The Malaysian artist discusses her best and not-so-great moments this year, as well as her new LP, 'Chapters.'
2016 marked a milestone year for Yuna. Not only did the Malaysian singer-songwriter release her latest record, Chapters, but she also turned 30 in November. And as part of her birthday celebration, she penned a letter to her fans that looked back on the last decade and said goodbye to her 20s.
"The Malaysian students who are in their 20s," Yuna tells Myspace, "they're the ones on social media and I have a soft spot for them. I love them, I feel like nobody else is talking to them. The adults are busy with their agendas, politics, this and that, and these kids, their dreams and aspirations aren't being heard, and if they dream big, they're being criticized for it. It's something that I had gone through myself personally, and I just wanted to share my experience with them."
With all the traction it got on the web, she has one hope for those who read it: "I just want them to not stop believing in themselves."
Back to the music, Chapters allowed Yuna to explore her R&B and soul sides, which gave her the chance to work with Usher on the single, "Crush."
"It was a beautiful song and when Usher agreed to be on it, I was over the moon," she admits.
While it was great to work with Usher, the new record was her way of talking about growing up. "Growing a little bit wiser, and seeing love and life in a very different way," she says. "I grew so much in the last nine years, and learned a lot. So it's a nice way to talk about it in this album.
Since Yuna has had a pretty epic year, we also asked her to look back on 2016 and talk about her best and not-so-great moments. Read about them below.
Best Moment of 2016: My surprise birthday party organized by both my parents!
2016 Moment You'd Rather Forget: I don't like to forget anything. Everything that happened, good or bad is meant to teach you something.
Best Gig You Played of 2016: The Roots Jam!
2016 Show You Wish You Could Do Over: None. I loved them all!
Most Awkward Show You Watched in 2016: I don't think I've seen any!
Album on High Rotation in 2016: Frank Ocean's Blonde
2016 LP You'd Like a Refund For: [Laughs] None!
2016 Movie You'd Watch Over and Over: I love Train to Busan. It's a Korean movie that I could watch over and over again!
2016 Movie You Wish You Waited for on Netflix: None.
TV Show You Binged on While on The Road This Year: Westworld. Stranger Things.
TV Show You Wouldn't Mind Seeing Cancelled Next Year: Haha! Haven't watched anything I don't like!
Oddest Touring Experience of 2016: September-October tour! It was a hot and sticky tour.. and I got bit by a spider in multiple places on my neck and face and had to suffer from it for two weeks!
Go-to Meal on the Road: Anything from Whole Foods!
Artist Who Should Be on Our 2017 Playlist: BadBadNotGood
Best Fan Gift 2016: This huuuuge teddy bear from Korea!
Biggest Lesson in 2016: Be firm in your decisions. It's okay if people don't like it.
Plans for 2017: It's a secret!
One Non-Music Related Thing on Your Wish List: A holiday.
2017 New Year's Resolution: Getting myself fit and healthy!
See your favorite artists' best and worsts of the year by visiting our 20 Questions page.