We had the good fortune of connecting with Junryl and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Junryl, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’ve always had to tell myself that if something scares me, I should go for it. That is a piece of advice that I’ve lived by for years. For a while, my own fears and insecurities about what my future could be have held me back from really going after what I want. And at some point, I had to take my power back and realize that without risk, there is no reward. Some of these risks have paid off well. For example, I used to be afraid to live in a big city. But I couldn’t live in my small town in Milpitas forever. I knew if I stayed, I wouldn’t be able to grow. Then, when I took the leap to move to San Francisco, my life changed. I put off my music after community college and went after a career in hair, which over time has benefited me significantly as I became a top stylist in San Francisco within a few short years and becoming financially independent. I took a risk in submitting for the North American Hairstyling Awards (twice), which is a prestigious competition in the hair industry, and won Newcomer Stylist of the Year in 2017. Then, when I realized I needed to get back into my music, I took the biggest risk of all: moving to Los Angeles. This decision was beyond scary because I was giving up my own financial security for a shot at doing something I have always loved: music! Though there were unforeseen circumstances that made that journey difficult, (I’m talking to you, COVID), I still managed to create music that I’m proud of, meet many like minded individuals that continue to inspire me, perform live shows and network, as well as opened doors for me with my friendships and social life that I never had before. So all in all, I’m not afraid of taking risks. I just have to remind myself while it can scare me, it usually means that there is an opportunity for me to grow.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an artist by heart. Always have been. I love to sing and write songs. When it comes to my songwriting, I don’t just write to write bops or to make a viral TikTok moment. I create music that is authentic to myself and my journey and I think that’s what sets me apart from others. I think artist authenticity is very important in connecting with an audience . These last several months have been challenging and eye-opening for me. Having ended 2021 horribly and going into this year with plenty of baggage, I was able to pour all of my emotions onto my songwriting and create music that I’m so very proud of, and most importantly, is helping me heal from that time. I thank my music for helping me grow and overcome some of my hardest moments in life, and for also giving me an outlet to share my story and inspire others. It had not been an easy journey, but I can now happily say that I have finished my first ever album, called “DREAMS”, and will be out everywhere October 14!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live with my best friend here in LA so there’s not much we haven’t done already haha. But if I were to take my other my best friends who are visiting the area and wanted to show them the best time, I would take them to all my favorite food stops, because I’m a big foodie. It’s hard to name just one, but I know my friends love Korean BBQ so I’d take them to this place in K-town called Hae Jan Chon. For refreshing snacks, I’d take them to my favorite acai bowl place called LazyBird in West Hollywood. Super affordable, but also VERY delicious, VERY cute, and unlimited toppings! Who can say no to that? There are plenty of other food stops that I could think off, but we’d be here all day! So, other activities we may do would be to go to the beach, because we have to take advantage of the warm weather here in LA. I prefer to go to the OC like the beaches in Laguna Beach, but Malibu is always nice too. I’d probably suggest we do some escape rooms as there are so many of them here in LA, maybe some art exhibits/museum like The Broad and The Getty. And for a night out, I’d suggest dancing the night away at the good ol’ bars and clubs in WEHO or a party with Club90s LA.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to start off by thanking my mom for the incredible sacrifices she’s given, raising me and bringing me over to the US to have better opportunities than I would have in the Philippines. And also for continuing to support me in my aspirations, despite how crazy my dreams might seem to her. I would also like to thank all the wonderful mentors/colleagues I had while I was a hairstylist in San Francisco. They really pushed me to be better and supported me in all my endeavors. And how can I not forget closest friends for being my biggest support system.
Other: Tiktok: @officialjunrylmusic
Andrew M. Gleason Jared Pati