Every Wednesday we ask a creative, artisan, or musician to share what music gets them going from dawn to dusk. This week, Malaysian R&B/Soul songstress Yuna tells us her song choices that invigorates her throughout the day.
Avid music listeners will be familiar with the smooth and sultry vocals of Los Angeles-based R&B songstress, Yuna. The Malaysian-born singer-songwriter catapult into audio prominence with her breakthrough US self-titled album which features the Pharrell Williams-produced track, 'Live Your Life'. It's not an easy feat to stand out from the latter's addictive contemporary bouncy beats and Yuna's distinctive glossy tone shines from the stellar production.
Subsequent releases were adored by critics (Rolling Stone magazine nominated her follow-up album Chapters in its Top 20 Best R&B Albums of 2016) and positive results were reflected on the prestigious Billboard charts. This album feature note-worthy collaborations from Usher, Jhené Aiko and DJ Premier.
Yuna's previous live performance was at Neon Lights 2016 and she went under the music radar after. This year, the velvet vocalist makes her anticipated return to the stage at Neon Light 2018 (surprise surprise). Performing in the region for her first public performance in over two years, Yuna will do crowd favourite-numbers and showcase tracks from her new album, her first in nearly three years.
Curious to know what musical direction she'll head to next? Secure your ticket to Neon Light 2018; it's gonna worth every dime.
"I love to listen to old 90s or early 2000s music in the morning. I like to be reminded of the time when I was maybe 14 or 15, sitting in my room and waking up and hearing all this music that was playing on the radio at that time.
I love Mariah Carey. Right now in the morning, I play Mariah Carey’s Butterfly album from 1997. Songs like 'Honey', there’s a song called 'Breakdown' and 'Butterfly. These are all the songs I used to listen to on repeat, like Lauryn Hill's Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. And we go into maybe TLC’s 'Waterfall'. Then we go into boy bands sometimes, and No Doubt and all the rock bands like Green Day. Basically, all the songs that I grew up listening to.
1. ‘Breakdown’—Mariah Carey
"I remember in 1997 when I was 11 years old, I would listen to the song non-stop on repeat and memorise the lyrics. In the song, she’s singing it fast and all the words are fast, and she’s kind of, like, rapping. I would try to practise that and the way she sings it as well. That’s one of my favourite songs, ever."
2. ‘Nothing Even Matters’—Lauryn Hill & D’Angelo
"This is one of my favourite songs from her. I remember I was in Form 1, I was 13 years old and I wanted to sing a song like that. I was like 'Wow this is such a beautiful song and I want to sing this one day.'"
3. ‘Ex-Girlfriend’—No Doubt
"I was 14 and I was going through some teenage angst moments in my life; that was the song that I would listen to all the time. I still love that album so much."
"I listen to a lot of these playlists, whether it’s Spotify or Apple Music—they always have this thing called 'New Music Fridays'. I normally listen to that when I’m just around the house and cleaning or doing work, so I just leave it on. And if I like the song I would add it to my playlist."
1. 'Head Over Heels’—Tears for Fears
"One of my favourite movies is Donnie Darko and that was a huge song from that movie."
2. ‘Rock with You’—Michael Jackson
"Once in a while, I listen to old music from the 80s or 90s again. The kind of chill but upbeat music for during the day. This was was a great song with a lot of good vibes."
3. 'Come Together'—The Internet
"I like slow jam R&B music during the day, and I love The Internet’s new album, Hive Mind."
"I don’t really listen to music at night, but if I do it would probably be instrumental like Bossa Nova, and Henry Mancini’s Lujon and music like that. I also like smooth R&B jazz vibes."
1. ‘Lujon’—Henry Mancini
"I like instrumental songs like this as they are very soothing and relaxing, nothing too crazy."
2. 'Ah Yeah’—Robert Glasper
3. 'O Barquinho’—Maysa
"At night, I think you don’t want to listen to anything too crazy or too wordy. You'd want something you can wind down to and relax because I’m probably driving the whole day and I want to go home. I don’t want to listen to any of the songs that you listen to on the radio anymore so maybe something more relaxing would be ideal."