Interview: Yuna on love, the election, and finding her voice

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Yuna comments on “Poor Heart”, the election, and more.

 

Yuna

Photos: [H/T]; Courtesy of the artist

Two years ago in October, I was asked to interview Yuna at Stage 48. I wasn’t in the position to genetically split myself, so I couldn’t send my clone to have a conversation. I was irritated.

However, a young photographer-videographer from Seattle, Washington was in town. From time to time, he’d help me with things. I asked him to cover it for me. Along with a female friend, he went to the show and interviewed Yuna. For whatever reason, the audio and video were unusable. All I could do was handle that moment like a champion—who didn’t win anything.


Cheyenne (@cashandjewels) interviews Yuna (@yunamusic) for @GrungeCake! #GrungeCake Image: @SamesWorld

A photo posted by GrungeCake Magazine (@grungecake) on



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A day after the US election (November 9), I was supposed to interview Yuna by phone. For whatever reason, our call didn’t connect. In an email, the young Malaysian singer shared her thoughts about the election, the relationship with her label, finding her voice, her definition of love, and more.

Yuna


You’re my first interview since the announcement of America’s President-elect. Do you live in America? Any thoughts?

Hoping for the best for everyone. We mustn’t give in to fear and hate. I feel like for people who have been promoting love, peace, respect and understanding. This is definitely a set back for all of us but it just means we have to work twice as hard.

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Recently, I interviewed Scott King (formerly signed to Def Jam Records) about the music business. What is it like being signed to the FADER label?

I’m now signed to Verve Universal. But yea, signing to FADER was definitely a learning process. Being signed to any label is like, you have to know yourself before doing any of it. Lucky for me, the labels I’ve worked with were so supportive and understanding, so making music was a breeze for me since I have full creative control over my music career.

Were you always in love with your (talking-singing) voice?

Not always! I loved singing, so I’ve always tried to sing other people’s songs like they’re mine.

“Poor Heart” is a powerful song. When did you first fall in love?

I think I was very young! It was my first day of school and I sat next to this boy, I was in love with him the next 4 years! It would always make me so nervous when I see him and I couldn’t figure out why I was so fixated on him!

What is your definition of love?

Calmness. Love is when you are with someone and you feel you are able to be yourself, and you feel calm.

What are you listening to these days?

H.E.R., Erykah Badu, Solange… Sometimes, I mix it up with a little bit of early 2000 Rock jams like Smashing Pumpkins. I listen to everything.


Special thanks to Zayed Moxam


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