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American music act Juna N Joey perform at Forres Academy and discuss mental health with pupils

By Garry McCartney

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Joey and Juna's were thrilled by the reaction they got in Forres.
Joey and Juna's were thrilled by the reaction they got in Forres.

A YOUNG pop-country duo from Nashville, USA made a special appearance at Forres Academy on Thursday.

Having just released new single More Than A Maybe, siblings Juna N Joey are visiting schools across the UK to perform the song live then talk to pupils about mental health and bullying.

Guidance teacher Jo Shepherd explained the visit tied in to personal and social education.

She said: “We cover mental health and bullying which Juna N Joey discuss between songs.

“The kids responded really well to that as well as their exciting performances. One pupil got very emotional because his grandfather listened to Nashville music. The band made a big fuss of him at the end!”

Juna confirmed the pair are making personal appearances at over 75 schools in England, Scotland and Wales this summer.

She said: “We did a tour last year with UK artist Twinnie and had such a great time! We also came to Scotland and did a Café Nero tour and just fell in love with the country.”

Joey added: “Our manager loves Scotland so when our booking agent booked us again this year for venues and festivals he asked if we would like to do a school tour. We have been doing a mental health program in the states so he asked us if we could do the same here. We immediately said yes we would love to!

“At first, we weren’t sure how the students would respond to our talk but to our music but it’s been a very positive experience so far!”

Juna N Joey started their music career online in 2017, releasing debut single Stay Young in 2019. They now have over seven million collective views on YouTube and 82,000 subscribers.

Originally from West Palm Beach, Florida, now Nashville recording artists, the duo has also amassed over 11 million views and 1.5 million likes on TikTok.

Their latest single delves into a high-school fuelled love story, including the anxieties when asking out that first person to have ever caught the eye.

S1 pupil Travis Bremner meeting Juna N Joey off stage in Forres Academy’s assembly hall.
S1 pupil Travis Bremner meeting Juna N Joey off stage in Forres Academy’s assembly hall.

As well as performing the song, Juna N Joey talked about mental health issues and bullying to create an awareness in their young audience.

Juna said: “We hope to inspire and educate kids and to pass on tools to address those issues. The main takeaway message is that you are not alone, reach out to at least one person who can help you. And do not harm yourself and suffer in silence.

“We also want kids to know they can reach out to us as well.”

Joey added: “As well as performing our freshman EP, we also play covers for those who know some American country artists, as well as songs we love. We also take photos and sign autographs after the show, getting to know the kids on a more personal level.

“We keep in touch through social media.”

Juna N Joey stayed in Alford after the show ahead of their performance at the town’s secondary school on Friday.

Juna said: “Getting instant feedback face-to-face with students is very rewarding. We can see similarities and differences with our audiences. They are blowing up our socials.”

Joey finished: “It’s such a great trip for us to be in another country and connect with kids our age on a personal level.

“It’s amazing to connect with people halfway around the world and the experience will be something we cherish for the rest of our lives.

“It’s great to share our music and gain fans but more importantly if Juna and I help stop bullying or victims of bullying hurting themselves, that would be the best outcome for us!”

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