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[EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] J.Fla Shines a Light On Her Debut Album, Her Luckiest Moment Ever, & Bibimbap

J.Fla has the "YouTube sensation" box checked off her list. Now, it's time for her to climb the music charts with her debut album, "Burn the Flower."

J.Fla debut album Burn the Flower
J. Fla's debut album "Burn the Flower" | Image from @jfla on Instagram

With a YouTube subscribership of over 17 million, J.Fla has people from all over the globe adoring her chiffon-like vocals. The 36-year-old content creator made her name (and her voice) known with covers of tracks like "Shape Of You" by Ed Sheeran and "Havana" by Camila Cabello.

After a decade of serenading fans with her own renditions of your favorite songs, J.Fla has strayed from her regular content to create a sound that is all her own. This Bedroom Singer's debut album— titled "Burn the Flower"—is a collection of tracks that reflect J.Fla's personal artistry. "Four Leaf Clover" teaches us a thing or two about luck, while "Invisible Me" traverses the concept of being seen, and "Childhood Dream" reminds us that growing up is a lifelong thing.

As J.Fla evolves from a successful cover singer into a thriving songbird, she has the world as her audience.

PopMachine and J Fla took a trip down both memory and future lane to discuss her YouTube success, the meaning of "Burn the Flower", and an endearing four leaf clover she once received at a rest stop.

★ POPMACHINE: Hello, J.Fla! Congratulations on your first official album. Can you tell us about the meaning behind "Burn the Flower"?

● J.FLA: My artist name, J.Fla represents the meaning of ‘Fla’ which stands for ‘flower.’ It also reflects my real name, which contains the meaning of the flower. I wanted to create an album title that embodies the idea of burning myself while making this album in a metaphorical sense. There is also a connection to the Korean word 불꽃(bulkkot) which means ‘fireworks’ or ‘spark.’ It’s a complex concept.

★ POPMACHINE: You have been serenading your YouTube subscribers with phenomenal song covers for about 10 years now. How does it feel to be singing your very own original songs now?

● J.FLA: I felt it was a different level of emotional weight singing my song compared to singing cover songs by other artists. I sense a greater sense of gravity and I am much more cautious. I feel like my approach to music has changed.

★ POPMACHINE: While we heard that this entire album is an autobiographical narrative, which track would you say is closest to your heart, and why?

● J.FLA: All the tracks are songs based on my past experience…But I want to say ‘A Four-Leaf Clover’ is a song that describes a situation in the most detailed way.

★ POPMACHINE: Which of the album's songs do you think the fans will listen to most?

● J.FLA: It is the title song, ‘Invisible Me.’ And since ‘Sorry I Made You Wait’ is a song that I made for my fans, I would appreciate it if you could listen to them.

★ POPMACHINE: "The Hare" and "Bedroom Singer" have reached immense heights on iTunes, Amazon Music, and Shazam? What are your hopes for "Burn the Flower"?

● J.FLA: It’s truly a pleasure to receive positive feedback as an artist. I hope that many people find therapeutic and solace from the songs I made.

★ POPMACHINE: Do you have any live performances, concerts, or fan meetings coming up soon?

● J.FLA: I do have plans to perform in Korea. Currently, I don’t have detailed plans to go abroad but I am preparing to go soon. I would also love to have fan meetings.

★ POPMACHINE: One of the tracks on "Burn the Flower" is titled "My Childhood Dream". Personally, I think that this is a beautiful title that many people can relate to, as we all have a childhood dream that sometimes follows us into adulthood. What was your childhood dream? Did you achieve it?

● J.FLA: The answer to your question lies in the lyrics of ‘My Childhood Dream.’ I suggest you give it a listen. I could say that I have achieved my dreams and also didn’t at the same time.

★ POPMACHINE: Let's take a look at the song, "Four Leaf Clover", which is a symbol of good luck. Can you tell us about a moment wherein you felt like the luckiest person in the world?

● J.FLA: The four-leaf clover that I received when I was singing on the highway rest area stage came to me as hope, and comfort, and gave me the courage that I shouldn’t give up. After that moment, it seemed like I encountered good luck in numerous ways.

★ POPMACHINE: From your early YouTuber days to your brand new full-fledged singer/songwriter career, what would you consider your biggest achievement?

● J.FLA: I think that achievements are not something that can be made overnight. Whether I have achieved my goal or not, I truly hope that the process itself is beautiful.

★ POPMACHINE: You have probably received millions of fan comments on YouTube and other social media platforms, so far. While it may be hard to pick a favorite, is there one comment that stood out to you the most?

● J.FLA: It gives me great happiness to hear that one has found comfort and healing while going through a tough time.

★ POPMACHINE: What does a perfect day look like for you?

● J.FLA: A day when someone compliments me…

★ POPMACHINE: How do you manage to overcome the days that aren't so perfect?

● J.FLA: I try to do what I like because I don’t want to criticize myself. I believe that there will be better days ahead.

★ POPMACHINE: If you had to describe your musical style using a type of food, what would it be?

● J.FLA: There is Korean cuisine, ‘Bibimbap.’ It is mixed with various ingredients and could sound like it wouldn’t taste as good, but the harmony made by the ingredients makes the taste fantastic.

★ POPMACHINE: What is one part of your daily routine that you cannot miss?

●J.FLA: Since experiencing low-frequency hearing loss during the album production, I have made a routine of checking my ears every morning.

★ POPMACHINE: If you could collaborate with any artist right now, who would you choose?

● J.FLA: Umm… There are so many. I would like to collaborate with an artist who does a specific genre, such as Hip-Hop or EDM rather than saying a specific artist. Because my fans love it when I challenge on a specific genre!

★ POPMACHINE: If you were given a time machine, would you prefer to travel to the past or the future?

● J.FLA: The future, I don’t want to go back to the past.

★ POPMACHINE: Circling back to your album's title track, "Invisible Me", what is one thing that is invisible but you wish that people could see?

● J.FLA: I’m a very playful person, but it’s really hard to control myself these days.

★ POPMACHINE: If you could swap lives with any other person or cartoon character for a day, who would you pick?

● J.FLA: I would like to experience a day as ‘The Little Mermaid’ before her voice is taken away.

★ POPMACHINE: Given that your album traverses around a theme of flowers, do you have a favorite flower (that you wouldn't burn, of course 🙂)?

● J.FLA: Pink roses. There is actually a pink rose variety registered in the UK with my name.

★ POPMACHINE: What is your ultimate goal for 2023?

● J.FLA: I would like to meet fans on stage.

★ POPMACHINE: As you celebrate 10 years as a YouTube singer, what do you think the next 10 years of your career hold in store?

● J.FLA: I’m not sure what I would be doing, but I think I will be continuing in endeavors related to music.

★ POPMACHINE: What is your advice for people aspiring to share their talent with the world as artists?

● J.FLA: Based on my experience, I believe the most important thing to show talent to the world is consistency and sincerity.

★ POPMACHINE: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! Do you have a message for your fans and our PopMachine readers?

● J.FLA: First of all, thank you for having an interview with me. It was a pleasure to look back on myself through thoughtful questions. I would be incredibly happy if my music brings comfort and healing to others. Thank you.



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