An Interview With Malaysian Singer-Songwriter YUNA On Recently Released New Appropriately Titled Song “Stay Where You Are” and More!
Earlier this summer, the Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna put out her newest track “Stay Where You Are.” This is her first release since she released her 2019 album “Rogue“. Although recorded last year, the track holds a significantly new meaning now amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “When I wrote SWYA a while ago, I never imagined that I was going to release this song during quarantine,” she wrote on Instagram. “I want to share my love to everyone, let’s stay positive, stay connected, stay inspired, stay supportive, stay motivated & most importantly stay safe — together — even though we’re apart.”
Since 2012, Yuna has put out 4 full-length studio albums; “Yuna” (2012), “Nocturnal” (2013), “Chapters” (2016) and “Rouge” (2019).
Check out the video for “Stay Where You Are” Here:
Connect With Yuna Online Here: WEBSITE
Learn more about Yuna in the following All Access interview:
Thank you for your time. So given these unusual Covid-19 times, what does a typical day look like for you? How have you adjusted to these times? How are you staying busy?
Right now I’m back in my hometown Kuala Lumpur, with my husband and parents. A typical day for me is I wake up, I help my mom with our online Indoor Plants and terrarium business (based in KL) tinyforeststore.com, I play with my cats, I get some stuff done related to work and music, and at night I spend some time listening to music and write! I spend my days at home.. it’s not that bad being someone who’s a homebody and the fact that I get to spend time with my family – I actually love it.
What has been the hardest/most challenging part about being quarantined? LA is starting to open up more so have you been going out more?
I feel like I still would just stay home, its safer. I don’t want to be exposed to Covid-19 or being at risk infecting other people. Here in KL we have rules, probably a little bit more strict than it is in LA! But I’m okay with staying home. I only go out only if I have to for meetings and work.
I have noticed that you have really been using social media lately to stay connected with your fans so would you agree that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are even more important now?
Definitely! Now is a great time to engage with fans. I definitely go on IG live more now compared to before- I just couldn’t bring myself to it! But as an artist I feel like you have to constantly stay present and be there for the fans… once in a while they miss your live performances so you have to give it to them!
Let’s talk about your newest track, “Stay Where You Are.” What inspired you to write this song and why release it this summer? Even though you wrote and recorded it before this global pandemic hit, it really does suit these times!
Stay Where You Are was a song that I wrote in 2017, I loved it back then but I felt like it was not in vein with the concept of the album that I was working on. I thought a lot about maybe giving it to someone else, I felt like someone like Alicia Keys would sound great on it and during the pandemic, I went on a live session online and played the song on the piano, and the fans loved it. So I thought… this is a great song, why am I still keeping it in the vault? I feel like maybe a lot of people will want to listen to it – it’s a heartfelt, uplifting song. It can be sad, but it’s very soothing and hopeful. And that is something that people need right now.
Do you have plans to release more new music soon? Are you consistently writing new songs?
I do actually! I feel great about releasing some songs from time to time, from the comfort of my home. I wrote a song during quarantine and I can just be like… “hey let’s release this song next month!” When I’m not scheduled to be anywhere anytime soon, I think it’s important to constantly release new music
Speaking of new music, how do you think future music is going to be influenced by this incredible Black Lives Matter movement that the US is going through now? Is it inspiring you and your music now?
Music definitely plays a huge part in spreading awareness. Black Lives Matter is a global movement and it’s making a lot of people – artists and fans realize their role in standing up against injustice. It has definitely affected me – inspiring me to write something that has a deeper meaning, I think a lot of artists are going through the same thing at the moment.
You have been able to work with some amazing artists over the years but is there there anyone that is still on your bucket list? Who continues to move you musically?
I would love to work with Frank Ocean. I really love him. He inspired me a lot in my first few years of living in LA, finding my sound.. and his album Channel Orange continues to be one of the best albums ever.
If given the chance, is there anything that you would go back and tell yourself in 2006 when you first started performing? Would you change anything about your career or would you do it all over again the same way?
I don’t think I would change anything – if there’s anything I would tell the younger me to keep on going, stop crying, don’t listen to other people who don’t believe in you, you know you got this – but of course at the time I had a lot of support from my family.. they made me into the brave person that I am today. I cherish every memory and every decision I made in the past, even the bad ones, because it’s those bad ones that sharpens your character and makes you stronger!