June 23, 2012 08:25
Rookie singer Juniel has been racing up the online music charts despite only debuting in Korea two weeks ago with her mini-album "My First June" on June 7.
The 19-year-old, dubbed "the next IU" for her acoustic guitar skills and cute looks, wrote three of the five songs on the album herself.
"It's such an honor to be compared to IU, who has become a highly sought-after singer since her debut four years ago. It's truly more than I deserve," she said.
Juniel dreamed of becoming a singer after "watching a documentary on [Korean singer] BoA when she was a third grader at elementary school." Juniel said BoA's hard work in Japan, where she has frequently topped the charts, inspired her.
Juniel was born into a musical family -- her father once dreamed of becoming a singer and her mother used to act in musicals.
Juniel was signed by a management agency after she attended an audition when she was in her second year of middle school in 2008. She debuted two years later in Japan by winning a contest hosted by a magazine there that drew over 3,000 contestants. For the next two years, she gave various live concerts and released two indie and two major single albums in the neighboring country.
"I moved to Japan because I wanted to study music in a place with a larger market featuring more diverse genres of music. I went on stage three or four times a week and even joined in busking street performances. What I liked the most about the experience was being able to interact with members of the audience."
Juniel said she is not nervous about singing in Korea because she is confident about her singing skills despite being a newcomer.
"I want to convey everyday emotions through my music so I can show my true self. I hope I can show various sides of my personality, from my girlish charms to my wild side," she said. "Then people will ultimately stop seeing me as 'the next so-and-so.'"
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