I ran across this video the other day while reading The Awesomer, and at first I thought it was a relative of Erykah Badu. But then I did a lot more researching and realized that even though Yuna has that Erykah Badu vibe, she is actually a Malaysian singer with sultry vocals.
The reason I immediately thought of Erykah Badu is mainly because of the hijabi that Yuna wears. But she doesn’t rock it for style, she is actually a devote muslimah. She’s still a newcomer on the scene, but her track Pharell Williams produced track “Live Your Life” has put her on the radar in the past few months.
“Live Your Life” has this nice soulful vibe yet it’s still bouncy and gets you in the mood for some smooth swaying. She’s got such a sultry voice, and she is also quite beautiful. I could tell from her features that she might have been Malaysian (I’ve had a few Malaysian friends in the past,) but I wasn’t too sure. But yes, Yuna is Malaysian and she grew up in Malaysia. She started out singing and playing guitar while she was attending law school. But now she lives in Los Angeles and is making a career as a soulful singer and a fashionista with a clothing line.
You can check out her clothing line by visiting her official website. And if you’re looking for a nice soulful song that is inspirational, then you’ll want to put “Live Your Life” on repeat. It’s such a beautiful song that can take a dull day riddled with insecurity and turn it into a riveting vision of dreams worth chasing.
Live Your Life
Someone Out Of Town
©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com
Whenever I’m in a relationship I tend to find myself listening to more R&B and Neo-Soul. My love for those genres goes beyond having someone or not, but it’s often hard to listen to that music when I’m single. I begin feeling down because I’m a) reflecting on my past or b) daydreaming of what it would feel like to fall in love again. So in order to avoid the affliction, I avoid listening to R&B when I’m single.
But, I’m not single right now, so listening to my collection of 90s and early 2000s music doesn’t bring forth tears. It just makes me reflect on my current relationship and the possibilities of what could be. It’s amazing when you can notice yourself becoming intertwined in someone’s life, and you take time out of your day to remember those little things that make them who they are.
There is such a purity that accompanies getting to know someone, and that purity is something you used to hear in R&B.
A few days ago I tried listening to some of the R&B that has come out in the past few weeks, and nothing really caught my attention. It just all kind of sounds the same. Sex. Swag. Pleasure. Forgiveness. Moving on. I can do better. Pretty little body. Those are just a few of the things that instantly come to mind when I listen to a lot of the songs that hit the radio and the Web. There is nothing original. That purity that I love & cherish, is just continuously fading away.
I honestly can’t even think of any artists on the scene right now that just bring forth such a purity that is reminiscent of the 90s music I’ve come to love so much. Okay, I take that back. Usher is still doing his thing on the scene, and his song “Climax” is such an emotionally driven track that sort of infuses that 90s style with a new school approach (i.e. the slight electronic beat.) But he isn’t a new artist, he’s been around since the 90s and he’s one of those 90s R&B artists that I love. So when it comes to new cats on the scene, yeah, nobody comes to mind at the moment. I mean, I do adore Romeo Santos, but half the time he sings in Spanish and I honestly just love him because a) he’s a cutie and b) his voice is pretty nice, even though I don’t know Spanish.
Perhaps I’m just stubborn, because I’m just going to keep being nostalgic and craving my 90s/2000s R&B. It’s just so pure to me, and it’s the music I grew up on. Some songs will never die for me, and I’ll keep listening to them over & over again. The music from the 90s and early 2000s are truly timeless tracks that can be remixed with some dubstep beat or covered by a new artist using autotune.
You’ve just got to let the 90s R&B remain pure. Don’t touch it, just embrace it. Like folks always say, if it ain’t broken then don’t fix it. 90s R&B isn’t broken, so don’t fix it….just let it speak to your soul. Teach the next generation the true meaning of R&B. It’s more than just laying a girl down and getting the business, it’s about the beauty of emotion infused with remnants of making love, not just sexing to be sexing. SMH, that right there is totally another blog post in itself.
Below are my favorite tracks I been listening to as of late. Mainly 90s/2000s songs that I’ve been in love with for over a decade. Good music!
Ruff Endz- “Someone To Love” (my favorite!)
Janet Jackson- “Anytime, Anyplace” (Janet surely knows how to sing about sex, and it doesn’t feel trashy like some of the stuff out today)
Jagged Edge- “I Gotta Be”
Aaliyah- “One In A Million” (missing her so much. Her music was so pure, so real, so beautiful!)
Maxwell- “This Woman’s Work”
Monica- “Angel of Mine”
Blackstreet- “Before I Let You Go”
Usher- “U Got It Bad”
D’Angelo- “Untitled” (He sings about sex, but he still makes it oh so pure. Damn….such a good song!)
©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com
It would be hard for me to mention contemporary soul artists without including Kindred the Family Soul. Even though soul is a part of their stage name, these two lovebirds have been pumping out neo-soul and r&b music for years! The duo consisting of married couple Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon are a spinoff from the Philadelphia neo soul movement which brought forth the beautiful Jill Scott.
Just as there website states, their music is meant to “celebrate love, family, and the true fighting spirit that keeps us all moving through the world.” Kindred’s music deals with the ups and downs of love, but also bringing forth a family and cherishing the loved one in your life. In my opinion that is what makes their music such a hit and a favorite in my list of neo-soul artists. Everyone can relate to something in their songs, even if it’s just one lyric or the entire message.
Their latest song “You Got the Love” is a track that I warmed up to immediately! I saw the video the other day on VH1 Soul (I watch that channel a lot) and I had to find out where Aja got her glasses from…they are hot! I was really feeling the song and enjoying the purity of the lyrics. It’s such a beautiful thing when you find someone who has that love your looking for and the bond between you is unexplainable. That’s how love should be. Love should leave you speechless, confused, in a daze, and leaving you wanting to do anything you can to make that person feel like they are on top of the world.
“You Got the Love” is a beautiful song and it got even better when Snoop Dogg showed up. It’s nice to see Snoop trying to put his wife in more of his music videos and talk about how much he loves her. It seems pretty genuine and hey who am I to judge? I’m just Thinksoul25, I’m not an expert on judging the validity of someone’s heart!
But whatever the case may be with Snoop and his wife, it’s nice to see them all having fun in this video and celebrating love. Check it out and see for yourself. Are you feeling it?
I miss those summer days watching VH1 soul and discovering a world full of neo-soul, R&B, and soul artists that I had never heard of. One day during this past summer, I woke up and realized VH1 soul was gone! I freaked out and was so disappointed. I’m not sure if they stopped programming only in Denver Comcast region, but it was a bummer. I do enjoy watching Centric, who shows Soul Sessions, but I miss all the other shows like Soul Story, Soul Squared, and especially Sub Soul.
Sub Soul is where I first heard the lovely and enticing voice of Olu. Sub Soul would always show underground soul artists and one episode they showed this video. The song "Baby Can’t Leave it Alone" came off Olu’s first album Soul Catcher, which came out in 99′. The song tells the story of a young woman, faced with many inflictions and he is hoping that she will wake up one day and realize her worth. I plan on buying his album next Friday and his latest album as well "Evermore".
This Harlem native, who has played the piano since the age of 2 and sung with the Boys Choir of Harlem, has an infectious voice that will move your soul. Here is one of my favorite male soul singers and it’s such a sad commentary that he isn’t well known in the mainstream. His lyrics are powerful and leave you hanging off each syllable. His beautiful lyricism has become one of the reasons why he is one of my favorite soul singers and I hope to hear more of his music in the near future. Check out his website and hopefully you will become a fan also. Prepare to have your soul caressed…..
Baby Can’t Leave it Alone