Words by Zu Anjalika Kamis Gunnulfsen | Photographs By OPPO

She has always been an inspiration.

Malaysian, Yunalis Mat Zara’ai not only breaks barriers in terms of how one gets discovered, her song, Crush, a collaboration with Usher, peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard Adult R&B chart.

Yuna is also the spokesperson for OPPO’s latest, the OPPO Find X3 Pro.  

So, when Fab! Luxe was presented a chance to speak with her, we jumped at it.  

We talked about her work, her travels (Yuna divides her time between Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles), how the pandemic has effected her and of course, OPPO Find X3 Pro.

Yuna, you become a singer in a rather unconventional way. Walk us through that.

I started to write my own songs and taught myself to play the guitar when I was 14 years old. I then started to upload my music on Myspace. Thanks to the power of the Internet, my music started to gain attention from the public and I was able to perform in many events since 2006. Fast forward to today, I am able to reach a wide audience not just in Malaysia but all the way to the States, and I’m immensely grateful for that.

We also heard that some labels turned you down initially because you do not want to conform to what is expected. Tell us about it.

I think since the very beginning I was very sure of how I wanted to make my music and how I wanted to portray myself artistically. It was actually a blessing in disguise because by starting an independent label I learned so much about myself and the industry. Major labels tend to mould artists into what they want, so I was glad I got turned down! All I can say is that no matter the circumstances, you should always stand up for yourself and stick to your personal values. Do not change yourself just to fit in with others.

Going international in the entertainment industry is not an easy feat but you managed to do it. What made it possible for you?

I think I really owe this to the people who have discovered me – my fans from way back who found my music online, my management who noticed me in my early years. But of course, I deserve to give myself a little credit too. I was relentless, and I think when I was younger, I was very hungry for new experience and constantly challenging myself to do better. If I had not stepped out of my comfort zone and shared my music to the world, I will not be who I am today.

Yuna, you very recently helped launch OPPO’s latest flagship smartphone – the OPPO Find X3 Pro. Tell us what makes this phone very special.

As an artist and creative person, I love capturing beautiful moments everywhere I go. My Instagram feed is like my personal art gallery and every photo or video tells a story. With the OPPO Find X3 Pro, I am able to capture and look back at my memories in their most vivid and vibrant form, thanks to its one billion colour display. Also, as a musician, I really appreciate the audio quality of this device, with its Dolby Atmos-powered stereo speakers.

If I can only use one word to describe the performance of the OPPO Find X3 Pro, it will be “fast”! This phone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and there is no lagging at all due to its powerful performance. Its display panel has a high refresh rate up to 120Hz, which from what I learnt is what makes your viewing experience smooth and enjoyable. 

Technical stuff aside, the design of this phone is absolutely gorgeous! I personally like the Blue version, with its matte yet satin-like finish. The smooth curves of the phone give it a futuristic, sleek look, and I think it goes really well with my everyday outfits.

As an international singer and songwriter, I am sure you need a gadget that caters to all your needs without compromising on time and effort. What is the most important factor you look for in a smartphone?

When I’m on the go, it’s important for me to have a device that is powerful enough to work alongside me throughout the whole day. The OPPO Find X3 Pro works well for me that way as it has a long-lasting battery life. Even if I happened to have forgotten to charge my phone, it can be easily recharged back to 100%, thanks to OPPO’s SuperVOOC 2.0 flash charging. In fact, I can even use the Find X3 Pro to charge other devices too, as it has a reverse wireless charging function.

How has the pandemic effected you, Yuna?

With the current travel restrictions and all, it is definitely disappointing as a touring artist that I am unable to travel around to different cities to perform and meet my fans in person. I am constantly experimenting new ways to break this barrier. One example would be a special virtual showcase that I did end of last year, livestreaming my performance from Aquaria. That was something that I would have never thought to be possible if it wasn’t for COVID! With my schedule being relatively free compared to pre-pandemic, I can take my time to create and release more new music. I also enjoy being able to spend more time with my family in KL.

When the world finally opens up again, what is that one thing you’d want to do?

I can’t wait to travel once again, not only just to be able to meet my fans and perform, but to also explore and bring my OPPO Find X3 Pro out and about to capture more beautiful moments around the world.

What is next for Yuna?

I am really excited to share more music with all of you as we continue to work on them, so do stay tuned for that!

Any last words?

I’m really honoured to be able to be chosen as an OPPO Finder as I really relate to the Finder’s Sprit — to be constantly finding for more opportunities and challenging myself with my work as a musician to become better everyday. I hope that this can inspire my fans to find for the limitless possibilities in their everyday lives, regardless of whatever they do. As we gradually revive from a challenging year, let us find for more exciting moments and awaken the colour in our lives together.