Isnin, 30 April 2012

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Oh No They Didn&#39;t! - <b>Yuna</b> Talks Career Start, Pharrell Williams & More

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 11:38 AM PDT

All over the world, speaking English is considered a useful skill. But not for Yuna, a Malaysian singer who found her English-language skills were virtually useless as she became a top artist in her home country.

Born Yunalis Zarai in Alor Setar, Malaysia, the singer/songwriter wrote her first English song at 19 after viewing a YouTube clip of a Feist show. Performing while she attended law school, Yuna wrote mostly in English, but her Malay material proved more successful-her biggest hit, "Dan Sebenarnya," racked up millions of hits on YouTube and won a Malaysian people's choice award for best song.

"In my final year of law school, everything became real," she recalls. "Malaysian TV shows wanted me to perform big concerts. So, after graduating, I decided to go for it. I didn't think I'd be a good lawyer anyway."

While her profile skyrocketed in Malaysia in 2010, however, her English-language songs were falling on deaf ears. Though English is the second language of Malaysia, only a niche market exists for local English music. "We already have music from America," she says. "But I had at least 30 songs in English, and I didn't know what to do with them."

The solution was clear: Yuna had to travel to America.

Two years after she arrived stateside, Yuna's self-titled debut of breezy, trip-hop pop will be released April 24 on Fader Label, distributed by RED and with tracks produced by Pharrell Williams.

How did a Malaysian folk singer meet up with Williams? It started with an email. Ben Willis of management firm Indie-Pop contacted Yuna in 2009 to set up a meeting after seeing her clips online. "It was so weird," Yuna says. "I'm this kid from Malaysia, and this guy was introducing himself to me with these long emails, asking to bring me to L.A."

Yuna waited for six months before writing back. In the meantime, Willis had decided to fly to Asia and meet Yuna himself. As a result of the meeting, Yuna was compelled to fly to Los Angeles. After shopping for a label, Yuna signed with the Fader imprint in early 2011 and quickly released her Decorate EP.

"We bring a lot to our campaigns, so anything on the label gets really scrutinized," label co-founder Rob Stone says. Fader Label's roster is small but noteworthy, including such taste-making records as Matt & Kim's Grand and Neon Indian's Psychic Chasms. The label can afford to be picky. Under the umbrella of promotion powerhouse Cornerstone, Fader Label and its sister company Fader magazine all work in unison to promote its musical releases.

While Yuna was recording her full-length album in 2011, Fader contacted Williams and asked that he spend some studio time with Yuna. Scheduled for just two days, the duo worked together for nearly a week, creating some of the album's best tracks, including the Sade-like first single, "Live Your Life."

Performing in a traditional Muslim hijab head covering, Yuna presents a global twist on the recent crop of rising female superstars, and her new music is a sonic boost from the beautiful but bare-bones "Dan Sebenarnya." "Music has to change," she says. "I don't want to stay the same forever. I can't."


Yuna Casts a Spell in Intimate New York Show

Malaysian singer-songwriter flirts with audience, discusses working with Pharrell

Yuna can't stop smiling. It's a crisp Thursday night in New York City, and S.O.B.'s nightclub is filled with teammates, early adopters and curious inquirers. All are smiling back. "Wow, there are a lot of you here," the Malaysian singer-songwriter beams from behind a ukulele. Her wispy frame is draped in pastels, and a bottom-up scan reveals hot pink wedges and a tightly knotted hijab headwrap – a sartorial paradox that somehow, on her, works.

Then again, Yuna has a knack for intersection. The 25-year-old blends heartland acoustic folk, quiet storm R&B and bouncy trip-hop to create songs to fall in love to and fall asleep to. In fact, she opens her set with "Lullabies," off her self-titled debut: "Like lullabies you are forever in my mind," she coos, her voice somewhere between Sade and Norah Jones. "You're my first love."

Her look is racially ambiguous and arresting, and her disarming tone reads constantly as flirting. The crowd hangs off her every word. "There's a cute guy in the back selling the album," she says. "If you go check them out, you can meet him, too."

Yuna bailed on a law career in 2009 after her Malay folk tune "Dan Sebenarnya" went viral in her homeland, earning her a large web following and several local accolades. "Malaysia was actually a really good practice," she tells Rolling Stone backstage after the show. "For five years there, I was doing little media and album stuff. I was independent. Coming out here is very refreshing. It's like a whole new world that I love."

She inked a deal with Fader's label soon after arriving in the United States, and her star brightened further when the label paired her with super-producer and purveyor of cool Pharrell Williams to write and record cuts for her debut album. The results, including the buzzing single "Live Your Life," have been stellar. "When [Fader] wanted me to work with Pharrell, I was kind of nervous, like, 'That doesn't make any sense,'" she recalls. "My background is super acoustic, jazz, folky feel. How were we going to write songs together? But he made me very comfortable. We hit it off."

Onstage, Yuna is still more folky than funky, switching between an acoustic six-string and a hybrid and floating through tracks with the bashfulness of a college sophomore. Her set is short and sweet, and each number opens with a "This song is called..." and ends with an ear-to-ear grin. Her ode to an ex, "Decorate," wins over the crowd, showcasing the weight of her relatively young perspective: "You left your things at my place/As if I have all this space," she snaps, before the painful turn: "'Cause you know I don't mind/Just come back when you think it's time."

With an international background, certified indie cred and massive pop potential, Yuna is earning plenty of comparisons to the pained female voice of the moment. She doesn't avoid them. "To be honest with you, Adele gives me hope," Yuna says. "She's a different thing. When I came out here two years ago, Adele was really new to the States. I was super relieved because she kind of paved the way for those who are like, 'I'm not Lady Gaga, I'm not Ke$ha, I'm not all these pop artists.' They're great for what they're doing, but I guess with Adele coming into the picture, it's like, yes, there's still hope for the rest of us. I'm from Malaysia, I'm not from here, so there's this hope of Americans accepting my music and getting it."

As her set ends, Yuna spends over 20 minutes with newly minted fans, shaking hands, giving hugs and taking photos. They seem to 'get it' just fine.


<b>Yuna</b> Beauty/Fashion blog: Clothing Haul

Posted: 30 Apr 2012 01:18 PM PDT

Some clothes purchased over the last few weeks from F21, TJMaxx and H&M

Forever 21
Cream sleeveless blouse, this was around $12, I was thinking of wearing this with leggings since it's long enough or with a skirt. 

Flowy turquoise chiffon skirt, I've always wanted a chiffon skirt but I never like the length or color when I do see one.  This one was only around $15 and I love it, the color is perfect for spring/summer.

How they look on :]

Black and White long camis, these are extra long camis to wear under long chiffon or see-through dresses, they were $4.50 each

Orange dress, I thought it looked really cute and girly, this was around $12

Forever 21 had a buy one get one free on all clearance items so I picked out a blue knit cardigan for the winter and a boxed stripe top.  I ended up paying $10 for both items, what a deal!
I purchase two blazer jackets.  The pink was on sale for around $30 and the tan one was around $40 plus I had a 20% off coupon.  I haven't paid so much for a clothing item but I couldn't pass up these two blazers. 
Purchase two really cute tops, each were $12.99

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