Restarting a career in live performance has been an uphill walk for many artists. Music Press Asia speaks with Malaysian act Yunohoo prior to her performance at HEINEKEN®’s Genting Highlands campaign event. Additionally, on collaborations in Malaysia and how things are no longer the same, and ultimately defining ways to move a creative process forward.
Q 1: Dear Yunohoo! We’re so excited to be seeing you perform at Heineken’s event in Genting Highlands. What will your set sound like and why have you chosen these particular items for a show?
I’M SUPER EXCITED TOO! My set is definitely going to sound Malaysian but you have to expect a little bit of everything. I know my audiences are going to be hailing from different backgrounds so it’s really fantastic what Heineken’s Refresh Your Music campaign is doing – breaking down musical barriers between different people. Expect crossing genres, blending music, and remixes of globally-popular songs into something new that has a bit of everything – I am really looking forward to seeing everyone dance along!
Q 2: How do you position your music and work with brands ever since the pandemic began? What’s it like now?
Truth be told, the pandemic really affected the level of energy and excitement for me as an artist. Not being able to perform live and engage with my fans and followers in person has been challenging but I’ve picked myself back up thanks to the amazing love and support from my team, family, and friends. The Heineken Refresh opportunity has definitely come at the right time too.
I am psyched to get back into it and what better way to do this than by colliding music cultures together, opening people up to fresh perspectives, and mixing new genres with the old? Sharing a stage with Grammy award-winning duo, The Chainsmokers too! What a privilege. I hope this will start the ball rolling for local artists to collaborate with international artists and to grow and learn from each other continuously.
Q 3: What’s it like to grow up in Malaysia? How has life with family and friends affected your creative output in the past and today?
I’m so thankful to have been born in this multiracial country. A large part of my identity is influenced by my best friends who are all of different races which in turn has exposed me to different cultures and ways of thinking.
We’ve got the opportunity to easily learn an additional 3-4 languages which is such an advantage too. I actually attended a Mandarin kindergarten and if only I practiced… I think I would’ve been a quadrilingual rapper! Give everyone a run for their money [laughs].
I was introduced to music by my late grandfather who was either always listening to classics on the radio, playing an instrument, or just simply singing along to his favourite songs. Everyone in my family listens to different genres from classical, pop, metal, and country and as a result of that, I’ve been experimenting with different styles and genres too, not just rap. So, being a part of this campaign has served as a reminder for me to constantly create new music possibilities by experimenting with new genres and formats in the hopes of creating a unique sound that isn’t tied down to one genre.
Q 4: We absolutely love Namma Alu and also its MV. Tell us more about this collaboration with Roshan Jamrock and Arvinder Raina. How did it come together?
This was an opportunity given to me by Roshan Jamrock. He has always been super supportive, helpful, and always there for me whenever I needed advice on anything. A mentor who I respect, appreciate, and cherish for sure!
At that time, we just released a collaborative song, “DPKT” right before “Namma Aalu” and it kind of blew up. So Roshan thought it would be a good time to work on another song. Working with Mr. Arvinder Raina gave me a lot of insights into the technicalities of music as he is also a trained classical music teacher. That was pretty enlightening.
Shoutout to Sher and the whole team at the “Your Maker” production! I had the best time working with them from the start to finish. Savadi!
YUNOHOO, recently, performed at Heineken’s Refresh Your Music, Refresh Your Nights campaign event held in Genting Highlands, Malaysia. The same Heineken campaign saw two concerts headlined by The Chainsmokers in Malaysia and Vietnam. Both concerts saw the respective countries local artists, namely Yunohoo and NYK from Malaysia and Karik and Thu Minh from Vietnam, performing alongside The Chainsmokers. The two concerts saw over 85,000 music fans. The campaign also called for music lovers to play along by voting for the local artists’ original rendition of The Chainsmokers’ songs.
Female rapper,Yunohoo, is no stranger to the industry. A trilingual triple threat, the artist formerly known as RubbaBend has been making waves throughout the region since 2011; mesmerising fans with her killer flow, dynamic delivery, and captivating stage presence. Often varying the timbre of her voice to bring about added dimension and character to her performances, versatility is a powerful and often-employed tool in Yunohoo’s arsenal. She is also an active member in the thriving South-East Asia’s Kollywood scene – acting in films and laying down tracks for OSTs (not at the same time of course, but we’d be hard-pressed to believe she couldn’t if she wanted to) –Yunohoo’s undeniable talent and ability to work across cultures produces a unique synthesis of art; a lane entirely her own.
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