Feature: Ingredients of Look After August with Hunjiya

Monday, August 12, 2019
Photo by Claire Fagin

Seoul-born and New York-raised up-and-comer Hunjiya never fails to impress, and this time she shines once again on her dazzling album Look After August.  The album was created in Upstate NY where she grew up as well as in Miami, where she currently lives. Each track is an exploration of her own internal thoughts, as well as figuring out what her individual needs are. To celebrate its release, she takes us through the album's inspiration below.

Maybe it’s me being without any cell service or looking over enormous clouds, but I tend to get a lot of songwriting inspiration when I’m on an airplane. On planes, I always find myself getting nostalgic about the location I’m leaving and then thinking about the memories that go with those places. I also usually listen to my mixes and take notes since I'm usually in a focused headspace. '28B (The Window Seat)' was first written two years ago on my flight to Korea, right before I wrote my first project, Lineage.  And yes, my seat was indeed a window seat at 28B.

Is anyone surprised haha. Unfortunately and fortunately, heartbreak can truly make for the best songs sometimes. I wrote some of these songs while I was going through a breakup and like most writers, we tend to create when have emotions overloading. At the time, I was back in my parent’s home for Christmas so mixing the winter cold, my state of loneliness, and deleting all of my social media created a space for an album to exist.

Visual arts
The creation of this album also came with a lot of visual ideas for me. I was always involved in visual arts from a young age due to my artistic mother, but last year, I rediscovered my love for it. I wanted to include my aesthetic/artwork within my promotional content and within the themes of the singles I released as well. When I was uninspired to work on music, I would work on the visual aspect of my project, which then helped me think of musical ideas.

Frank Ocean’s Blonde
Ever since this album came out, I’ve been in awe with the writing, production, melodic ideas, and pure emotion that comes with each song. I adore Frank and I’ve listened to this album far too many times. However, there was one moment this past winter where I was listening to 'White Ferrari' and I started to break down in tears because the story was really resonating with what I was going through at the time. This song has so many lyrical vignettes and although they’re specific to his experiences, they feel very nostalgic to me. And probably many others. On that same day I listened to this, I wrote 'friend’s house'.

My fucking fantastic friends
Honestly, I would have not been able to finish this project without the support and contributions from my insanely musical and incredibly loving friends. 'give it/what I get' and 'go to bed' would’ve never been created if without the home studio sessions with my friends Reed Gaines and Ben Hon. The mix wouldn’t be where it is without Daniel Loumpouridis offering his time and ears (and food) to help me. Lastly, the project would’ve never seen the light of day if it weren’t for my friends encouraging me to finish it and being okay with me not attending social obligations to do so (sorry to everyone for being a flake).

Listen to Look After August by Hunjiya below:

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