This week's artist of the week is a Malaysian singer-songwriter, and businesswoman.
Yunalis Mat Zara'ai, better known as just Yuna, is the newest #HERArtistoftheWeek. Yuna, a Malaysian Muslim, who has started to gain wide spread acclaim both in the US, and abroad. The 27 year old has won nine Anugerah Industri Muzik, which means Music Industry Awards, which is a annual event, similar to the Grammy Awards, that recognizes Malaysia's finest artists.
Yuna grew up in the northern city of Alor Setar, she was exposed early on to a wide range of music, both homegrown and western, thanks to her guitar-playing father's wide-ranging tastes in American rock, pop, blues and jazz. He also encouraged her love of music. Yuna says that music is the universal language. In fact she learned English by listening to such American singer-songwriters as Lauryn Hill and Fiona Apple.
She started writing her own confessional songs, mostly in English at the age of 14. She was still in her teens when she began performing her compositions in public, initially accompanying herself on acoustic guitar and later forming a full band. But she didn't arrive on the American music scene until 2011, releasing her EP in early 2012 in the US.
Before she became an international star Yuna attended Universiti Teknologi MARA, where she studied at its Faculty of Law. She graduated with a Bachelor of Legal Studies degree with Honors in 2009.
Yuna has also opened up a women's clothing boutique IAMJETFUEL, and has recently launched a clothing line, that features chic yet modest turtleneck maxi dresses, head scarfs and wide legged jumpsuits, full of sparkles, bold metallics and colorful prints.
Her clothing embodies her philosophy-to bring her heritage to the world. Rescue off her new album features a Malaysian folk-music beat. She says, "But it sounds pop, so not everyone can hear it." Her songs are a new twist on tradition, which is just like Yuna.
Check out some of her music videos
Live Your Life
Yuna is this week's artist of the week for her sensitive songs, and the bridge she's created between Malaysian, American and global culture. Showing us that we are influenced by each other and when we take our influences from everywhere we create something beautiful, that crosses cultural boundaries, as is clearly visible in her songs.