Marie Claire Malaysia|May 2020

We all know her as the woman with a POWERFUL VOICE. An international name, YUNA acknowledges the role her soulful MUSIC plays in the lives of her listeners, and despite her stardom, strives to CONNECT with her audiences during this pandemic through Instagram live sessions, and SHARING her KNOWLEDGE of music through virtual intimate classes she calls Tiny Class. She talks to Azza Arif about life at home under MCO, the CHANGES she hopes to see within the music industry, her LOVE for her QUARANTINE PARTNER and husband, Adam—including what habits she picked up from him; and the advice she would give to her 15-YEAR OLD SELF
“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 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.”


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May 2020