Juniel has co-composed 3 out of the 5 tracks on ‘My First June’. She has previously garnered attention as a singer-songwriter ever since she won first place on the Japanese version of ‘American Idol‘, ‘Niji Iro Supernova’, in 2010.
Rookie artist Juniel, has been nicknamed as the “next IU“. After her debut showcase on June 7, Juniel commented, “IU is a senior artist who everyone loves and knows as the nation’s younger sister so when they called me the ‘Second IU’, I was very happy.” She then added, “But I think it’s an overstatement for a rookie like me. I hope to show my own color as Juniel.”
The rookie singer also said, “I was told that my strength is that my voice is able to change with each song,” showing confidence in her own charm. She further revealed her role model to be the popular singer- songwriter, Lily Allen.
Juniel has recently rapped up her debut stages on the four major music shows M!Countdown, Music Bank, Music Core, and Inkigayo with the help of her sunbaenim, Jung Yonghwa which perhaps was a very thought out, strategic move on her label company’s FNC Entertainment part. I still have my own qualms with the fact that Juniel is a solo artist making her debut in Korea after having made her major debut in Japan already. She’s experienced enough to be able to hold her own ground by becoming a new artist in her own country on her own shouldn’t she? I’ve touched on this topic before and after watching her debut stages, the topic arose in my head once again.
Yes, we all know that Yonghwa composed, produced, and was also featured in the video for ‘Fool‘ naturally. While I understand him performing the song with her during her debut showcase FNC held for her on June 7th, I don’t really feel it was appropriate for Yonghwa to have performed this song with Juniel on not one or two but all four of her debut show appearances. Not to mention, he was seated on stage with her during two of her performances for ‘Illa Illa‘ for both Music Bank on June 9th and Inkigayo on June 10th which he doesn’t’ have any affiliation with at all. It’s not like she needed him to play guitar or anything because let’s be honest, nobody plays live instruments on these shows unless there’s a special stage or concert where they have the instruments set up. Yonghwa was not playing that guitar live so then what was the real reason for his presence on stage with her? Could it be that FNC really wants to pawn us BOICE off onto Juniel for real? That’s my train of thought and witnessing these events has given me even more reason to think this way.
Now don’t get me wrong, as an avid CNBLUE fan and a lover of ‘Emotional‘ Jung Yonghwa since he’s my bias, I enjoyed seeing him on stage! But for me, these appearances were bitter/ sweet. I feel so conflicted because of course as a fan I want to back up anything and everything my favorite band does but I just don’t get why CNBLUE, especially Yonghwa, has to be the launching catalyst for Juniel’s debut and possibly even her success! To me, it just seems too forced. What other solo artist debuts with a duet with another artist, let alone someone who is already established with his own fan following? Does this usually happen in Korea? Please let me know because If I’m wrong, I take it all back! This doesn’t usually happen in the US with rookie DEBUT artists unless they really don’t have the talent or charisma to stand alone.
As far as IU, I don’t think I necessarily agree with the comparisons between Juniel and her bubbly and super charming sunbaenim IU. OK, so they are both young female solo artists who are both established in Japan and both play guitar and have similar music styles. I think that’s pretty much where the similarities end. How the media is referring to Juniel as ‘the next IU’ places a really a huge amount of pressure on the younger artist. I think that statements like this aren’t fair to either Juniel or IU simply because no one, while it may be flattering in most cases, wants to be viewed as ‘the next‘ or ‘the new‘ or ‘another so & so’ for the obvious reasons. Artists, especially new ones, want to be recognized for their uniqueness and should want to set themselves apart from the rest in any way they can.
While I feel Juniel has a promising future and already has some notable accomplishments under her belt, she is definitely ‘green‘ by industry standards and will perhaps take some time before she should be put under such pressure as being compared to ‘Korea’s Little Sister‘ IU.
The above article is my own personal opinion and any views or statements are strictly my own ideas and thoughts I wanted to share. If you disagree or agree with anything I’ve said, please let me know, I’d love to hear the opinions of my readers as well!