JUNOR soars high on new single ‘Top Flight’
Melbourne rapper JUNOR is a passionate guy. Whether it be DJing for his mate IVAN OOZE on stages across the country, owning it himself on the mic with his solo work, repping his crew as part of R.E.A.L MUSIC or championing hip-hop on his radio show and now blog, AUD’$, he’s always earnest, genuine and just damn passionate.
He’s released music as part of his solo project before, but something feels different about his most recent release, ‘Top Flight, which dropped this week. Always one for intelligent rhymes to make you think and feel, it’s evident from the first few seconds he’s not playing games anymore. Ambitious, but landing firmly on his feet, JUNOR rises to the challenge he set himself on this track with autotuned vocals, thick and textured beats and, just casually, a guest verse from MANN.
Mann is a name known in the hip-hop community for his work with none other than Frank Ocean, 50 Cent and a little guy named Kendrick Lamar. Add to the fact that Chance The Rapper collaborator Nate Fox laid down the production on this, and you’ve got yourself a trifecta of seriously epic proportions.
To get to know the rising star a little better, we fired off some questions for JUNOR to celebrate his release. We’re not sure where he’s going next, but we are pretty positive it’s going to be big. Keep both eyes firmly locked on JUNOR.
You spend a lot of time on-stage, either on the mic or on the decks. Each would be an entirely different experience, but I’m curious – do you prefer one to the other? Or is it all about whats happening around you and what space you’re in as to what you prefer?
For me, it’s about losing myself in the moment regardless. This is what i’ve always wanted to do, make records, express myself and bring good fucking time to this life thing for everyone. Who knows, it could all end tomorrow. So i’m going as hard as possible every time. That’s what 8 year old me could only dream of.
Teaming up with MANN is absolutely huge – can you tell us a bit about this?
It’s a funny story actually. He also releases music under the name Yump Daniels and i’d had his 2016 project ‘Feel Triip’ getting me through plenty of days and nights. Me being me, i’d hit him up online to show love (that’s how i linked with Nate Fox originally too) and eventually reached out to peep him some of my stuff. We’re on a real similar wavelength and he showed love for my music too. I saw him announce an Australian club tour under the name MANN and i realised the amount of work he’d actually done haha.
My manager started talks to link us up in the studio because we both really wanted to work. We linked up at my studio for a long as session of vibing over some bomb weed (need me that plug again actually) and the result is Top Flight!
It was super super dope. I consider him a bro now and we wanna do more work together for sure.
You noted that the vibes between the two of you were really good, which allowed for an easy collaboration. Did you learn anything from working with him? Anything you can take back for your own collabs?
He’s a great writer. That verse is one take. The way he performed in the booth was super refreshing. He really good haha
We spoke a lot about the industry, and still do. He was signed to Def Jam for a while and got to work with some incredible artists along the way so has done and seen a whole lifetime more than anyone i know. He gave me a heap of confidence in what i’m doing with my R.E.A.L Music label that we’re doing it the right way like our counterparts in the U.S.
One of the biggest things that stays with me is from his time working with Frank Ocean. They had a lot of overlapping studio sessions so spent a bit of time together, especially as Lonny Breux. Being able to set a vibe to portray your emotion in the booth is imperative. Frank used to cover the booth in pictures of his loved ones and literally lose himself in the vibe and cry on the record.
Any one that’s been in a session with me knows how i feel about setting a perfect vibe for whatever it is we want to express and that story really means a lot to the way i’ve always seen making music.
You’re heavily involved in the new wave of Australian hip hop, from Ivan Ooze, to Junor, to REAL Music, to AUD’$. From your perspective, where do you see it going? Has it been as exciting to be a part of as it has been to watch?
I’ve never seen a limit for anything. Playing sport, influencing the world, being knowledgable, anything. Why? It’s 2017. Shut the fuck up with the tall poppy cut you down shit. We all on internet land for entertainment anyway. You’re not from Australia anymore and can only do things to the limit someone born from the same country has done before you. You’re a human born on this planet called earth and you’ve got the potential to do anything. In any field. Go get it boo.
I think the new wave or whatever it’s being called is just a culture of like-minded artists that are awake to this fact and are hustling on-par, doing what they’ve got to do on-par, and making art on-par with anyone else in the world. I don’t see a limit. Watch everything continue to grow.
What can we expect next from you?
I can’t really remember the plan. video, remixes, single, video, single, fashion line, EP or something like that…but whatever it is, I promise you it will be super dope… thanks for the chat
Intro by Emma Jones