Let’s begin this post with an apology for the poorly executed punny headline. Now, meet Malaysian English singer Yuna:

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The bright songwriter recently worked with DJ Premier on her new track, “Places to Go”, released yesterday. This seems like a strange mix considering her previous songs were not of the 90s R&B sound.

Yuna explains “Places to Go” to Fader Magazine as “A song about when you’re growing into the person that you’re meant to be. Sometimes you go through all these things that will change you as a person and you find it hard to deal with all of these challenges…I was truly honored to work with legendary DJ and producer DJ Premier. I still can’t believe I have a track with Premier, it really is one of the best songs I’ve written in a long time.”

Her previous sounds that I mention tend to have a Sara Barielles feel.

You may have heard the beginning of “Broke Her” on perfume commercials:

The Boombox revealed that Yuna is planned to release her new album this year on May 20, which seems fitting for the spring-like singer. Of course, she will also be featured on Macklemore’s and Ryan Lewis’ second album, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, which will be up for sale this coming Friday — Feb. 26.

The singer has also shared stages with Florence and the Machine and Childish Gambino. She started writing songs at 19, and performed for local jazz cafes. She was signed to a label in New York, and now is signed to Universal, according to this interview. Ironically, she had been in law school and was ready to be a lawyer until she found her passion among musician friends.

Time Out Magazine wrote, “In fact, her dalliance with the London alt-rock giants dates back to the mid-2000s, when she described her music as ‘a cross between Mary Poppins and Coldplay’ on her MySpace page. ‘I’m stuck with that,’ bemoans the now-LA-based 27-year-old with a chuckle. ‘It’s going to haunt me forever!'”

She talks about being a muslim singer in the U.S. as just part of her identity. “I think a lot of people appreciate that…they look at me and they see if Yuna can be comfortable being herself, then I can be comfortable in my own skin too.” While being provocative can empower some, the other direction can also be empowering, she explains.


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