While we can instantly recognise her soothing and melodious voice through her chart-topping songs, we don’t know much about Yuna as a person. Here, the songstress answers 10 questions from Vasenta Selvanayagam during our photo shoot with her in Los Angeles recently.
FEMALE: You officially signed a deal with international modelling and talent agency, Wilhelmina Models in September last year, can you share with us the details?
Yuna: “We’ve been looking for modelling agencies for quite some time now, not to represent me as a model but as an artist. There are many agencies that represent artists and do more stuff in the fashion world. When this came up, I said ok, let’s give this a shot. We were involved in a lot of meetings but Wilhelmina was really interested in this, so let’s see how it goes!”
F: Our January issue is about taking risks. What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in life?
Y: “Coming to the US! I remember when I thought about leaving Malaysia, I was one of the most successful artists in the country. To take that leap of faith was a huge deal for me. But I said ok, I’m just going to do it and that’s like the biggest risk I’ve taken. My fear was what if my career in the US doesn’t take off, and if I lose momentum in Malaysia? Do I go back to Malaysia to an industry that doesn’t necessarily miss me anymore? But in the end, it all turned out well, thankfully. I’d definitely not have known if I didn’t give that opportunity a shot!”
F: Do you still have your terrarium business running?
Y: “It’s a yes and no. I am about to let go of the shop cos it’s hard to maintain. I think we might just focus on doing it online as we have many customers who love us. I had a certain way of running my business in the past but I couldn’t find anyone to do it like me, sadly.”
F: What do you usually wear when you go out? Do you prefer a look that’s low-key or glamorous?
Y: “I think I like to add stuff that’s fun – something that makes me look shapely. For example, at the moment I’m very much into wearing cargo pants and I’d probably jazz it up a li’l with a pair of boots and Chanel belt.”
F: Whose fashion creations do you most admire?
Y: “The late Alexander McQueen’s. I’ve always been a fan of his maximalist fashion designs as they bring out the rocker-chic side of my style.”
F: How would you describe your makeup style?
Y: “Natural but fun at the same time. At the moment I’m crazy for neon or pastel eyeliners but when I go on stage, I’ll put on makeup that’s a li’l bit more edgy.”
F: What’s the best makeup look for shows?
Y: “Strong eyes and bold lips are the best when it comes to stage makeup. By the way, at times, I do my own makeup for shows!”
F: Being a singer who’s in demand, how do you cope with a hectic schedule?
Y: “I don’t know, I just have to do it. It’s my job. I just try to focus on staying healthy that’s all. I make sure that I take my vitamins and try not to get sick. I also try to avoid food or activities that drain my energy.”
F: What are your favourite holiday destinations?
Y: “I love Malibu, Istanbul and of course, Malaysia! I’d also love to visit Iceland.”
F: One word that comes to your mind when we say ‘Malaysia’.
Coordination Yang Mei Ling and Cheryl Tan Photography Alvin Kean Wong Assisted by Germano Assuncao and Celso Assuncao Styling Cheryl Tan Assisted by Claudia Avila Makeup Mikele Simone Turbans Yuna’s own Location The Urban Jungle Studio, Los Angeles, USA