We managed to meet the really tall singer at the press conference the day before the show. Yuna arrived almost an hour late to the press conference but this tardiness was quickly overlooked when she proved to be so sweet in person. She apologized to everyone present and went around to say hi and thanked everyone personally for coming to the press conference. Diandra, the first artiste signed to her Yuna Room Records, was also present at the press conference.
During the press conference, we asked Yuna what was the biggest takeaway from working with famous American producer Pharell Williams and recording her album in the US. Amongst other things, she highlighted that she learnt to experiment more with different genres and sounds and to just have more fun while playing music. Being in America has also exposed her to meeting more musicians and she is currently in talks to collaborate with Incubus’ lead guitarist Mike Einziger sometime in December this year.
Despite having performed more than 50 shows in the past 3 months, she still considers herself at the same level as her signings and she believes that as artistes, they can always learn from one another. Yuna believes that in the music industry, one cannot have the mentality that you know more than the new ones, as you never know what you can learn from a new artiste.
Yuna believes that while her musical taste may have changed slightly as she grew older and moved to the US, she is still essentially the same girl, albeit more famous now. Recently, she had to turn down a request from another famous Malaysian singer, Dato Siti Nurhaliza to write a song as she simply had no time.
At the age of 26, the Malaysian singer has released an EP and a self-titled album in the US, which has been steadily gaining attention from various music reviewers and magazines around the world such as Billboard and The New York Post. When asked if there was still anything left on her bucket list, she mentioned that it would be nice to be nominated for a Grammy.
The concert at Kallang theatre started with two opening acts before Yuna took the stage. Local Singaporean band The Stoned Revivals opened the show at approximately 8:15 pm with a 8-song set that included some of their past hits as well as a new song. This was then followed by a 5-song set from DiandraArjunaidi, the first artiste on Yuna’s label, Yuna Room Records. Diandra’s set consisted of a mixture of songs from her self-titled album such as Angkasa, Remember and Things We Don’t Say, a cover of an Indonesian song Serba Salah (Raisa) as well as a new song that she’s been working on.
Yuna finally took the stage at around 9:30pm and performed a 22-song set. With her soft vocals and the intimate settings of the theatre, it was easy to get lost in her voice and just simply enjoy the evening as she sings song after song to you. Yuna’s set included a mixture of both English and Malay songs, from her various EPs and albums, as well as covers of old songs such as GeloraJiwa and new songs like Frank Ocean’s Thinking About You.
It was clear that the many months of touring in the US has made her more comfortable on stage. She possessed a natural calm that translated into her performances. She was also a natural at interacting with the audience, talking to them in between songs. The multi-instrumentalist (she played guitar and an ukulele that night) also tried to get some audience participation during the song Remember My Name. Newer songs such as Lullabies, Live Your Life and Island got just as much applause from the audience as older favourites like After Midnight and Decorate. She ended her main set with Penakut, before coming back onstage for her encore of Loud Noises and perennial favourite Dan Sebenarnya.
Meet and Greet
We also managed to meet Yuna again at the VIP meet & greet session after the show. She mentioned that this was one of her favourite crowds so far in terms of response and would love to come back again to Singapore for more shows. Singapore would definitely be glad to welcome this talented songstress back with open arms.
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Photo by Fadli
Special Thanks to Shahrin (Phish Communication) and Live Empire