Los Angeles based Malaysian pop artist Yuna announces her new independent album Y5 to be released in five stages throughout the remainder of this year, with the first project Y1out today. The project arrives with a mesmerizing video that weaves together the three new tracks – “Hello,” “Pantone 17 13 30” and “Cigarette” – into one visual concept. The video starts in black & white and progresses into a deeply saturated color scheme. Directed by filmmaker Adam Sinclair, who is also Yuna’s husband, the video seamlessly transitions from song to song, while also capturing the evolution of morning to night in the deserts of Joshua Tree.
“Pantone 17 13 30” made its debut on KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” where they described the new song as a “soothing mellow, soulful gem.” Listen to the episode HERE.
In a heartfelt appreciation post last week, Yuna told fans, “I want to say thank you to everyone who continues to believe in me. It hasn’t been an easy journey.. But here we are – my 5th album, can you believe it? Putting out a project as an independent artist for the first time in 10 years feels pretty amazing!!! I’m able to make my own rules as I go.. So here it goes..”
The Y1 collection starts off with “Hello,” a dream-like confrontation of life and death. Yuna explains, “I wanted to write something around the topic of death especially after losing someone really close to me and it was something unexpected. One day we’re all going to leave this earth, why do we avoid that conversation? This is my message to everyone I love – once I leave the world, I don’t want you to be sad.”
“Hello” is followed by the new single “Pantone 17 13 30,” which she says, “I’ve come to a place in my life where I can appreciate my natural beauty (such as my skin tone) and this song is about finding someone who recognizes and sees the beauty that I have already realized within me.” The collection closes with “Cigarette,” using the toxic habit as an analogy for the unyielding give and take of the music industry. “As an artist, I feel as if we’re kind of like cigarettes – we’re all burning to the end and then what?”
Since her self-titled 2012 debut album and the Pharrell Williams-produced breakthrough hit “Live Your Life,” Yuna has crafted music that speaks to the soul, with a breezy and effervescent tone that organically blends pop, folk, and R&B. Her personally charged songs are deeply felt yet melodically irresistible, combining her engaging voice and expressive songcraft with imaginative production to create wholly distinctive music that’s won her comparisons with the likes of Feist, Adele and Norah Jones.
Originally from Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur, Yuna was exposed to a wide variety of homegrown and western music, thanks in large part to her father’s wide-ranging tastes in American rock, pop, blues and jazz. She began writing her own confessional songs, most of them 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.
Now, the new Y5 series is an opportunity for Yuna to celebrate ten years in the industry since her first record in the US, a feat for any artist. She’s made the creative decision to release music independently, giving fans the opportunity to “be able to take their time and listen – and connect to every single song, before the next one comes.”