura ~todokanu omoi~”. Japanese people like Sakura very much in flowers, how about you?
Yes, sakura is my most favorite flower, too. The time that sakura is blooming is short. They bloom only a single week and fall beautifully. That makes us feel lonely. I like that.
— I heard that this is the first song that you composed with piano. This is re-make of the one in the second mini album “Dream & Hope”, what song was it originally?
Originally it was a love song, with theme of love. This time, I rewrote the lyrics showing the analogy between the feeling of loneliness that both sakura and graduation have.
— Is what changed is only lyrics?
Though the lyrics and arrangement changed, the most different thing is the feeling when I sing the song. Since the loneliness of love and that of graduation are different, I hoped to express that well.
— You write lyrics in Japanese. Does Korean lyric come across your mind at first?
Recently Japanese lyric has come across my mind from the beginning. When I didn’t know Japanese language, I used to write in Korean, look up the words in the dictionary and change them into Japanese. But because it’s a little bit hard (laugh), lately I thought “Let’s write in Japanese from the beginning!”, so…
— (laugh) The lyric of “Sakura ~todokanu omoi~” is written by three people, you, CUL and Ishiwatari Junji.
Yes, but I haven’t seen Ishiwatari-san yet. He read the lyrics that I wrote first. When I saw the lyric that he wrote, I thought it was great. I learned a lot about the very Japanese expressions and emotions from that. I was very glad and I want to say “Thank you” to him.
— But you want to write in words of your own, right?
Yes, I do. Though I have many deficient points yet, all in all, I want to write what I feel in words of my own, because it’s my song.
— I see. From this song too, we can feel the heightened emotion.
Yes. Lyric has a story, like there is joy and there is sadness. The most important thing is how I put expressions into the part of the song and what expression it is. I’m singing with that thought.
— Then, I’d like to ask about the other songs in the second single. As I hear your story today, I feel that the closest one to your true face might be “Pinocchio”.
— (laugh). I heard that the story “Pinocchio” inspired you to write the lyrics. Did you have a sympathetic mind toward the main character?
Yes. When I read the story and read the lyrics, I were Pinocchio itself. “If I were Pinocchio, what would I think?” With that thought, I wrote the lyrics. So, my feeling should be put in it as well.
— The third track “with you” is a cute love song. It’s also spring song, right?
Yes. Since I like sakura so much, I wrote it with the imagination that cute couple enjoy themselves at a park where a lot of sakura are blooming beautifully. My wish is also in this song…maybe? (laugh)
— (laugh). As you are growing up, your lyrics will change naturally.
It will. I’m looking forward for that.
— I heard you recently have had a will to write hard songs.
Yes. Originally I liked songs with warm and gentle feelings, but recently I came to like hard music and have listened to a variety of music. So, the music I make is also hard (laugh).
— It will be interesting (laugh). More different types of music will be born in future.
Yes. I don’t want to decide a genre of music that I make. I want to try various things and to try singing various songs. I always have that thought. Please look forward for.
English trans by TAMAGOcnbjnl