Yuna gets inspired by spider
When you are a talented songwriter, even a spider can give you inspiration. For independent singer Yuna, whose music has been described as a cross between Mary Poppins and Coldplay, a little spider in her bathroom has been her latest inspiration.
"I get my inspiration from everything. Films, songs, books and sometimes from personal experience. My latest composition is called My Spider Friend and it's about this spider that I always see in my bathroom. It's been there for about a month now, just.. chilling."
"But of course the story behind the song would be something much deeper," said the talented singer/songwriter who has swept awards for Best New Artist, Best Local English Song, Best Pop Song and Best Song at the 17th AIM Awards.
Yuna began writing her own songs at 14 and did her first performance at 19 with a guitar. She started out as a solo Myspace artist in 2006, singing in both English and Bahasa Malaysia while her music influences include Feist, The Cardigans, Coldplay, Sia and Bob Dylan.
Yuna's fans remember her for her popular song Dan Sebenarnya which she has been singing a thousand times since 2007.
"Somehow I never get bored of performing the song. Everytime it's to a different face so I will always give my all when I sing Dan Sebenarnya. But personally, I feel my best composition would be Deeper Conversation because to me, that was my turning point in my life when I knew this was something I wanted to do or be for the rest of my life," said the petite singer who co-owns a unisex clothes boutique, IAMJETFUELshop, in Subang Jaya, Selangor.
As her popularity continues, Yuna have been getting requests from other popular singers asking her to compose a song for them.
"Im really flattered. I would love to do and I am very keen to do it but I just don't have the time. Maybe in future when I'm not so busy with my own projects," said Yuna who did her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Legal Studies (Hons) in UiTM.
Yuna first made a huge impact in the Malaysian Indie music scene in 2009. It was largely due to the strong following she gained via Myspace. Soon after her meterioc rise, came another Indie singer called Ana Raffali. Ana Raffali's self-penned Tolong Ingatkan Aku was the 'controversial' winner of the recent Anugerah Juara Lagu.
Ana has often been compared to Yuna and vice versa. To this, Yuna who is the only child, admits that comparisons are bound to happen.
"It always happens. Not only Ana, but most of the time with Zee Avi, Najwa, and Liyana Fizi, but I take that as a compliment. It's really cool to see that I am categorized with the girls who have the same passion for music. So its actually a very healthy competition, we are just a bunch of girls who love music and we write our own stuff," said Yuna who credits her parents and grandparents for her number one fans who never miss any of her TV shows.
Ask if she would deviate from her current genre of music, Yuna feels its natural to be experimental.
"I get bored of playing the same type of music but it has to be in the same line as what Im doing now. I'd like to do something like Portishead in the future," said Yuna who admits being a twithead when she is not too busy.
Through Twitter and Facebook, she has managed to stay connected with her true-blue fans.
"I am a twithead. It's fun talking to my fans because they're funny and supportive. I love the funny ones because I like funny people," said the 25-year-old singer whose real name is Yunalis Zarai.
Another unique thing about Yuna apart from her fresh music, is the way she wears her headgear. It has become her trademark and made her a trendsetter of sorts.
"I feel very flattered when someone wears my style of tudung. Its cool to know that what you do has a certain impact to the society. I have people coming up to me saying things like they started wearing the tudung because I made it look easy."
"Some Muslim girls just avoid it because they think it will effect their whole identity, which is not true. I don't preach about religion, and I don't sing spiritual songs, not yet, but its nice to know in that way, I promote confidence and that you can actually go for your dreams, with tudung or no tudung," said the singer whose hits include Dan Sebenarnya, Rocket, Deeper Conversation, Permission dan These Streets.
Of late, Yuna has been romantically linked with actor Qi Qushairi Razali who popularised the drama Blogger Boy.
"Qi is very real. He is what he seems. He's extremely imaginative and ambitious, and he loves music as much as I do, so I guess we connect in a lot of different level. We're still getting to know each other, and we enjoy each other's company. He's a really nice guy," said Yuna.
Published Feb 1 2011