Check out our interview with talented artist and guitarist JUNO.
JUNO’S story is one of overcoming adversity. It is a story of courage, inspiration, fearlessness, and hope!
JUNO has played for artists such as: Camila Cabello, Lizzo, Erykah Badu, Machine Gun Kelly, 5th Harmony, Estelle, Common, India Arie, Monica, Sevyn Streeter & more! She is the lead guitarist for BET’s Award show “Black Girls Rock” and in 2018 starred in the hit show Empire on FOX. Despite her impressive resume, JUNO remains humble and is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible!
JUNO’s debut album is out now. Titled “Help Is Not On the Way”. Once I realized that no one else was coming to “rescue me” It empowered me to get up and change my own life. That’s what this album is about. The process of me falling and then getting back up again even stronger than before. My hope is that everyone that listens to this album is empowered to do the same.”
JUNO continues to travel the world sharing her contagious passion and love for music.
Follow JUNO at @juno_theartist
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, Honest, Flexible
Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?
My grandmother. It’s crazy to think how much times have changed for women from her generation to ours. When I talk to her I feel like I’m talking to a walking history book. She was very active in my life as a kid, teaching me how to cook, care for the lawn and stick with something until I finished it. She also pinched me leg when I wouldn’t sit still in church. I’m really glad she did that! haha To this day, no matter how much “freedom” I have in my life, I still have “rules” and standards that I set for myself. In the back of my mind, I think I’m always trying to make her proud.
How did you get started in the business?
It was an accident. I went to college for social work, and my first client was a 15 year old heroine addict who was obsessed with guitar. In return for his treatment, I asked him to show me a few chords on guitar, and I’ve been playing everyday since then. He changed my life.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Raw, Sincere, Emotional
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
I grew up in church so all of my heroes were the church musicians. While everyone else was watching the pastor, I was watching the band. They were always the best musicians in town, and I had so much respect and admiration for them.
Tell us about your debut album “Help Is Not On the Way?”
This is more than just an album, it’s an experience. I lived each and every one of these songs and captured the intense joy, pain, heartache and triumph that I experienced over the last 10 years of my life. Once I realized that no one was coming to rescue me, it empowered me to get up and take the steps to change my own life.
Now tell us about playing for big names in the industry like Camila Cabello, Lizzo, Erykah Badu, Machine Gun Kelly, 5th Harmony, Estelle?
Playing for Machine Gun Kelly was awesome. Him and his band live in this big mansion in LA nicknamed “The Boulevard” and I used to go over there every week and Jam with them on guitar. When he invited me to play the Staples Center with him and his band, I was so excited. It happened to be the same day I played with Camila Cabello and Zedd at the same charity event. During the performance, Machine Gun Kelly, his incredible guitarist, and yes, little old me—all met at front and center for an epic guitar solo down a runway in the middle of the Staples Center. It was a moment I will never forget.
Speaking of moments, there is never a dull moment with Lizzo. Her personality is larger than life and she is always ready for a party! She has an amazing voice and I actually had to switch guitars to get a bigger sound to support her big voice. I am always excited to have an excuse to get a new guitar!
Fifth Harmony will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first gig and first tour. We were in a new country every other day and I got to experience the world for the first time. I felt like I was in a movie.
Eryka Badu has this presence when she walks in a room that just makes you want to stand up straight. She is so cool and has this effortless swag that makes anybody insecure in the room instantly uncomfortable. I love people like that. She had a hat on her head that was bigger than my whole body. She’s probably the coolest person I’ve ever met.
Camila Cabello is the homie and we had so much fun traveling the world together. I learned so much from being around her and her family and I’m really grateful to have a friend like her in my life. The Cabello’s are awesome.
What is your next goal as a artist?
I want to continue to evolve and grow. “Help Is Not On The Way” is my first album and I am so excited to go on tour and really connect with the fans. I can’t wait to hear them belting the lyrics to these songs back to me. That is a moment I am really looking forward to. My next immediate goal is to put out visuals for each song, and go on tour.
What we can expect of Juno in 2020?
2020 is going to be my year to branch out. There are so many different talents and gifts I have that I never got to use, because I was stuck in the box of “guitarist.” Now, I get to express myself in many different ways. Let’s just say, put on your seatbelts. This is is about to be a fun ride 😉
What is you favorite song to belt out in the car/for karaoke?
Anything from the 90’s!!! I’m like a 90’s juke box. Try me.
Name one your strengths?
I can adapt to anything. I didn’t realize how valuable that was until I went on tour and was thrown into so many different environments. I was very grateful that I knew how to be flexible and adaptive.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Getting to spend your life doing what you love with people you love.
Any loves other than music?
I actually love to cook and cut hair. I’m the family chief and quarantine barber. I’m booked out until June.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Big breakfast at the beach with a 3 piece instrumental jazz band playing.
What is your favorite healthy food?
Kale. It’s never let me down.
And your favorite cheat food?
Im a sucker for candy. Not chocolate, ew. I mean REAL candy! Sour patch kids, Sweedish Fish, Gummy worms…yeah it’s a huge problem. And I’d like to apologize in advance for all the chocolate lovers that I’ve offended.
What would be a deal breaker on a first date?
If they had never heard of Whitney Houston.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Bold and Fearless. I love taking risks and breaking the rules. Sometimes I dress more feminine with lipstick, a tight shirt and fitted jeans. Other times I’m thugged out in a hoodie with MC hammer pants on. Either way, I’m still JUNO. I dress however I feel. But I’m always fly.
What do you think of Social Media?
Social media makes it easier for us to all connect and I really appreciate that. As an independent artist, I love having direct access to my fans. They keep me inspired and encouraged to keep going and stay focused on the mission.
Where we can follow you?
Tell us your favorites below:
Quote: “There’s no traffic on the extra mile”-Ricky Minor
Song: Anything Whitney Houston or Luther Vandross. Also the Lion King Soundtrack is matchless.
Movie: Remember the Titans & Liar Liar (Jim Carrey is my all time favorite)
Travel Destination: Fiji
Food: Soul Food
Sports Team: The Bulls. Im still holding on.