Yuna is no stranger to the music industry here in Malaysia. Releasing hit after hits, this singer-songwriter has a bunch of talent up her sleeve.
From making headlines recently for her album Rouge, with massive collaborations with G-Eazy, Little Simz, Jay Park, and many more, Yuna is definitely not slowing down anytime soon.
An inspiration to many all around the world, not only for her music and soulful voice but she has since became a fashion icon, so much so, that she was even nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Most Inspiring Asian Woman in 2019, and walked the red carpet in an outfit fit for a QUEEN, designed by German-based fashion label Marcell Von Berlin.
1. How has the year 2020 been like in the music industry?
It’s been tough for everyone I think! As a touring artist, not being able to tour is definitely difficult. Although I do find myself putting out records this year but its so tough to focus and be creative. I guess I’m still tryna find a balance trying to be creative, being at home all the time and finding ways to keep connecting to the fans. Hopefully it gets better, I learned so much from 2020!
2. What made you want to pursue music? Were there any inspirations that inspired you to start your journey as a musician?
I’ve always loved music, but I just didn’t know what to do with my singing. When I started playing the guitar and when I discovered there was this whole indie music scene in Kuala Lumpur with talented singer songwriters and bands that just did their own thing without being signed to labels, that inspired me to do my own music and created my own music career.
3. What is the creative process like when it comes to your music?
I love to jam with my producers, I find it hard to create on my own now, I’ve become a very social being where I need to talk, share stories, get a vibe on, and then just jam out! I’ll hum some melodies and write lyrics on it.
4. As seen on your social media platforms, you’ve been on various campaigns recently, and it looks like you’re not slowing down anytime soon! What is the day-to-day like in the shoes of Yuna?
It’s a lot of fun actually! I love keeping myself busy! I wake up, have coffee, I love cleaning so I keep my living area tidy. Then I start replying emails on my laptop from my office. Since I’m not traveling or touring right now, I love to go on Twitch where I livestream my music making or I just hang out with the fans and talk about music. I update my social media, I like to keep my social media presence alive! I’ll finish up my work or recordings at the home office or studio, and then I wrap up at 6pm, take a shower, have dinner and spend time with my family playing the PS5! We love the PS5!
5. You’ve been making headlines for your incredible music over the years, what was your earliest memory of when you realised that you’ve made it?
I think when people started recognizing me when I went out to malls and stuff. It was really hard to adjust to that but I felt like “Okay this means I’ve made it so I have to just deal with it!” But the biggest moment for me was performing my song at a large arena and finding it hard to sing and hearing myself because the crowd was singing along with and they were louder. That was when I thought okay, I’ve made it.
6. Your album Rouge was released about a year ago, what were the inspirations to the album?
I wanted to have fun with music, and wanted to be candid about my thoughts and also how I see myself. I was very honest in that album, I was talking about being a Muslim girl in the western music industry, trying to fit into both western and eastern standards.. realizing I just have to be myself. Thats something I feel like I wouldn’t do 5 years ago! I definitely became confident with this one.
7. You’ve collaborated with some big names on the album Rouge like, G-Eazy, Little Simz, Jay Park, and many more! Who are some of your dream collaborations that you’d like to collaborate with next?
Beyonce! I would love to work with Rosalia too at some point!
8. You went on a Rouge tour last year, what was the most memorable memory of your 2019 tour?
The US Rouge Tour definitely – it was so much fun I got to travel with all-female musicians and dancers! It was like going on a school trip or something! And the fact that I could announce that every night – “Everybody give it up to my all-female band!” The girl power moment is priceless.
9. Fashion is something that you’re also known for other than your music, how has the year 2020 inspired your sense of fashion? Has your fashion sense changed compared to previous years?
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I definitely like the nicer stuff now. I invest in nice, quality things that will look good even in 10 years, compared to when I was younger, I sometimes didn’t know what I was doing, I was experimenting a lot. But now I know what I like, I know my body I know what looks good on me and what doesn’t.. I like to play around with colors, structures, and I definitely love androgynous fashion.. and I’d wear anything as long as it covers my body and hair, as I practice modesty. Oh also black boots.
10. Are there any tips or word of advice that you would like to say to those who are planning to start their own journey into music?
Have a plan and set goals. I wouldn’t say ‘go for it’ blindly. Ofcourse, you should try, but it would help if you have a plan.. like maybe have a goal. “In 5 years time, I want to have 2 albums out already” This way you’re not hanging on to some dream. Creatives tend to sit on their ideas for too long and hesitate but when you have a plan, you’ll be able to visualize where you can go with your passion, how to monetize it, how to sustain your music career. And also, have a good support system – your friends and family! Keep positive company around so they can inspire you to do better. Believe in yourself, and work hard! Nothing is easy, so sometimes you’ll find yourself failing at things, but you shouldn’t give up. Keep on trying!