Junii: Exclusive Unplugged Session + 14 Questions with Detroit’s Very Own

“I want to give the listener something that they can hold on to; something unforgettable.” – Junii

junii
Photo: Noah Stenhouse

Born in Detroit and based in L.A., singer/songwriter Junii has been on our radar for a minute with her smooth flow and bars that grab the listener. She’s an incredible mix of talent, authenticity, style and heart, and we couldn’t wait to feature her in an exclusive Girls Are Awesome|Unplugged session, backed up by Mr. Kevin Christian on keys. As if two live songs weren’t enough, Junii was gracious enough to let us pick her brain a bit, so enjoy her sounds as you get to know her a little better in our Q&A below.

Where did the name come about?
Well, I am still figuring myself out but I know that I want to do outstanding things in this world & create things that can last for lifetimes. 

Who do you make music for?  The lover? The dreamer? The cheater? Lol
I don’t create music specifically for anything or anyone really. I want to be able to tell a story so well that anyone can connect to it, regardless of if they’ve been in the situation or not. I always leave it up to the listener. 

Your music is very sensual with a old school new school hip hop feel, is this intentional when creating music or was it by accident? 
I was raised around all flavors of music so it is pretty much a mix but when I first started, it was definitely more of an old school type of vibe; more boom bap I would say. As time went on, I wanted to expand on different sounds and areas of music. I always try to challenge myself to different types of instrumentals and just see where it takes me and so far I am loving it!

Is love and the trials and tribulations that come with it something that inspires  you to make music or an aspiration of what your music can accomplish?
They definitely do. I have been incorporating my personal stories into my music a lot more lately. Don’t Stand Too Close Vol.2 actually showcases a lot of those moments. I want to give the listener something that they can hold on to; something unforgettable.

Ok so random one – What’s your star sign?
Born June 21st, Gemini/Cancer cusp. Although some people don’t really believe in cusps, I have always identified as Gemini.

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Is your music inspired by your actual experiences around love and hurt? I.e Avenue? Or Find Out, compared to Don’t Stand Too Close?
Most of my music is inspired by true events. Other times they are just theories and my feelings towards certain things. Sometimes the songs can just be based off of a quick thought that I might’ve had, such as sex or just me simply being horny – which is the topic presented in Find Out.

You’re living in L.A. now. How does that influence the way you write compared to being back in Detroit and living those experiences?
Writing while in Detroit felt a bit more connected only because I am writing IN the area or city where a lot of my topics are taking place. On the other hand, living in L.A. has helped because now I am able to view it from the outside which gives me a new perspective.

What is love to Junii?
Still figuring this whole love thing out but I must say, I am currently loving it here!

As an artist and a Black woman, how do your experiences differ from the peers in your industry? What sets Junii apart?
Well being a Black woman already has its own box of things, but I feel like what sets me apart is that I enjoy dabbling into other genres of music. I enjoy the unpredictable feeling behind my creativity because one day I might just do a rock album or a folk album; as I plan doing a full jazz album one day.

What are your hobbies and some things that you do outside of music? Do you like to skateboard? Roller skate?
I LOVE makeup! I started doing it with my best friend in 10th grade and then stopped after I graduated. I got back into it some months ago and now it is my second favorite thing to do again. I also love learning so I often watch documentaries or read articles about different topics or things going on in the world. The most recent being a documentary I watched about an update that they do on the Titanic every 15 years or so. I can watch documentaries all day!

Your style is very tomboy feline fresh – I say feline because you have amazing nails, eyes and your attitude is almost like a cat, beautiful to look at but watch out! What are your style inspirations?
Ha! My style inspirations mostly come from Jaden & Willow, Billie Ellish, Kaiit and other models or people who do/wear cool things.

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What do you hope other women take away from your music and your art?
I would just hope that women feel empowered to create whatever they want! When they’re listening to me I want them to feel like there aren’t any limits or boundaries to what they might be doing, because there are no limits in the end.

We heard you have a new project dropping on the 19th which is super exciting for us all over here at Girls Are Awesome. What’s behind it and what can we expect?
The story behind volume two touches more on my love life, money & my toxic/bad habits. I do a lot more singing on this project but it is a nice balance between the other tracks presented. I would say this one is a bit more sentimental & reflective.

We’ve noticed your nails are ALWAYS looking insane and give so much character and attitude along with your incredible coloured hairstyles, then you hit us with the tomboy swag which is soooo Girls Are Awesome style! How important are they to your image and expressing who you are?
Honestly, I just started embracing my feminine side almost a year ago. I was always very tomboyish, but I was still finding myself and trying different things out. As time went on, I started to show more femininity and I became comfortable with it! Having my nails, hair & makeup done makes me happy, I love it here.


Project Crew

Vocals – Junii  
Accompaniment on Keys – Kevin Christian 
Videography + Photography – Noah Stenhouse / Third Culture
Creative Director – Felicity Gilbert
Creative Director – Sema-Tawi Smart

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