In a remarkably short period of time, Yuna has risen from regional D.I.Y. notoriety to full-on international stardom. In the process, the charismatic young singer-songwriter from Malaysia—who makes her Verve Records debut with Nocturnal—has become the first artist from her homeland to conquer the American market.
The ease with which Yuna has transitioned to border-defying mainstream success shouldn’t be surprising, considering the effortlessly universal appeal of her organic blend of contemporary pop, acoustic folk and soulful R&B. The artist’s 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.
Recorded in Los Angeles, Nocturnal marks a major step forward for Yuna, expanding upon the achievements of her self-titled 2012 debut album and its Pharrell Williams-produced breakthrough hit “Live Your Life.” Nocturnal‘s 11 sparkling new originals include the warmly intoxicating first single “Falling,” produced by Robin Hannibal of Quadron and the soul-pop group Rhye; the effervescent, uplifting “Rescue,” produced by English pop auteur Chris Braide; the breezy, upbeat “I Wanna Go,” produced by Michael Einziger of Incubus; and the hauntingly bittersweet “Someone Who Can,” produced by Chad Hugo of the Neptunes. “I feel like I get to show a more mature side of myself on these songs,” Yuna states, adding, “I’m a different person than I was when I made the last album. I’ve seen and experienced a lot of new and exciting things, and I was inspired to write about those things.
“I also got to explore a lot of different genres and different sounds on these songs,” continues. “We did a lot of experimenting, doing things like working with traditional Malaysian instruments and making them work in the context of a pop song that sounds current. Because I come from a folkie-singer-songwriter background, in the beginning I was really stubborn about trying new things. But I learned to enjoy the beauty of what can happen when creative people get together and come up with something new. I love mixing all these genres together, and I was fortunate to have all of these really talented producers to help bring these ideas to life.”
Brooklyn-based producer, composer, pianist, DJ and live musician Taylor McFerrin is set to release his first full length LP, Early Riser, in June 2014 on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder record label. Taylor's musical style is equally influenced by the legends of 60s/70s Soul, the kings of the Modern Beat Generation, Golden Era hip hop, free form jazz and electronic music. By playing all of the instruments on his productions, while also relying heavily on sampling and chopping up his live takes, he has found a sound that seamlessly bridges myriad musical worlds and draws the listener into a constantly shifting audio soundscape.