Juniel: “Saying that I benefit from IU’s scandal makes no sense at all”

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Stirring the emotions of fans with a cute and fresh image, boosting a small frame which disguises the power of the cool and clear timbre of her vocals, often sounding as though she is soliloquizing with the help of an acoustic guitar, 19 year-old singer-songwriter Juniel (Choi Jun Hee) has been tagged with the label of being ‘the nation’s second little sister’ due to her uncanny resemblance to the nation’s little sister, IU. Like IU, Juniel had also gained a huge base of uncle fans with her powerful vocals and youthful image, and thus was tagged with that label since her debut days.

On the 23rd of November, StarNews met with Juniel in the waiting room of KBS broadcasting station in Yeoido. The star, who has been compared to the likes of IU, once again expressed that ‘even when people around [me] say that it does not make it seem any more realistic’. Attributing the compliments to the support she received from the audience, Juniel believes that it is because she has been working hard to produce good music.

Having released her mini album 1 & 1 on the 20th of November , Juniel’s comeback has been receiving favourable reviews and her title track, ‘Bad Man’, topped various real-time music charts in just one day.

Four other songs that were personally composed by Juniel-‘Boy’, ‘Happy Ending’, ‘Oh! Happy Day’ and ‘Cat Day’-also received much love and were placed on music charts as well. ‘Boy’, especially, has been gaining much attention due to the fact that it was then 16-year-old-Juniel’s first self-composed song.

“Preparation for this album was especially thorough, and the songs themselves were to my liking and so I was really anticipating it. Every time I make music, I intend for the music to be sincere and honest. I pour all the emotions I want to convey into the songs and sing wholeheartedly, and I think this is one reason which has gained me fans.

Consistently receiving much love after debuting in June with ‘Illa Illa’, Juniel at present is in a cutthroat competition against the other outstanding rookies Lee Ha Yi and Ailee. With an approval rating of close to 40%, it has been predicted that Juniel would clinch the award for the ‘Rookie of the Year’ for Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) 2012.

Juniel, although happy, confesses that she is ‘not greedy for the award’. “Fan votes are to me an affirmation and I am very glad [to receive it]. Although I would be happy if they gave me the award, the award is not the reason why I make music, and so I do not especially yearn for it. Writing songs and just making music alone gives me great joy.”

In response to comments that she involuntarily and unexpectedly benefited from the recent IU photo scandal, Juniel does not even seem to bat an eyelid to these allegations. “The whole incident is a regrettable affair, but saying that I benefit from the IU photo scandal and will be successful because of that makes no sense at all”, says the cool-headed singer, who dismisses it with the way of her hand.

“In actual fact, I have never been bothered by this issue at all. I have a ‘let’s just work hard on the music’ attitude and have been focusing on pursuing my work”.

Despite sending ripples through the music industry, Juniel remains unfazed by the increasing interest in her and remains focused on her work, sincerely cherishing the opportunities to compose and sing. Her stoicism and professionalism has made people all the more convinced that this is one rookie that would remain in the audience’s good books, or rather, albums, for a long time to come.

“I am just Juniel. Regardless of whatever I say, everyone just do not see [the real me].  (laughs) In order to make the nickname (‘nation’s second little sister’) disappear someday, I will continue to work hard”.

Are you rooting for Juniel to become the ‘Rookie of the Year’ at this year’s Mnet Music Asian Awards? MAMA 2012 will take place on the 30th of November, 2012, so stay tuned for more updates on hellokpop!

Source (News): StarNews

Source (Picture): Juniel’s Facebook


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