Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: JUNIOR

The London-born-and-raised artist unveils his new single and tells us all about his musical firsts, aspirations, and what it’s like growing up in a family of talent.

Junior
Junior

Thank God it’s Friday! And, what better way to celebrate the weekend’s arrival with a fresh new hit to jam to. Dropping his debut pop single “Slide”, Junior Andre has crashed into the music industry with a feel-good song that is guaranteed to become a summer anthem and to be stuck on repeat over the coming months. Alongside the pop-tinged drop, fans can now watch the accompanying care-free music video, in which he and his friends give us a jam-packed look into a day in Junior’s life, resulting in the artist’s young and fun-spirited persona becoming hard to ignore.

While the above may have you under the impression that his release is a light-hearted ode to the joys of youth, Junior makes it clear that his single isn’t just about fun and games. Highlighting the importance of self-love and acceptance, he explains, “It’s also about loving someone with imperfections, you just want them, you don’t care about any of the flaws because that doesn’t matter. To everybody out there, be you, do you, whoever loves you should accept you for who you are, flaws and all!”

To celebrate the release, we sat with Junior to discuss his first time recording music, where he sees his career going, and what it’s like to have grown up with a respected musical figure as a parent. For the full interview and to stream the track, head below…

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You grew up in a musical family! Do you think this inspired you to pursue music?
Obviously I did grow up surrounded by music so it’s always been a big part of my life. My dad has always been doing what he was doing, my uncle Mike was a DJ and my uncle Chris used to play instruments on tour with my dad (and he still plays live shows now out in Cyprus.) So, I’ve always been in love with music since I was young, and I’ve listened to different genres growing up. What inspired me to pursue music was seeing my dad on stage and watching him prosper in front of thousands of people performing at so many shows. I look up to him for that. It’s made me want to do what he’s been doing his whole life… he inspires me naturally.

When did you first step into the studio? What was that experience like?
I’ve never experienced anything like that before. We have a small home studio but it’s a whole different atmosphere in a recording studio. Huge speakers, professional microphones, sound booths, just everything was amazing. I fell in love the first minute I walked through the door – I felt at home. It felt so natural, like it was meant to be, and from then onwards I just wanted to be in the studio the entire time. I remember being in the car home with my dad and I was so happy. I made a track that day and had it on repeat all the way home. I was proud, my dad was proud. It was mad to hear my voice on a track for the first time. From then onwards I kept asking my dad when I could go back.

Congratulations on the release of your debut single, “Slide”! Talk to us about what inspired the track.
Thank you, I’m very excited. What inspired the track? I guess with summer coming up we wanted to create a song that had good summer vibes in it, but that people could relate to as well. Like when I say ‘make it drip and let’s slide’, that’s like ‘get dressed to impress and let’s go!’. It’s also about loving someone with imperfections. You just want them, you don’t care about any of the flaws because that doesn’t matter. To everybody out there, be you, do you, whoever loves you should accept you for who you are, flaws and all!

And you co-wrote the track with Marcello Spooks and Luke Grieve. What is it like to work in the studio with them?
The vibe that me, Luke, and Marcello have in the studio together is when we all come alive and connect. Luke is an amazing producer, he’s so young and so unbelievably talented and has worked with some huge people. To be able to work with him was actually incredible. Marcello is also inspiring to work with. As a songwriter I have learnt so much from him on what works and what doesn’t. The three of us make such great vibes. Every session just gets better and better, there’s so much more to come. Our work ethic is so similar too… and we are excited to see what happens in the future. Since I’ve been in the studio I’ve worked with some of the best writers and producers, and each session helps me develop as an artist. I’ve learnt from everyone and upped my abilities so much in music and it’s very inspiring. It builds you up seeing how other people work, learning small things from each person.

The track comes with a music video! How was your time on set? Did you enjoy stepping in front of the camera?
Slide’s music video was my first time ever doing anything like that. I’ve had cameras around me a lot in my life, which I think made it easier for me, but I was so excited for this, I didn’t know what to expect. It was probably one of the best days of my life, so much fun, the vibes were excellent and I was working with some amazing people. I love working with different people. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. It boosts my confidence with the fact that I know I can do that now and I can’t wait to see what other shoots are like. I was lucky I had my friends in it on this occasion, good people around me. It took two long days and it was hard work, but if they told me I had to make another one straight after, I’d have been there regardless. I would have been ready to go!

Your dad is a successful musician! Did he give any advice before you started on your music journey? Maybe there’s an important lesson that he’s taught you?
My dad is a very successful musician. He’s the OG… there’s so much to look up to, I don’t even know where to start. He’s always told me to stay humble, love people and they will love you, be respectful, and most importantly be yourself. Stay in the right crowds and always be loyal. All the things you need to succeed in life. My dad believed in himself when others didn’t and he achieved it and he’s still going 30 years later! Now it’s my turn to achieve that and I’m so excited to start this journey. He’s by my side but he lets me do my thing. He understands I need to establish myself but he’s there whenever I need him.

Do you have a dream collaborator in mind for the future?
There are so many people I’d like to work with. Many, many artists that I look up to from all different genres. I’d like to collab with more than one – male and female – for different reasons. Musically I enjoy pushing my boundaries. So with whatever collabs I may do in the future I want to bring something new, something different.

What else does 2022 hold for you?
2022! It’s already blown my mind being able to release my own music. My journey is just starting… I don’t know what to expect so I’m just taking it one day at a time and seeing what happens. Obviously my music is important, I’ve got some acting projects coming up and I’d like to see where all that goes. I’m manifesting! It’s the start of my journey, it’s a work in progress and I’m excited to see what happens!

Words by
Caty Penza
NEW NOISE: JUNIOR

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