You almost forget that she’s Muslim even with a colourful hijab (headwrap) on or that she’s Malaysian (until she says it). Once a single note is emitted from Yuna’s voice, her joy, pain and every emotion becomes your own…almost like she’s singing your life’s story.
But rather than killing you softly, this Kuala Lumpur-bred songstress possesses chords even today’s hottest American stars can envy. Yuna touched down at S.O.B’s for her third New York performance for “Who’s Next LIVE” Wednesdays, bringing in a crowd as diverse as her folky R&B music.
Opening her set with the soulful dreamcatcher “Lullabies,” Yuna and the right-hand man she referred to as Lincoln, had no problem switching up instruments and making each song nearly as identical if not better than those heard on her self-titled debut released earlier this week.
She then took on the singles constructed by megaproducer Pharrell Williams, bringing an elegant cadence and jovial freshness to every melody. Her live renditions of “Remember My Name” and the two-year-old tune, “Decorate” was evidence that Asia’s latest musical import is a seasoned pro at performance.
Once the opening riffs of “Live Your Life” illuminated the venue, the audience immediately moved and grooved to the improv-laced performance. Even as a fresh-faced vocalista, Yuna’s true talent is leaving more to be desired. —Adelle Platon