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South African Berklee College of Music Student Drops First Single ‘Long Distance’

South African born pop artist’s debut single ‘Long Distance’ pushes the boundaries of ordinary Genre


Emerging Artist Jun Lucas puts years of academic training into practice with his debut song & music video release.

The South African-born pop artist Jun Lucas attending Berklee College of Music has been mingling in various musical realms his whole life. Raised as a classical pianist from childhood and blues guitarist in adolescence, the multi-faceted dancer, rapper, singer, and songwriter might have to add one more skill to his set–music production.

His debut single, Long Distance (That Won’t Stop Me), released on Spotify, Apple Music, Vevo, YouTube, and other major outlets last weekend might lead to the birth of a new genre he says only semi-jokingly, given the various unique combinations it draws from.

I chatted with the emerging artist recently about what inspired the single and how his time as a college student since moving to the US has set a course for his musical explorations.


Trill Mag: What genre of music is the single Long Distance? Can we expect to hear a full album in the future sometime?

Jun: It’s pop, with heavy K-pop influence (the song is performed in English and Mandarin). For 2023, I’m aiming to create Music Videos that tell a story or shed light on personal experiences through movement, acting, and dance, to deliver a more holistic message. Due to the amount of time and work I’ll have to budget for each song, it’ll be much more manageable to release singles for now.

Trill Mag: What kind of music did you study at Berklee, and is this single a logical progression from any specific courses you took there? What kind of music did you look at at Berklee, and is this single a logical progression from any particular techniques you took there?

Jun: My interests are like Boston’s weather, it’s constantly changing, and you don’t know what to expect, haha. I initially started with jazz guitar studies, then transitioned into vocal performance, pop songwriting & music production. Now I’m focused on dance classes at the Boston Conservatory! Most of what I’ve learned at Berklee was applied in the making of this single, yes!

Skills such as music production, songwriting techniques, lyrical composition, communication & collaboration, and vocal performance are just a few to mention.

Trill Mag: What were your favorite aspects of writing Long Distance, and what was your least favorite (if any)?

Jun: My favorite aspect for sure was collaborating with my friends on this song (Jonathan Plummer, Max Harris). They were the main songwriters and producers of the track. I learned so much from them because of how talented and experienced they are. Whenever we bounced ideas off of each other during the creative process, the things they came up with blew my mind.


Trill Mag: Same question, but for the music video…

Jun: Shooting the music video was a blast the whole way through! This was my first time ever dancing so I had a lot to learn and even more to practice. Working with the dancers in the choreography sessions was extremely humbling. The aching muscles on my body after hours of repetition every night for a few weeks ws so satisfying as I watched myself get better and better by the day! The highlight would have to be the day of the shoot. I wish I could do this every day.

Trill Mag: Who are your top living musical inspirations, and who did you listen to growing up who we might hear notes of in your unique style of music?

Jun: I’d always joke that If Lauv and Charlie Puth were to have a child that debuted in BTS but went solo halfway through, it would be me (kind of.) I love the electronic sound of the beat-driven production and catchy melodies in American pop, and I love the rap verses, music video concepts, and dance performances found in K-pop. My dream is to facilitate the marriage between the two styles of storytelling and entertainment, the East and the West. I grew up mesmerized by the art of dance as well, especially while singing.

My main musical inspirations are Lauv, Charlie Puth, BTS, Keshi, EXO, Justin Bieber, and Zayn. In the Dawn era, you’ll surely hear more of Lauv and Charlie Puth. In the later Era, it will shift towards an R&B sound like that of Keshi & Zayn.

Rooftop Zoom-out from Long Distance Video. Photo: YouTube

Trill Mag: What else would you like people to know about you as a person/musician or your new song release that I haven’t already asked?

Jun: What I want everyone to know about this whole project is that it’s not just me behind it. Far from it.

I am so fortunate to have an army of people that have my back and support this work. Everything from teams of gifted individuals and professors who are very experienced at what they do (lending their creative input into representing the vision of Jun Lucas, choreographers, songwriters, producers, advisors, sound engineers etc.) to my friends and family who nourish me with encouragement.

I’m a mere vessel of a collaborative effort with a vision to fulfill. You can find our team members on my website under the “meet the team” section!

Give them some love!

Written By

is a Skidmore College '16 English major from NYC who hopes Arsenal win the Premier League again soon...

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