Interview with Yuna
Yunalis Mat Zara’ai, or better known as Yuna, brings pride to any Malaysian’s face when they hear her name from the lips of a non-Malaysian. Being the first artist from her homeland to conquer the American market, the young singer-songwriter has charmed numerous listeners around the world since her self-titled EP in 2008. Her wonderful mix of contemporary pop, acoustic folk and R&B makes her an instant favourite in the books of many.
Yuna made her Verve Record debut with her latest album Nocturnal, with 11 new originals including the warmly intoxicating first single “Falling,” produced by Robin Hannibal of Quadron and the soul-pop group Rhye; the effervescent, uplifting “Rescue,” produced by English pop auteur Chris Braide; the breezy, upbeat “I Wanna Go,” produced by Michael Einziger of Incubus; and the hauntingly bittersweet “Someone Who Can,” produced by Chad Hugo of the Neptunes. Having worked alongside Grammy Award-winning producer Pharrell Williams for her breakthrough hit “Live Your Life” and performed live on shows such as Jimmy Kimmel, as well as founding November Culture, an independent online fashion store, Yuna sure has inched her way into everyone’s good books. Prior to her show in Singapore on 24th February, we spoke to this multi-talented lady about her music and achievements!
Where do you get your musical inspirations from?
Everything, pretty much. I like to walk around and get inspirations, talk to random people I meet, travel around and see new things.
What were some challenges you faced when breaking into the American music scene?
Missing home and my friends, really. It was also like, I was trying to start over in a new music scene, so it was really tough trying to find people to work with me.. It really was like starting from scratch for me.
How do you stay rooted to your religion when you’re on opposite grounds?
I just do everything normally. Just live my life as it is. If something is really a part of you, you will carry it with you wherever you go, I am me everywhere I go, it’s not like I have a split personality.
Have you heard of Mipsterz? What do you think of them?
I have, I think they’re really cool.
If you could collaborate with any artiste, who would it be?
I love Coldplay, so I would love to work with them.
Starting out in Malaysia and now being known internationally, you sure have come a long way! What else do you aim to achieve in the future?
I’m currently touring, and I’d love to play big venues or stadiums one day. I’m also working on my clothing label, I hope to launch it together with my new store November Culture in Subang Jaya, Malaysia soon!
Check out Yuna’s tour dates and all things Yuna at: http://www.yunamusic.com/
Text by: Arynah Aminuddin
Images courtesy of Universal Music Singapore
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