'Material' is meant to be a fun, lighthearted song about the tiny bit of materialism that's in all of us. The message is meant to translate the notion that you don't need luxury items to feel special; you already are special.
I feel like fashion and music relate to each other in a lot of ways. I always had to be creative: I'm a very creative person. I always liked making stuff. Apart from music, I always liked making clothes. You're able to express yourself.
People think it's very strange because I love whale watching - you don't see whales a lot where I'm from.
In my final year of law school, everything became real. Malaysian TV shows wanted me to perform big concerts. So, after graduating, I decided to go for it. I didn't think I'd be a good lawyer anyway.
I really believed that my songs were good enough for the whole world to listen to. I had fans from America or the U.K. who would be like, 'Oh my God, I love your music'.
One of the reasons I picked up the guitar is because I saw a video of Feist performing in Paris.
Appreciate your heart; really know how to take care of your heart.
If I get to a place early in the morning, I try to walk around by myself. I still try to find cool places to go to, like a record store in St. Louis or some restaurant in Chicago.
Sometimes I have a melody in my head; sometimes it's just a verse. I read lines from a book or movies that I watch and grab a few quotes and start writing on paper. From there, I record a really rough version and work on the song.
I think feminism is that you just have to stick it all out. I remember this one time when someone interviewed me, and I was young, and they said, 'Do you see yourself as a feminist?' And I was like, 'I don't know. I'm not really comfortable calling myself a feminist.'
Just look at 'K-pop' - who would've expected American fans to embrace it? It's really cool to be one of those artists who can break through the American market. I'm not trying to conquer America; I just want to make music and see if people like it.
It's something that I do every year - every Ramadan to be exact - taking an 18-hour flight back home to Malaysia from Los Angeles. I'm born and raised in Malaysia, and Ramadan and Eid has always been my favorite time of the year.
I grew up listening to a lot of Malaysian pop music, which is kind of like a mixture of traditional and pop... I was also listening to a lot of English music as well.
I don't really like the idea of putting myself in any category now... I think that people are looking for music that's real and honest and that they can relate to emotionally.
The working environment in L.A. is really refreshing, really good. Because in Malaysia, it's a small country - you end up working with the same people that you like and that you know.
I think, from the very beginning, I always knew that I needed to get out of Malaysia and do my thing somewhere else.
In Malaysia, we have a lot of divas, like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey singers. And they were all so so talented, just very talented. For example, there's this one jazz singer, her name is Sheila Majid, and I was always singing her songs.
I was doing quite well in Malaysia... Everyone was so excited about my music, and they started accepting me as an artist.
I grew up in a town called Subang Jaya, and made a lot of friends from around Kuala Lumpur.
I feel very honoured and humbled to have people think, 'If Yuna can break through, then why can't we?' It takes a lot of work, but I tell people to just have that focus. Always be humble and a learner, practice and do research.
Religion is a huge part of me; I'm a practicing Muslim. I'm pretty much open about it if people were to answer questions. At the end of the day, I'm just a normal girl. I have my own beliefs just like everyone else. I have a strong belief in something, but I also love music.
I think when I first started out making music here in Los Angeles, a lot of people were really curious about my ethnicity, and you know, whatever questions they had, I'd be more than happy to answer them.
I'm a huge 'SK-II' person. I'm their Malaysian spokesperson. But I truly love their products - it's not just something that I endorse. I always moisturize with the SK-II Essential Power Rich Cream.
Home, to me, is where I am and where I feel most comfortable. Obviously, Malaysia is home. In L.A., my home is my apartment because that's my Malaysia.
I love my headscarf. I wear my head wrap every day with my hoop earrings.
I've always been singing all my life, but I started playing guitar when I was 19, and that was my final year in university, in law school. I think that happened when I started making a lot of friends who were in the independent music scene.
I try to look at people like Adele and Norah Jones, who are very successful but don't have to deal with scandals.
I've found just the right amount of balance in my life. I'm this pop artist in America, but I'm also Malaysian. And I'm also Muslim.
When I got signed to the 'Fader' Label, they got really excited about having me as their new artist. They were promoting my music everywhere. Pharrell was one of the producers who wanted to work with me, so I was really lucky to be one of those people who got to work with him.
I think I draw my inspiration from a lot of conversations that I had with people or my friends and combine them together with my own personal experience.
I'm a Muslim. I don't try to hide it. I'm also a girl who loves music.
You learn so much about yourself as an artist. I never would have thought that I could sing every night, you know? Travel and perform every single night, and travel to another city the next day and do it all over again? You learn a lot of new things about yourself, and you make a lot of connections with people.
The fashion world is so interesting because it's always changing, but if you know yourself really well, despite of all the changes in the fashion trends, you know how to stay true to yourself.
A lot of the songs are based on my previous relationship. It didn't work out. I lost him, and it ruined me. I had to learn to get back on my feet. I used that heartbreak to create something really beautiful.
I used to be affected by criticism thrown at me, and I would get really down. But I got to a point where I just decided to go for it, no matter what negativity is around you.
I think being bi-continental is something I want to continue. Kuala Lumpur is my home, but L.A. is where I've been able to make the music that I want.
To have a sense of style, it shows you know yourself. People like that.
I love Gwen Stefani. I'd watch what she'd wear over and over again and think, 'How do I nail this style?' And then, I like that classic beauty, too. Audrey Hepburn, she's so elegant.
I want girls to know that equality exists in this world. You can do anything you want.
Being in the public eye, you can't really avoid a lot of questions. A lot of questions are being thrown at you, whether it's about your personal life or your personal beliefs, and I'm happy to answer them all.
If you just work on that one thing that's, like, important to you, that has been supportive of you, who has been loving you all this time, if you are able to see that, then that is your 'best love'.
Eid is here! On the first day, it is a custom for all Malaysian Muslims to ask for forgiveness from our parents. We kiss their hands and wish them 'Selamat Hari Raya' or 'Eid Mubarak.' 'Maaf Zahir dan Batin' means 'to apologize in spirit and actions.'
I come from a jazzy, acoustic, folky background. Everything has to work with melodies; the words have to have meaning.
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.
'Places to Go' is something that I would never normally write because I would usually be worried with what people would think about me.
I'm based here in L.A., but I think in the future I might consider settling down in Malaysia when I start a family.