Juna n Joey Meet #TEAMw21
In the spring of 2021. a press release reached us at #W21Towers announcing the debut single by a duo Juna & Joey. The single "Something To Miss" was a fine piece of Couintry pop, something to brighten up the emergence from Lockdown, however it was not that which had caught our attention but the rather bold almost outlandish claim that they would be touring the UK in the summer. At a time when barely anyone was going anywhere in the UK, and festivals were falling like dominoes these teenagers from Florida were planning to cross the ocean to play here?
Lo and behold, they not only were true to their word and made it, but they joined Twinnie on her UK tour, played the UK Country Music Festival in Blackpool, open spots, coffee shops and just about anywhere that would have them on their whistle stop tour.
We agree to meet at a bar in Omeara where but a few hours later they will wow a London crowd. Gathered around a slightly wobbly table with the sound of trains rumbling past and the faint echoes of Twinnie finishing her sound check seeping from the auditorium we settle down for a chat. Both are cheery and relaxed, dressed in the stage gear they will be wearing later/ They make for charming company Joey 19 and Juna 16 have a delightful way of dividing interviewing duties between them each one letting making sure the other gets their say.
#TEAMW21 Thanks for coming over to the UK, There are not a lot of artists making that journey at the moment
Joey: "We're very blessed!"
June: "Yes certainly not too many Country acts.
#TEAMw21 You have already got to play at some of our best small venues like The Bedford in Balham?
Joey: "They have such great lighting and sound and it is all so professional"
Juna: "I heard that Ed Sheeran made his debut there and I'm thinking On my gosh I'm on the same stage as Ed Sheeran - that was really cool.
#TEAMw21 What's it like touring with Twinnie - she's an interesting character?
Joey "She's a great performer, her songs are very catchy - she really knows how to entertain!
Juna "She is such a nice person"
They are not wrong there, a few hours later Twinnie will unleash 18 months of frustration of delays and cancellations into a blistering performance, that will rock Omeara to its very foundations as our review will testify to.
#TEAMw21 - We've heard nothing but great things about your show at Blackpool - It must have been a strange experience - it's quite unlike anywhere else in the UK
Juna laughs "I've heard that a lot from different people, I will say that the one thing we noticed was that it was a big party town!" We were in our room and opened the window to let the air in and people were partying at 4am , screaming outside the window!"
Joey "I could not get any sleep!"
#TEAMw21: Juna - you started writing songs at an amazingly early age - who were your influences then?
Juna "I'd say at the time definitely Kesey Ballerini and Carrie Underwood, my vocal coach had a showcase every year and said Why don't you write some of your own stuff for the showcase?". I thought i'll try it and she helped and taught me where to start. Now we have sessions with professional co writers, but she certainly prepared me for where we are today"
Joey "I had no intentions of playing music, I was much more a sports guy, but now I play guitar, piano and a bit of saxophone and also some beatbox" which he ably demonstrates ,
I actually went to one of my sisters lessons and started from there. We actually formed a rock band playing Led Zeppelin and all sorts of rock songs but we were not feeling the vibe and then we switched to country pop. We're currently listening to Luke Combs and Parker McCollum and it is that who we are trying to emulate with our music and sound
#TEAMw21 - Although "Something To Miss" is your "debut" single the internet is actually awash with your performances - You must have been recording for ages?
Joey: We had about 25 subscribers at the time and I was saying "Juna - we've got to start a You Tube channel!" We posted covers each week of the famous songs we thought people would enjoy and are always searching for and that got us a lot of exposure each week so we kept on doing that"
Juna That's why we got into writing with other people and after we'd written a couple of songs we wanted to put them out and show people what our sound is and who we are as artists. Then we went into the studio with Jeff Pardo and produced "Stay Young" For the cover we went to the beach and took pictures of the sunset with a friend. It's awaesome to see how people responded to that.
Joey - The older we get the better our songs are going to be just through having more experiences. we'll learn what is wrong and what is right.
#TEAMw21 - Some would say you've already struck gold with a song like "Anchor - which people 10 or 20 years older would have been pleased to have written?"
Both "It's such a tough topic, bullying is a bad thing, pushing people down to make themselves look better"
Juna: "We wrote that song about having that one person, your anchor to be there for you - That was the message we wanted to impart"
Joey: Every week we'd go live during Anti Bulliying month in October and listen to peoples stories and talk to them.
Juna We could just go and speak about it but music is our art form and its how we express ourselves. Doing this through song is very special.
Joey "It can take a 100 songs to get the one, so we're going to keep on writing, keep meeting new people and get to that Main Stage,
#TEAMw21 - You've been getting a great reaction to these shows in the UK
Juna - "I've noticed since we been on tour - our first ever international tour that we've grown so much on social media through those shows.
Joey - Touring is such a great way to keep your fans engaged and gain followers
#TEAMw21 Almost certainly the fans you make off this tour will keep coming back year after year - UK fans are very loyal and thankful to artists that come over.
Juna We have had such a lot of attention with direct messaging and they're liking what we are doing and they buy lots of merch!"
#TEAmw21 - You've actually released 3 albums and a covers EP - the Covid EP choices were most interesting
Joey "Yes we wanted to do some songs relating to being locked up and being alone at home that people could listen to and hopefully feel a little better
June - "We weren't really planning on going into any studios or recording new music so we did these songs at home so that we would be able to carry on putting out songs
#TEAMw21 - There are a couple of Luke Combs songs in there who you mentioned as an influence and the old standard "Solitaire" best known as sung by Andy Williams in this country - How did you come across that?
June - "Well our Manager always tells us we are the modern day Carpenters"
Joey "and that Luke Combs song "6 Feet Apart" is Covid related so fitted perfectly
#TEAMW21 - You cover "All By Myself" - you must have had a smile as you sung the opening lines
Juna ponders for a second and then quietly sings it to herself "When I was young I never needed anyone ...." before chuckling to herself
#TEAMw21 - You also reclaim Dido's "Thank You" - It's so hard to listen to that without expecting Eminem to crash in at any minute
Both laugh in agreement.
#TEAMw21: So what does the future hold for you?
Juna: "We're going to Nashville to film a movie which is the life story of Dr Ralph Stanly ( American Bluegrass Singer ) I'm super excited - we've never filmed a movie before!"
Joey "We also have a home in Nashville, we currently live an hour from downtown. so it'll be cool to have shows down there. We're also going to be recording new music for an EP later next year