From Malaysia Factbook
|"Am I supposed to feel or think in a certain way because I am Malay? We live with other people and they have the same rights. I believe that other races deserve the same privilege." — Yunalis Zarai, when asked about her opinion regarding being Malay or Malaysian first (29 November 2010) |
Yunalis Zarai (born November 14, 1986, age 27), more popularly known as Yuna, is a Los Angeles-based Malay Malaysian singer who signed with Fader Label, a New York-based record label, in February 2011. Starting off as an independent singer-songwriter and solo Myspace artist in 2006, singing in both English and Bahasa Malaysia, she has, since then, performed in numerous acoustic shows and events in many parts of Malaysia.
Yuna will be returning to Malaysia to renew her US performance visa in November 2012. While home in Malaysia, she will host her first ever solo concert, Yuna Homecoming Concert, organized by Talent Harvest Agency, at Penang Times Square on 10 November. This will be followed by the 2nd leg of her solo concert at the Sarawak Cultural Village on 16 November. Yuna will also be headlining the Urbanscapes music festival in Kuala Lumpur, as well as perform in Singapore.
2. Brief background: A law graduate from Universiti Teknologi MARA in Shah Alam, Selangor, Yuna who hailed from Alor Setar in Kedah began writing her own songs when she was 14 years old. She first performed her own songs in 2006 at the age of 19, after learning how to play guitar. Describing her music as "a cross between Mary Poppins and Coldplay", Yuna's meteoric rise in the Malaysian indie music scene is largely due to the strong following she gained via Myspace. One of the first few people who expressed interest in her music was Farhan Fadzlishah (Pa'an) of Telephony Delivery, who later became her supporting guitarist. Along the way, Efry Arwis of Lightcraft helped her with the bass, while Adib Azfar handled the drums. Adib Azfar was replaced by Adil Ali of Seven Collar T-shirt after he quit to concentrate on his drumming role in Oh Chentaku.
In February 2011, Yuna signed with Fader Label, a record label based in New York, and released her debut US EP, Decorate, in the United States in March the same year. Her success in her career has come at a cost to her personal life when she broke up with TV personality, Qi Razali whom she had been with for over 2 years. Yuna cannot afford to slow the pace of her work. "I don't want to waste time as I've sacrificed a lot to be where I am", she said. Both Yuna and Qi therefore mutually agreed to break up because their busy schedule and the distance between them had become too much for them to handle. Fans had been hoping for the two of them to get married. Nevertheless, she and Qi remain friends and still hang out with each other.
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- Popular Female Singer, Anugerah Bintang Popular Berita Harian
- Won the following awards in the 17th Anugerah Industri Muzik:
- Best New Artist
- Best Local English Song (Deeper Conversation)
- Best Pop Song (Dan Sebenarnya)
- Best Song (Dan Sebenarnya)
- Won the following awards in the Shout! Awards:
- Popstar Award (Pop Award)
- Break Out Award (Best New Act)
- Ultimate Shout! Award