Homegrown singer and song writer, Yuna, has always been the pride and joy of Malaysians ever since she blessed the nation with her song “Dan Sebenarnya”. Now living in LA, Yuna has achieved the dream of every musician; to break into the international music scene. Since then, Yuna has topped international charts, collaborated with award winning musicians, performed in front of massive crowds, and released multiple albums for her fans all over the world.
Beauty Insider was honoured to interview the beautiful Yuna. If we could describe her in three words it would be – sweet, passionate, and absolutely loveable! It was a joy to speak with her about her beauty routines and secrets, dream collaborations, experiences, and upcoming projects. If you’d like to know all the deets, keep reading!
Yuna on Her Collaborations
Yuna has had amazing collaborative works in the past years. Some fan favourites include “Crush” featuring Usher, Blank Marque featuring G-Eazy, and her latest release with Pink Sweat$; Don’t Blame it on Love.
- Which one of your collaborations was the most fun to work on?
Well, they were all really fun to work on. But if I had to choose, it would have to be my collaboration with Usher. It was my favourite one because it was one of the first collaborations I’ve ever done in my career. The effect of that song really kind of laid out my entire career years after that. Crush is a really important collaboration for me.
Also quite recently, I had a lot of fun working with Aizat Amdan who is a really good friend of mine. It is a local project but its so special to me. We had a lot of fun, I got to work with him and Kuizz a talented Malaysian producer, who is also a good friend of mine. The fact that I got to spend a lot of time with this team, was very uplifting and I enjoyed it very much. The new song that we released is called “The Last Thing”, even though I wasn’t on the song, we collaborated to write the song together. It went on to premiering on international radio stations like Apple Music with Zane Lowe.
2. Would you ever considered collaborating again with any of the artists that you’ve worked with before?
Yes, definitely! I had so much fun and gained a lot of experience with them. Although, I think there is a lot of things that is involved in music production and also working with other artists. There are a lot of factors to think about when you’re releasing a song together. It’s not as simple as going up to someone and saying “Let’s collaborate again!” And put up a song. But in some instances, it can be. I’ve worked with Lincoln Jesser who is an amazing and talented singer, songwriter, producer and a great friend. We probably have a lot of songs together and we’re just putting out songs. It can be something like that sometimes, when the process is simpler.
If I was given the opportunity to collaborate with Usher or G-Eazy again I would definitely be up for it. G-Eazy and I have two songs together, so it has happened before – collaborating with the same artist. So, I’m definitely open to collaborating with all the beautiful and talented people that I have collaborated with in the past. The experience has always been a great one with my previous collaborations so I wouldn’t mind doing it again.
3. Who is one musician that you would want to be on a song with?
I would love to work with Coldplay. I’m a huge fan of them. Since I started singing and writing songs, I’ve always been a huge fan and it would be nice to have a song with them. I would also love to try and write for Beyonce. Sometimes people would think like “You should reach for the stars and be on a song with Beyonce!” But sometimes I just feel like that wouldn’t be something I would be focusing on. I would rather write a song for her and she can do her own thing with it. She can be the amazing Beyonce with the song that I wrote for her. If I could do that, it would be a dream come true!
Yuna on Tour: Fashion and Makeup
Yuna always slays with her stage presence and, bold outfits and makeup styles. She has a great sense of fashion and noteworthy eyeliner skills. So, we asked her where she gets her inspiration from for all her iconic looks!
4. When you go on tour, who do you look to for inspiration for your outfits and makeup?
For the longest time, it was quite difficult to find someone to refer to for my style because I am a hijabi and there wasn’t a lot of people back then to kind of refer to. I didn’t have anyone to look to and think “Oh she’s wearing her scarf like that” and “I’ll style my scarf like her” so I got a lot of inspirations from magazines and Pinterest and I added my own twist to them. I went through a lot of trial and error when it came to fashion and I would try every style I found and see if they would work, photograph, as well as perform well in them. I had to go through all of that and my worst moments in fashion are all on the internet but I don’t mind it. They’re all me, I put those outfits together.
Of course, I had stylists to help me out as well but I pretty much go with my gut when it comes to fashion and style. For example, if I love someone like Kate Moss, the way she wears leather jackets, and jeans, or Gwen Stefani in the 90s with her punk rock style, I would take inspiration from them. I loved Gwen Stefani’s moments in fashion because she experimented a lot and tried things that she liked instead of going for what was in trend. I guess she is my fashion icon. It was more of her essence that I looked up to. I wanted to have the same spirit she did when it came to her choice of style or clothing.
As for makeup I look to JLo a lot. She always looks effortless and her makeup style doesn’t change how she looks too much. She still looks like herself and her makeup enhances her features in a subtle way. So, she’s always the reference that I would give my makeup artist. I would also try to learn to apply JLo’s makeup on myself, study her techniques, and master the skill. For the longest time, my makeup inspiration always came from Jennifer Lopez, maybe it’s also because we have the same skin tone. Since I was young I’ve always thought to myself before going on the stage “Time to turn on my JLo mode!” and try to give the audience the best performance. She’s always been a huge part of my artistry.
Yuna on Her Malaysian Inspirations
Despite being an international artist, Yuna has always looked to Malaysia and Malaysians to incorporate into her performance, music and style.
