“Asian crowds [are] tough cookies compared to audiences here in the states,” laughs Yuna, a Malaysian singer/songwriter recently signed to The Fader Label. Speaking briefly over miso soup before she took the stage at Rams Head opening for Raphael Saadiq, she continues, “The audiences over here in the states, they’re very responsive and very friendly–it’s easy to get a good vibe from them.”
The proof was in the pudding about 30 minutes later as Yuna, commanded the full blown attention from the crowd through her gorgeous singing and easy and charming between-song banter. “I’m pretty much the same wherever I go,” she says. “The way I speak to people–the way I’m speaking now–is the same way I speak to my audience.” At the end of an approximately 20 minute set, which included a cover of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”, the crowd seemed to be left wanting more of her performance.
A mostly self-taught musician (she took piano lessons when she was seven years old, but quit “halfway through”), Yuna picked up the guitar when she was 19. “As soon as I could play three or four chords, I started writing a lot of songs, ” she recalls with a little laugh. Signed to the Fader label, she released an EP, Decorate, earlier this year. Her music is marked by an endearing earnestness, which has made her quite popular in her native Malaysia. Stateside, if this show–along recent tweets revealing a weekend in the studio with Pharrell–is any indication, she’ll have no problem building a strong fan base.
Live photos of Yuna and Quadron at Rams Head Live! are here.