Yuna Malaysia impossible to categorise pop star

Yuna Malaysia impossible to categorise pop star

Yuna is one of Malaysia's most popular and famous singers and songwriters. A true icon of the country's pop scene, her triumphant career is a testament to her tenacity and talent.

Born Yunalis Mat Zara'ai in 1986, Yuna has been involved in music since the age of 14 when she wrote her first song. By 19 she was performing in front of crowds, playing her soulful acoustic numbers to rapt audiences. Her initial following in her home country was built upon her success on MySpace, where she uploaded her own, self produced recordings and promoted herself tirelessly. This would foreshadow the skills she has since shown as a canny businesswomen later in her career.

Her breakthrough Malaysian hit was Deeper Conversation, the lead track from her self-titled debut EP from 2009.

The big international discovery for Yuna came in 2011 when she was signed by the American labels Indie-Pop and FADER. Her debut US EP, Decorate, was released that March.

Her big breakthrough single, Live for Your Life, hit iTunes in January 2012. Produced by Pharrell Williams, it was brilliantly polished piece of pop that took Yuna's sweet vocals up to the next level. Her debut album came three months later, to mass critical acclaim. Quickly, Yuna began to garner a committed and fanatical fan base across the globe but particularly in her native South East Asia.

Since then, she has released three more international long players, Yuna (2012), Sixth Street (2013) and Nocturnal (2013).

Yuna's style is somewhat difficult to catagorise. On her original MySpace profile she called wryly described herself as a ‘cross between Mary Poppins and Coldplay', and it is a claim that has haunted her every since. Now, almost seven years later, people still quote it back to her when asking her about her influences. In reality, it shows how hard it is to put Yuna in a single box, as her musical palette tastes of everything from 70s rock to Garbage to Bob Dylan.

As well her musical accomplishments, Yuna is also a successful businesswoman, with her own line of clothing boutiques called IAMJETFUELshop.