5. Who are the people in Malaysia that inspire your music and creativity?
I grew up admiring Ella and her music. I loved her album Ella USA, it’s one of the best Malaysian music produced, in my opinion. Even though it was recorded overseas, she wrote those amazing songs and it really reflects to who we are as Malaysians and the uniqueness of Malaysian poetry and songwriting. Other Malaysian artists that have inspired me also include Ning Baizura and Dato’ Sheila Majid. Their work is very unique. These three women have their own sound and I admire the distinctiveness and individuality they had that has faded from the music industry nowadays.
Aishah had a really interesting career when she was young. She had her band and she was really active in the Australian music scene. This was something I really looked up to, admired, and made me think “If she can do it, I could do it too!”. I would watch her music videos when I was younger and thought it was really cool and fun. It looked like she loved what she was doing and I tried to have the same kind of spirit for my own work.
Yuna’s Beauty Secrets
We can’t deny that Yuna has amazing and flawless skin. Her makeup skills are also gaining a lot of attention from fans especially during this lockdown period as she poses for her Instagram photos. So what are her beauty secrets?
6. What is one beauty tip you’ve learned and adopted every since that has worked wonderfully for you?
I love the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask! You might think I’m biased because I’ve worked with them before but I truly love the Water Sleeping Mask and had already started using it before working with Laneige. It’s an overnight mask that you apply right before bed. When I wake up I immediately feel the difference. I have dry skin, which is probably because I tend to forget to drink water. Sometimes I amp up on my water consumption and every few nights I would use the mask to give my skin a hydration boost.
I actually discovered this mask on a flight where I got a mini bag which airlines usually give their passengers during a long flight. The Water Sleeping Mask was one of the products in it but it came in a very small packaging. When I tried it I was like “Oh my God, this is amazing!”. So I took mine and my husband’s because I loved it so much. When I got to work with Laneige it was like a dream come true because I love their products and still use them til this day.
7. Do you experiment more with skincare or makeup?
I’ve always been an eyeliner person. I would always have fun with eyeliners. That is the one thing that I would have with me all the time. Even if I don’t have anything else on I still have my eyeliner on. I experiment a lot with eye makeup. I like doing different things with my eyes because we’re able to tell a different story.
Another thing I like to experiment with is blusher techniques. Sometimes when you apply differently, it makes your cheekbones look higher, and other techniques give you a sun kissed look. I love cream blushers. My favourite cream blusher is from a local brand called Velvet Vanity.
Yuna on How The Lockdown Changed Her Beauty Routine
Malaysia had once again entered the MCO phase after a year of battling the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve all experienced change in our routines. Yuna shares some of her experiences during lockdown on some changes in her beauty routine.
8. How does your typical day look like during the lockdown?
Everyday it’s pretty much the same. I wake up and my husband would make me coffee every morning because I’m not a morning person. Then, I would read my emails because I’m still working a lot despite the lockdown. Somedays I would head to my studio and make some music and do some recording for around three to four hours. I made my studio super comfy to do work in and write some songs. It’s always TV time with my family around 5pm and then we’d take a break for prayers.
After dinner we usually watch some more movies. A lot of movies were involved during the lockdown. This is the only time that I have with my family since I haven’t been back in Malaysia in a while. So I get to hang out with my parents, cousins, and my husband. Everyday its been pretty much that. I think I’m ready to head back to LA now and start working again. I loved spending time in Malaysia, it’s been fun but I do want to get back to work since it’s been a year and a half since I’ve been back to LA.
I’m really thankful for the time I got to spend time with my family while I’m here in Malaysia.
9. How has the current lockdown changed your beauty routine?
I do wear less makeup now during lockdown. I have a lot of time now so I try to make it a habit to try new skincare that I usually won’t have time to. I’ve been trying the Foreo BEAR™ Microcurrent Facial Toning Device and it’s been great, it tones my face. Now I’m heading towards the end of my thirties, so these are the things I like to try. I also love my moisturisers, my Laneige Water Sleeping Masks. With makeup I usually just put on light makeup for meetings as compared to when I was on tour where I had layers of makeup on.
10. How do you usually destress after a long day? Do you have a specific self care or beauty routine for those days?
I don’t have anything specific but I do love winding down with some face masks. Sometimes I would probably light an aromatic candle or burn some essential oils. I do like to listen to music while I rest, without anyone bothering me with my face mask on and my mind calm.
Yuna’s Music and Future Plans
11. How does your music producing usually go? Do you come up with the lyrics first or the melody first?
It depends, sometimes I come up with the lyrics first and other times its the melody. But now, I work with a producer. So how it goes is he or she would provide the music and we would jam together. I would be in the studio sometimes and start writing some melodies and share it with the producer. We would usually build the song together. Now that I’m in Kuala Lumpur, I like to play some instruments, jam on my guitar which is how I started writing Invisible, one of my latest tracks. Thus, most of the songs I come up with the melody first then the lyrics.
12. Have you been working on any special projects lately?
I am currently working on my new album. When I get to LA, I’ll be able to record it at my studio and work on it more. That’s all the news that I can give for now. I released a song with Pink Sweat$ not too long ago and it’s been going really well. I’m loving the support from Malaysians. The song will definitely be part of my new album. I have been working on this album with a new style, and I can’t wait to explore that. I hope the fans will be excited and they keep on supporting me.