SHOWBIZ: Yuna’s Homecoming

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She will be back from the US in November to thrill her Malaysian fans, writes Bibi Nurshuhada Ramli

FANS of Los Angeles-based Yuna and TV personality Qi Razali must have been heartbroken when they found out about the couple’s recent split. The two had managed to maintain their relationship for over two years, but their busy schedules and the distance between them had become too much to handle.

“Right now we are ‘taking a break’ from our relationship to focus on our careers,” Yuna said at a Press conference in Petaling Jaya recently. “It was hard because I’m all the way in the US while he’s over here.

“We respect each other’s decision to pursue our dreams and give each other space to grow. Both of us work really hard at what we do, and this is another reason. Let us ‘rest’ first.”

She said that she is aware of their fans’ hopes for them to get married.

Yuna cannot afford to slow the pace of her work. “Having a relationship is not an option for me. So right now, I’m single but not available.”

However, she stresses that she and Qi remain friends and still hang out with each other. The break-up was a mutual decision but they still care for each other.

Below, Yuna speaks of her plans for her career.
 

HOMECOMING CONCERT
Yuna is determined to not allow her break up to dampen her spirits or affect her career.

In fact, she says she is very excited about her upcoming first ever solo concert, the Yuna Homecoming Concert, organised by Talent Harvest Agencyon Nov 10 (at Penang Times Square) and Nov 16 at the Sarawak Cultural Village.

“I actually have to come back to Malaysia in November to renew my US performance visa and it will take a few weeks. During that free time, I might as well do something for my fans here.”

Anugerah Industri Muzik, Shout! Awards and Urbanscapes are also taking place in November and Yuna says the timing is just nice. “My birthday is in November as well.”

This is her sixth year as a singer and she has always dreamt of holding a huge concert for her fans. She has performed many times in Kuala Lumpur, but never in the north or in East Malaysia. “I want to reconnect with my local fans after so long and share my overseas experience so this concert is the best opportunity,” she says.

Yuna will also be headlining this year’s Urbanscapes music festival in Kuala Lumpur and performing in Singapore around the same time.

Last year, Yuna held a solo concert at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, but the Homecoming Concert is extra special because it’s her baby.

“It’s mine, so I have the freedom to be creative with how the concert will go. At DFP, we had to be mindful of its elegant and classy ambience which suits the more mature crowd.”

The Homecoming Concert is expected to be fun. “Young kids and students are all welcome, I can’t wait to see them.”

She recalls a Coldplay concert that she had been to, and wants to make her gig as spectacular as that one.

“The concert will focus on my music and my interaction with the crowd.”

Fans can expect some surprises at the concert, Yuna assures. “Maybe I’ll do a cover of someone else’s song. Who knows? I just want to have fun with my fans.”

The biggest challenge for the singer in making this concert tour a success would be keeping the crowd entertained. “The crowd at my show is the quiet and shy kind, so I must figure out a way to keep them constantly hyped,” she admits.

“However, I don’t think that will be a big problem. I’m still the same old me, and they knew me before anyone else in the world.”
 

TOURS AND RECOGNITION
Time has flown quickly for Yuna; she didn’t expect 2012 to be so hectic. She says it would have been a huge waste if she hadn’t taken the chance to improve herself as a person and musician.

“Thankfully, I’ve achieved a lot in these 10 months,” she admits, adding that she had covered The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun for the film Savages; her songs Lullabies and Favourite Thing were featured on TV shows like Hollywood

Exes and Pretty Little Liars, and she has performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and at the Lollapalooza music festival. Sales of her digital downloads and physical albums have increased.

“I have done a lot, but from what I’ve learnt, there’s still so much more to conquer.

 Yuna is signed with the Fader Label and had to follow the rules set by her Los Angeles management company. “I don’t want to waste time as I’ve sacrificed a lot to be where I am. At least with their help, I get what I want, faster.”

Yuna began her fall mini tour with soul singer Michael Kiwanuka onTuesday. They will visit five US states and then go to Vancouver, Canada. Her next tour starts on Oct 16.

Yuna was recently nominated for Best Asian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards that will take place in November. “I was both shocked and flattered I’m nominated along with Super Junior, a K-Pop group, so I know I won’t win,” she said, giggling.

Because of her stellar accolades here and in the US, Yuna is seen as a role model to local singers, old and new.

“I know there are other artistes who hope to venture into foreign markets but there's this fear of rejection in our culture. I was not afraid to take on new challenges. When God gives you the chance to be creative, use it to the fullest because it won’t last forever.

“Some people want to imitate me. But everyone knows and has his or her own identity and should embrace it fully.” 

Yuna’s Homecoming Concert

Tickets can be purchased online via www.ticketpro.com.my, at Rock Corner, Victoria Music Outlets and The Guitar Store in Klang Valley and at Evolution Music Store (Gurney Plaza) and Yamaha Music (Queensbay Mall) in Penang. Fans in Kuching can call or send an SMS to Windshield Network at 011-1200 8834 for tickets.

Roadshows will be held in Penang and Kuching, where fans can purchase tickets, Yuna’s albums and merchandise, and win meet-and-greet passes.

Visit www.facebook.com/yunahomecoming2012 or follow @yunahomecoming on Twitter for more information.

“ I just want to have fun with my fans.” Yuna


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