JunoJuno has established himself as one of on Asia’s top DJ’s and producers, thanks to his unique array of Progressive house infused Techno tracks. The former Warner Music Asia and EMI producer is responsible for many hit records, including his latest creation ‘Remember 39 EP’, out now on Flemcy Music.
Now taking a backseat from an extensive DJing schedule, which included performances at some of Asia’s premiere venues, John Paul Lee, the man behind the JunoJuno moniker has relocated to the UK so he can concentrate solely on his solo career. We had the pleasure of sitting down with JunoJuno to talk about everything ‘Remember 39’.
Hey JunoJuno, thanks for talking to us. To get things kicked off, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve been involved in the scene for the past 25 years now. I started in Malaysia and then I had the time of my life DJing in resorts and hotels around Asia for many years. It’s a dream job as you wake up to happy people having their holidays, food & drinks in abundance and I never failed to enjoy playing my nightly set to the holidaymakers. That’s where I met ton of people and picked up music production tips. Then I moved onto another dream job. I joined Malaysia’s Hitz FM as announcer and music director so I learnt a lot about radio programming and stuff. I’m lucky enough to play at some really nice venues and got to know a lot of great good promoters along the way, especially Bigfish International in The Philippines; they are my family.
Where are you currently based?
I am currently based in London, but I plan to head to Scarborough, North Yorkshire, soon. There are some nice beaches there.
What made you decide to embark on a career as a DJ and producer?
I can’t breakdance, so my mates told me to change the cassettes whenever there was a break dance battle on back in the early 80s. Then I found Jellybean Benitez’s name all over my favourite records.
How would you describe the sound of JunoJuno?
A mixture of Progressive, Arps and Techno.
You recently released your ‘Remember 39 EP’ on Flemcy Music, how did your relationship with the label start and what attracted you to the label that made you sign the EP with them?
I got to know JP Lantieri (owner of Flemcy) through social media. He used to be in Kuala Lumpur and added me as Facebook friend, so I do frequently ask him for feedback on tracks that I’m working on. He always gave his honest opinion and we have been friends ever since. Then JP founded a label that fits my sound, so he decided to release Remember 39 EP. I’m grateful for that.
Where did you get inspiration for the EP?
I was inspired by some documentaries about the history of electronic music and a documentary about people who had manic depression, yes I know, what a messy mix of inspiration hahaha. I started messing around with my soft synths after I watch the documentaries. The track ‘Quentin’s Sleep Regression’ was actually inspired by my newborn son at that time, who was finding it hard to sleep.
I like the VO of “Remember 39”, I got it from a movie. The number 39 is represents the 39th track I produced in 2015.
How has the clubs reacted to the EP when it’s been played out?
When I first played the rough mix at our local bar, it wasn’t a straight winner. I found it a bit hard to convince the local DJs to play it as well because it didn’t sound like something they could play to get people raising their hands, but I believed in the track. Then JP heard it and found a space for it on his label, which was fantastic. I was astonished at the vast amount of support it got after the promo was sent.
Can you give away any details about future music from youself? Have you any more releases with Flemcy Music planned?
I am working on my next EP, which is more deep and melodic. It may not be a straight up banging 4 on the floor club tune but would still fit nicely into anyone’s DJ sets. I plan to release as many EPs this year as possible and hopefully Flemcy Music will pick them up.
If you had to choose three artists in the world to collaborate with, who would they be and why?
I would love to hang out with Stephan Bodzin, Dominik Eulberg and Ross & Paul Godfrey. I also wouldn’t mind chillin’ with Rampa & David Mayer as well.
Can you tell us about your studio set up and the one piece of equipment you could not do without?
I work exclusively “in a box” nowadays. I use Ableton and Logic X extensively and I still have Roland TR 808 laying around from my analogue days; it’s just been fixed. I trust my Audio Technical ATH-M50x headphones as well as Tannoy Oxford. I have a pair of broken KRK Rokit 5’s. I use Alesis Quadra Synth as my controller and I have a Novation SL 37 as well. I have a bunch of plug-ins that I couldn’t live without; Arturia synths, Roland Softsynths, Rob Papen, Spectrasonic’s Omnisphere 2, Waves for effects & dynamics, IK-Multimedia’s Amplitube 4 & Mic Room, Acoustica’s AquaVox to warm up everything, Sample Magic A/B and O-Zone 7 for mastering. I think my Macbook Pro & Korg’s Nanokey are the ones that I couldn’t do without.
What is your favourite record that you have produced?
I used to produce a local rock band in Malaysia call Mumster. I think I did well with their album.
What are your five favourite tracks of all time?
Leftism (whole album) – Leftfield
The Sea – Morcheeba
Windowlicker – Aphex Twin
Knowing We’ll Be Here (both Original and KiNK mixes) – Daniel Avery
Tour de France – Kraftwerk
What is your favourite club to DJ at?
Emporium KL will always be my favourite but sadly it has shut its doors. It’s always been a dream to play at Berghain.
Is there one Gig that stands out the most as your favourite?
All of the Bigfish events in the Philippines were memorable. If I must choose one then it’s the Bigfish Boracay Summer Festival 2007, where I continued the party to 10am! It was still full house and it was outdoor, people were putting on sun lotion. We had no intention of stopping but the police came and told us to have breakfast.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
I have no awards to show off, but I remember jumping for joy when Warner Music Asia signed me up as their in house producer in 2001. They bought me a lot of toys and I produced lots of music for their artists. However over the last few years I’m very happy to be able to sit down and write my own stuff instead of producing and write for others. It’s been inspiring moving to the UK and creating my own music has definitely been the highlight of my career.
What are your favourite things to do when you want chill out time away from music?
I love to read and go shopping.
What goals do you have for 2016?
To continue shaping my sound and release more music.
Thanks for your time JunoJuno!