Junior J has been making quite the name for himself among the electronic dance music community. The 23-year-old, DJ & producer — and Ireland native — has already garnered support from the likes of Tiësto, Oliver Heldens, Danny Howard on BBC Radio 1, and more. With releases through sought-after imprints such as Spinnin’ Records and Dirty Soul, Junior J shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
His latest release, “Love Me Away,” has just been released through Gemstone Records, which is part of Hardwell’s Revealed Music imprint. When we recently had the chance to catch up with Junior J, just as he released his new single, we discussed the making of the track, his biggest inspirations and motivators, and some of his short-term and long-term goals as an artist.
The Nocturnal Times: How and when did you first begin exploring dance music? Did your upbringing play a role in your decision to pursue a career in music?
Junior J: I think the first time i discovered dance music was around the age of 10, my father was a DJ and promoter who ran a prestigious nightclub 10 minutes away from where we lived. So I guess I was always around that side of music. I remember when i was 10/11 years old my Dad would take me to the club during the day to show me what it was like, he would turn on the system and play some music. It was at that point that I started dreaming of becoming a DJ.
The Nocturnal Times: Who were some of your earliest inspirations and who would you say is currently most inspiring to you?
Junior J: My number 1 inspiration has been and always will be my Dad, he is the reason I started this career and is the one who is always pushing me and helping me achieve my dreams. Musically, Armand Van Helden is one of my biggest inspirations. From a very young age I loved his music, for me his productions are on another level and he has been behind some of the biggest house music records of all time. Other inspirations would be Fatboy Slim & Erick Morillo. Two of my favorite DJs/producers ever, the sound and overall character they have inspires me.
The Nocturnal Times: What’s a typical day in the studio like for Junior J? What are some of your favorite plugins and tools & tips for producers just starting out?
Junior J: I’m always trying new ideas with my music, I love working with vocals so most of my work is done using acapellas of classic tracks or my own original vocals. One of my favorite programs right now is Lethal Audio, I just recently started using it and its amazing. I also use Serum a lot, there is so many banks you can get right now for Serum it covers all areas of music. My tip would be to just focus on making music that you love and have a passion for, its hard sometimes to get lead a stray if people or labels are telling you that your music needs to be different etc, for me its important that you do what you love in this world. If its meant to be it will happen.
The Nocturnal Times: You’ve recently collaborated with Bright Sparks on “Do What You Wanna Do”. How did this track come together and what was the experience creating it like for you?
Junior J: I loved working with Bright Sparks, they are incredible artists. I originally made the track with another vocal, but the vocal just was not right so I hit up a couple of singers (Bright Sparks being one) and I had several versions sent back to me from each Singer. But the version Bright Sparks done was straight away exactly what I was looking for, it gave me the feels as soon as I heard it. From there, we just worked our way to a finished project and it turned out amazing in my opinion. The track picked up amazing support from artists like Kygo, Klingande, Bakermat, Sam Feldt etc.
The Nocturnal Times: Who are some of your dream collaborators (track collab)? Who would you love to play a back-to-back DJ set with?
Junior J: I have a few in mind, but Armand Van Helden is always my first choice for both questions. I would also love to work in the studio with Eric Prydz, he is a genius it would be something else to even just watch how he works.
The Nocturnal Times: Your newest single “Love Me Away” was just released on Friday through Gemstone Records, an imprint of Hardwell’s Revealed Music. What can you share with us about this record and what it means to you?
Junior J: This record was a little different from my normal releases. I love the future bass sound and have done for a long time and I really wanted to work a track like that. I just waited until I got the right vocal, when I heard the ‘Love Me Away’ vocal I knew it was the perfect fit for a future bass track. I had so much fun with this project. Big thanks to Hardwell for believing in this one!
The Nocturnal Times: What are some of your short-term goals and plans for the remainder of the year and in 2019?
Junior J: My main goal right now is to pack up my release schedule, which together with my management we are doing right now. Things are in a really good place with my music right now. Another goal is to keep touring and playing in different countries, for me touring is the most important part and its what I love most.
The Nocturnal Times: Where do you envision yourself being five years from now?
Junior J: I want this journey to last forever, progressing more and more every day is my plan. I guess in 5 years I want to be touring all over the world with a full release schedule. And most importantly enjoying every single second of it.