Yuna Returns with Her Smooth R&B and Emotional Sincerity at Heritage SF

Yuna live at Heritage SF at The Midway SF, San Francisco, CA. 5/19/2018. (Photo: Rachel Ann Cauilan | @rachelcansea)

The Malaysian singer-songwriter performed at Heritage SF in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

In an obscure warehouse tucked away in San Francisco’s Dogpatch district, the smooth R&B musical stylings and feel-good sentiments from Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna filled the room.

The warehouse and live music venue, complete with a dedicated hallway of neon art signs from local artists, with local vendors selling their clothing, wares and goods, brought in over 5,000 attendees to celebrate the city’s first Heritage SF.

Now, it’s been a while since we’ve heard from Yuna. An extremely intimate and personable performer, her live shows are captivating. She engages with the crowd as her smooth hip-hop beats, keyboards and synths fill the room. Her voice, breathy and soft as she sings about love and ex-lovers, is cool and satisfying. Above all, her lyrics are incredibly disarming.

In songs like “Lanes,” she dismantles an ex-lover’s arguments when she sings, “Why do you keep telling me you’re self-destructive? / I’m getting tired of your lies and your excuses.” She then goes on to say, “If you’ve got a good girl then appreciate it.”

Adorned in a wide-brimmed hat and shimmery-gold blouse from head-to-toe, Yuna’s style always impresses — and it fits her sound. Her Chapters album almost reads like the pages of a diary as genuine and emotionally sincere moments are told through soft and dreamy ambient R&B synths and electronics. Her breakout hit “Crush,” which features R&B sensation Usher, called for a crowd that lifted up their phones and swayed in pure bliss as the simple guitar riff followed when she sang, “I feel a little rush / I think I’ve got a little crush on you.”

The rest of the crowd followed: “I can feel my heart singing / La la la la, la la la, la laaa” (…)

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