singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist in our band. I attended Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts online, as I usually travel with Juna for our sibling country duo.
Joey – I attended one of Juna’s singing lessons when the teacher asked me if I could sing. I tried it and it seems as if that was the moment Juna N Joey was born. You could say Juna inspired me and still continues to inspire me. My sister is so dedicated and talented. Shortly after I decided to hang up my baseball cleats and picked up a guitar.
I understand you've had millions of views on YouTube and TikTok. What went through your mind when this occurred for the first time?
Juna – It is great to see people responding to us so favorably. I hope our audience continues to engage with us as we are just getting started. We love going live, as we just went live last night and had 1,200 viewers and gained around 500 followers on TikTok.
We remember it very well. It was so exciting to see and we stayed up all night laughing out loud from all of the funny comments that just kept rolling in. We have a lot of influencers whom we’ve connected with and nothing validates us more than when Ernest or Debbie Gibson, or Cassadee Pope comments on our page. The best part is when you touch a fan. This is what it is all about.
Joey – Our numbers are growing rapidly and organically which is so great to see. The positive response we receive from our fans about our music means a lot to us. Juna and I love to go live on TikTok and Instagram to engage with our fans. We usually go live on Instagram Tuesdays at 8 pm EST and usually at about 10 pm EST on TikTok. We also try to post a cover video every Friday on YouTube and plan to do more lives on this platform as well. It is funny because you never know what will resonate with the fans. We are very excited to see our fans liking our original much and it is a relief to know that yes, we are on the right track. We love receiving feedback from our fans and love covering our favorite songs from our favorite songwriters live. My favorite right now is Damn Straight. I sing it every day as well as Wasted on You and Whiskey Glasses. I also love covering anything by Cody Johnson.
Tell us about the very first show you played.
Juna – Joey and I were actually in a rock band when we went to the School of Rock and before that, I would do piano recitals as most kids have done.
Joey – My first performance was at a fair by our house on the kids’ stage with our School of Rock. We performed Blondie, Heart, and Skynyrd. As a country duo, our first show was at a Starbucks and we continued to perform here until we got involved in the Nashville scene after meeting our manager.
I read that you share a 'Hook Book,' can you elaborate on this?
Juna – When I was younger, I would sit in my room and think of titles and hooks and write them in my book. I am a mood writer. Now that I am not at home as much, I use the notes app on my phone. I still sometimes write them in my book when I feel like being extra artistic.
Joey – I now use my virtual hook book, but yes, we still have a hook book. Nowadays, I feel like once I get the hook I have to go to my room and finish the whole song.
Who and what influences your songwriting?
Juna – I love Cody Johnson’s style along with Luke Combs, Carly Pearce, Kelsey Ballerini, and Ashley Mc Bride.
Joey – I would say some of my influences are Ernest, Morgan Wallen, Ed Sheeran, Hardy, and Trent Tomlinson. Writing with any of these people would be the best thing that could happen.
Will you share with us how you participate in anti-bullying prevention every October and how your song Anchor ties into this?
– This song and issue have taken on a life of their own. It has not only affected the youth we are speaking to but the adults as well. Joey and I have even benefited from these talks personally. When this happens in our life, we go through the steps of figuring out how to cope with the situation ourselves. We are not experts in this field but when we started this it wasn’t a massive trend. It becomes a genuine experience that happened naturally and organically and is something we feel grateful for. It is something I have come to realize happened out of reality for Joey and me and now we have tools that we can teach and apply from these last four years. What is astonishing is that even after our talks I see kids overpowering maybe a weaker classmate and we have to stop them and say “didn't you hear what we just said?” I truly think people do not realize they are doing it at times. For those of you that do not know the significance of October, it is National Anti-Bullying month in the US and November in the UK. It is a movement all over the world. We participate with other organizations like www.teachantibullying.org
and Pace Universities programs
Joey – It is so amazing that a song we did not think would ever see the light of day, “Anchor,” turned into an international platform. We wrote the song when we were 12 and 14 about a girl we saw being bullied at school. What we discovered is that most people have had an experience that they would like to share and it is great to feel like we have a purpose in addition to our music that we can do simultaneously. Our manager is even considering another video and re-recording the song or writing more about this subject because we did the original when we were so young and we want to make it applicable now. The common theme with all these school shootings is that the shooter has been bullied at some point so the result of a person being bullied is something that must be taken more seriously. It must not be tolerated ever. Laws are in place to prevent this behavior and victims have recourse in all 50 states.
What has been your biggest struggle throughout your career so far and how have you overcome it?
Juna – My biggest struggle recently has been the psychology of wanting to be where you are not. For instance, when I get home, I want to get back on the road. Conversely, when I am on the road, I want to be home and I miss my truck when I am on the road. We overcome that by making sure we go home for a few days when we can, whether that is in Nashville or West Palm Beach.
Joey – A challenge for me is the gym. I love to go to the gym every day and eat healthily. This is a major challenge when you are on the road. We try to pick the healthiest places to eat and find a gym when we can, but when I am home, I try to catch up on my sleep. As Juna said, we are so ready to be “out there in front of a large crowd.” My least favorite phrase in this business is getting treated like we are “too young and we have time.”
You recently had a new single come out, More Than A Maybe. What influenced your lyrics and what do they mean to you?
Juna – We co-wrote the song with two writers in Nashville and at the time we were only 13 and 15, so the writer Bill had a young love theme idea and he just blurted out “Ya know when a guy needs more than a maybe.” That phrase turned into the title and the theme of the song.
Joey – Once the concept and title of the song were developed, I started playing some chords on the guitar and you could feel the energy in the room. There are certain lines in the song I love to sing like “There’s a little movie playin’ in my head.” I think we all do that when we meet someone we like and fantasize about the possibilities.
Could you tell us about your European tour?
Juna – This experience has been amazing. Some people were doubting our manager and saying it’s crazy to do a UK tour all summer. She dug in and said the opposite. She told us that Warner did a study and there are over 5 million country fans in the UK. We did a tour last year with Twinnie and they loved our music. We found that the UK absolutely loves country music and now they have been exposed to it through us. The response we have received is overwhelming.
Joey – This is a very positive uplifting tour for us. We have been getting so many comments on our social media platforms from the students and teachers and even the press. It is amazing how music can bring people together. It’s great to see young students connecting with us!
What does the rest of the year look like for you?
Juna – We will be in Nashville recording our next EP which we are really looking forward to. We will be making videos and writing with some great hit writers in Nashville. We will also be touring in Florida with the possibility of doing so in Texas and California. Additionally, we are looking into setting up a tour of Canada next summer.
Joey – I am looking forward to a radio convention that we are playing at in September for radio station owners. I’m also looking towards booking conventions like IEBA in October in Nashville. I’m also anticipating us playing bigger shows this year. My ultimate goal this year is to write with Ernest.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Juna – Stay positive and if you are a victim of bullying find your “Anchor”, a person who you can confide in that will keep you safe mentally and physically, and if you know of someone doing it, report them. Also please follow us on all social platforms and DM us if you need to talk. We are not experts, but we are here if you need to open up to a neutral party.
Joey – First of all, go see the movie, Elvis. I cannot wait to go to Graceland now. Sleep eight hours, eat healthfully, get some exercise, and do not stress. Keep reaching for your dreams and don't give up. Find your gifts and stick with them – stay positive!!
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