You can take the girl out of Malaysia, but you can never take Malaysia out of her heart. Los Angeles-based Malaysian singer Yuna’s latest single Forevermore is an ode to her home country, and comes with a music video shot entirely in Malaysia.
Taken from her soon-to-be released, still untitled, 4th studio album, the song is inspired by the melody of the ‘syair’, a form of classical Malay poetry, and starts off with a bare hum of the melody accompanied by a traditional Malay ‘kompang’ drum.
“Forevermore is a song that I wrote about growing up in a small town and coming from a small country and how that environment made me strive to be the best that I can be,” Yuna says in a press release. “I remember when I was younger, I couldn’t wait to leave and see the world. Now that I’m in the position I’m in, I’m able to appreciate where I come from more now than ever.”
For the video, she enlisted the expertise of her husband, Adam Sinclair, a seasoned director, and they shot the video entirely in Malaysia, mostly in Kuala Lumpur and Perlis.
According to Yuna, the song is about her life growing up in Perlis, and she was eager to showcase her home state in the video. “I wanted to feature Perlis because it’s where I spent most of my childhood and I wanted to show how beautiful it was and still is, and how untouched by modernisation, which I love very much”.
On working with Sinclair, Yuna says, “It was a very special experience for me because it was directed by my husband. Even though we are both from Malaysia, we come from different parts of the country and Perlis was kind of foreign to him, so he managed to capture the beauty in the simplest things there.”
Yuna calls the music video a “fantastical depiction of my childhood memories”, and it includes sequences shot at Stadium Shah Alam, Batu Caves, an old school kedai runcit (sundry shop), and even a first generation Proton Saga.
“We wanted to show Malaysia in a different way – not the way that you see in travel videos. We wanted to showcase the unfiltered, quirky and raw beauty of the mundane like an old petrol station, a sundries shop in a rural village, the motorcycle culture (Mat Rempit) that is often stigmatised by society, and older Malaysians who have seen experienced changes to their hometown throughout the years.”
Apart from the nostalgia that these images bring, Yuna insists that she wants to challenge the idea that ‘newer and bigger is better’ and serves as a reminder that “we shouldn’t forget about the simple and beautiful things in life”.