Reported by Imani Wj Wright
What I am about to say doesn't only apply to music/art but pretty much life as a whole. Grant it, I cannot speak for anyone else, but I can say on a personal note, one thing I find comforting and reliable, is consistency. When there is true consistency, you stay void of any surprises or undesirable anxieties. Now, let’s step back into the realm of music. Want a sexy night? Turn on that Barry White. Feeling political and rebellious? Play some Public Enemy. You see? Those artists almost give us a guaranteed soundscape and lyrical realm. They become “sure things.” But, there is another side of the spectrum- monotony. So, when I took a look at Junechi Yong’s Spotify page and saw that he had 11 releases in 2020, with two full length albums (Blue Stripes, and Behind My Masks), aside from his obvious attrition, I wondered if he was able to add variety to his sound.
It’s clear that Yong is an artist with awareness of his positioning, and the necessity to diversify his sound with so many projects. Tracks like Cold World, and 12 O’ Clock, from his album Blue Stripes show the dichotomy in his deliveries and instrumental melodies. One attribute that does seem prevalent in his productions are the hard-hitting Trap-inspired drums.
In regard to how he approaches his sound, Yong stated:
"This is definitely a struggle at times! I’ve learned to stop being so hard on myself though and just make sure the content is good and authentic… that’s because it’s something I really value. Authenticity is something I refuse to waiver. If I can’t prevail with authenticity then I will keep it pushing."
This guy's steadfastness is inspiring. It's not rare for people to become unfocused or lose sight of their goals, especially when it comes to self-driven endeavors. When there’s no “supervisor” over your shoulder, the level of self-agency increases exponentially. So, it becomes even more impressive when you listen to the raw, genuine, and passionate vocals that he displays song after song. You believe Junechi when he’s singing to you. It doesn’t feel strained or forced- and that’s almost as important as hitting the right notes and staying on pitch. It’s one of the reasons you gain relationships with artists/musicians. However, as engaging as he is, he asserts that while he was recording his LP, Behind My Mask, he refers to it as a project he wrote for himself.
“I honestly didn’t think about my listeners when creating this project. This project was actually a selfish one. It was really for myself and my own growth. Most people tend to assume I’m “ok” all the time, because for the most part, I handle my handle. BUT this time, I was going through a lot and needed a way to release. Afterwards I was able to enjoy the reactions and responses from my fans. It shocked me how many listeners turned to this project for their own healing. Almost like an Emotional Bible.” Said Yong.
Just as the ankh that he occasionally wears around his neck represents life, his career and steadfastness represents his personality and trajectory. People like him tend to succeed in most things they put their hands in.
“I know if I keep it authentic, SOMEONE will relate. My next project that I’m currently working on, however, will be just for the fans. I want to put a project out that people can vibe to and feel happy. I promise to still keep it authentic though.” - Junechi Yong
Check out his Spotify Page Below: