My wife turned me onto singer songwriter Yuna Zarai in 2012. I’d never heard of her before but immediately liked what I heard. We’ve seen Yuna perform live in San Francisco twice. Her live show is great and we met her (She’s super nice and just as pretty in person). Yuna has a soulful voice with some rock and folk sensibilities mixed in.
Based in the LA for the past decade or so Yuna is originally from Malaysia and started writing and singing her own songs at 14. She began releasing her music on Myspace in the late 2000’s and got into the indy music scene in Malaysia before making that move to the US. She has released four English albums and some records in Malay (Her native language). You can tell by how she moves that she has a good business sense and a great team behind her. She is shy but very good at documenting her work and staying connected with fans. She has a unique fashion sense and has her own clothing line called “Hatta Yuna” with designer Hatta Dolmat which includes Tudung’s (Jihab’s). She designs jewelry, and has worked with a lot of artists from the US to Malaysia such as DJ Premier, Quadron, Jhene Aiko, Little Simz, Aizat Amdan, Jaelyn Victor, Elizabeth Tan, Pharrell, Tyler The Creator, and Usher.
While folks back home and the US were hung up on her head scarf she developed a talent for straddling to worlds as a musician and a creative person. And she started a company to help manage up and coming Malay artists. Look out for her on the covers of magazines, the charts, follow her, and listen to her sound. Oh and watch her tour videos, they’re funny. And I added her to this Asian American focus of music because she’s been here for damn near 10 years and she fits in for me and my list.
Sources: Generation T Asia, Aramco World, The Apt w/ Asif & Baluch, Wikipedia
Fav Song: Best Love