On get­ting at­tached to some songs over others.

Marie Claire (Malaysia) - - Local Report -

“There’s gonna be a lot of re­jec­tions in your life, but never stop. Keep go­ing.” Sound ad­vice to a lit­tle girl who would grow up to be one of Malaysia’s most in­flu­en­tial mu­si­cians of all time. And she def­i­nitely de­serves ev­ery mo­ment of that suc­cess—this hard­work­ing star has been on the go since she was 20. “So my al­bum came out last year in July, and I haven’t stopped since. And not to men­tion that I haven’t stopped work­ing since I was 20! And now that I’m in this po­si­tion where I don’t have any­thing on my sched­ule..it feels re­ally weird, be­cause I’ve never had days off be­fore. I re­mem­ber ear­lier this year, I felt re­ally tired, like I was ex­hausted, and I kept say­ing that Im so tired, I need to rest, and I haven’t got­ten enough sleep. I knew it was tak­ing a toll on my health, just the way I was work­ing. I work re­ally hard.” She tells me. “I never used to say this to peo­ple, that I am a hard worker, but when I spoke to some­one about this, they told me ‘you should tell peo­ple that you have been work­ing re­ally hard, and you need to un­der­stand that you need to stop, and take a break.’ And I was like al­right—be­cause I just keep on go­ing, go­ing, go­ing!”

“And with Ashraf’s (Sin­clair) pass­ing, that was a huge wakeup call, which hap­pened even be­fore this pan­demic, and so I man­aged to take a mini break. And even so, the peo­ple around me were like ‘take all the time you want, but let me know when you are ready to get back to work.’ This is my life, this is my liveli­hood, with mu­sic and work, and work­ing with brands—ev­ery­body has a sched­ule. But now ev­ery­one’s sched­ule is on hold! So now I'm like, ‘oh wow.’” Yuna con­tin­ues. “This feels like a bless­ing in dis­guise for peo­ple who have been work­ing non-stop; and now I can be home and re­con­nect with why I am do­ing all of this, and be with my fam­ily— my par­ents are get­ting old, so I’m re­ally happy I get to spend time with them. I also get to spend time with my cats, and give them at­ten­tion and love and care. I haven’t been out­side for weeks now!”

Speak­ing of stay­ing in­doors, we have had to do things re­motely, in­clud­ing the pro­duc­tion of this special cover story. The artis­tic im­ages of Yuna at home was cre­atively put to­gether by Yuna her­self, in­clud­ing makeup, styling and cre­ative direc­tion. And the im­ages were ex­clu­sively shot by her hus­band, Adam, us­ing an iPhone 11 Pro! “It was a lot of fun! I see a lot of videos and phots on­line where peo­ple are just be­ing cre­ative, and I am def­i­nitely one of those peo­ple who are con­stantly find­ing cor­ners in my house to take a photo at, like ‘oh this is pretty, lets take a photo here. There is a shadow from this tree out­side of the win­dow that is hit­ting the wall—lets take one there!’ So I thought it was a cool idea to do a pho­to­shoot at home. And Yuna at home is as real as Yuna can be, be­cause I don’t have su­per fancy stuff ly­ing around. I clean, I vac­uum, I mop! When my cat is pee­ing ev­ery­where, I’ll be there, just clean­ing it up! There is noth­ing glam­orous about me at home.” She laughs. “But for this con­cept, I get to dress up and play that role of Yuna at home.”

From work­ing on her mu­sic at her stu­dio cor­ner in her room in Dior, to vac­u­um­ing at home, and chill­ing with her cat in a full Gucci at­tire, ev­ery shot por­trays ex­actly what she would do at home—in­clud­ing in­dulging in her child­hood favourite snack, the scrump­tious Harum Ma­nis. “There was a shot of me at the din­ing ta­ble, eat­ing a Harum Ma­nis, a type of mango which you can find at the border of Thai­land. I grew up in Perlis, and we used to have Harum Ma­nis all the time.” Her fun, and grounded con­cept por­tray the im­por­tance of stay­ing at home, sur­rounded by ev­ery­thing she loves. “It also sends a re­ally pos­i­tive and pow­er­ful mes­sage to peo­ple out there; stay­ing at home is very im­por­tant— It's not just some­thing you are forced to do. We need to flat­ten the curve and also think about our front­lin­ers who are strug­gling out there, and we don’t want to over­whelm them with more cases. So it’s also a nice mes­sage to send out, that you can still have fun at home and stay in­spired. Hang in there! I am send­ing so much love out there to ev­ery­one. And if you need to reach out to me—I'll be home! (laughs). I’ll be on In­sta­gram. Stay safe, and make sure you eat healthy, and keep your mind and soul healthy. There is a Janet Jack­son song that I lis­ten to on The Vel­vet Rope, and there is a line there where she states, ‘you have to learn to wa­ter your spir­i­tual gar­den’. So don’t for­get to wa­ter your spir­i­tual gar­den, pray for the best, and help those around you.”

“Be­ing em­pow­ered to me is be­ing sur­rounded by peo­ple who mo­ti­vate you to be bet­ter. Em­pow­er­ment can come in many forms—it can come as the form of a mother, or a com­plete stranger on TV. For me per­son­ally, em­pow­er­ment means to not pick and choose who to em­power. I know that I have peo­ple who...don’t see me as their favourite per­son, or some­one who leaves a hate com­ment for ex­am­ple, I am not go­ing to say any­thing that will ruin their day. It’s im­por­tant to keep on show­ing up, and show­ing peo­ple love, and show­ing peo­ple a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude to­wards life, and hope­fully that will em­power them to do the same, and also em­power other peo­ple."

“These days I wake up, shower, and get ready and do my make up as if I have work to do or some­where to go! It helps to get all made up for the day even if I’m on my lap­top work­ing.”

“I’m al­ways brain­storm­ing how to put out con­tent with my hus­band.. or even with my­self! I ac­tu­ally never get bored at home, I al­ways have some­thing to do!”

“It helps to have a lit­tle writ­ing cor­ner in the house. I set some up. One is in our bed­room, we have a lit­tle stu­dio set up, and an­other is the liv­ing room down­stairs with all my plants. I’ll get these beats (in­stru­men­tal mu­sic) from my pro­ducer friends and I’ll lis­ten to them.. and then just start writ­ing.”

“I def­i­nitely can not work when Im stressed out about some­thing. Like I can’t work in a messy place. I have to very re­laxed, but very mo­ti­vated and feel­ing very cre­ative. And def­i­nitely no in­ter­rup­tion! It kind of needs to be in my cal­en­dar where I just be like ok, Satur­day is my writ­ing day. Let me be!”

“When I lis­ten to the fin­ished prod­uct and go “Yes, I can imag­ine lis­ten­ing to this on the ra­dio.” If I don't get to that point, I’ll re­vise it again and again un­til its per­fect—to me at least!"

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