Yuna (9:00 PM)

Francesca Blanchard (8:00 PM)

Sun, November 22, 2015

7:00 pm

$0.00 - $20.00

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Yuna - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
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.” Yuna’s North American breakthrough in 2012 saw the artist winning widespread acclaim while achieving several significant career milestones. Rolling Stone praised her combination of “certified indie cred and massive pop potential,” while The New York Times described her music as “gorgeous.” She performed high-profile sets at the Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo festivals, and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Yuna’s music was also featured in several films, including her stellar cover of The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” in Oliver Stone’s Savages and her collaboration with Owl City on “Shine Your Way” for the hit animated feature The Croods.

Growing up in Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur, Yuna Zarai was exposed to a wide variety of homegrown and western music, thanks in large part to her father’s wide-ranging tastes in American rock, pop, blues and jazz. She began writing her own confessional songs, most of them in English, at the age of 14. She was still in her teens when she began performing her compositions in public, initially accompanying herself on acoustic guitar and later forming a full band.

Yuna experienced success early on, with a quartet of popular indie releases in Malaysia, beginning with her self-titled 2008 EP. That debut disc became a major seller at home, producing the hit single “Deeper Conversation.” The following year, Yuna won the first of several Anugerah Industri Muzik awards, Malaysia’s equivalent of the Grammy. During the same period, the artist also found time to attend law school and open IAMJETFUEL, a successful women’s clothing boutique.

Thanks to a powerful online fan base and international word-of-mouth, news of Yuna’s talents reached the United States, where she signed with the American management firm Indie Pop. She also took her first steps into the American marketplace, releasing the five-song sampler EP Decorate on the Fader label in 2011.

“Live Your Life” and the Yuna album arrived on the American scene the early months of 2012, establishing her as a popular stateside presence. She performed “Live Your Life” on the late-night TV shows Conan and Last Call with Carson Daly. She was also featured on NPR and the CBS Evening News, and in such notable print outlets as The New York Times, Billboard, Elle, Vibe, Allure, Seventeen, Marie Claire and even National Geographic, which described as being “as fresh, honest and deeply personal as anything by Bon Iver or tUnEyArDs.”

Having traveled extensively and absorbed a wide array of English-language music early in life, Yuna was able to make a comfortable transition to creating music in America. “Coming to America was a lot of fun for me, because it’s an amazing working atmosphere for musicians and artists,” she says. “I had fun when I recorded in Malaysia, but America is so big and so inspiring, and there are so many talented people to work with.

“I don’t really like the idea of putting myself in any category now,” she concludes. “But as a pop artist, I feel like it’s easy for me to maneuver from one thing to another and try different things. To me, it’s all just music, and if you have good lyrics and good melodies and good production, people won’t care what you call it. I think that people are looking for music that’s real and honest and that they can relate to emotionally. I think we’ve created that with Nocturnal. The whole project was a challenge for me, but I’m very happy with the way it turned out.”
Francesca Blanchard - (Set time: 8:00 PM)
Francesca Blanchard
Francesca Blanchard is a young French-American singer-songwriter whose lyrics and melodies reflect her bilingual and multicultural upbringing. Born in the south of France where her family resided until she was ten, Francesca recalls her Mediterranean childhood as one of bare feet on terra cotta tiles, fuchsia sunsets, and mistral breezes. La vie douce (the sweet life) aptly describes the rhythm and rhyme of those early years, where hours spent daydreaming and gazing off at the white-capped waves further nourished a love of wild, open spaces and the solitary peace of simple living in the heart of a family that was anything but conventional.

With parents who’ve worked for international humanitarian agencies worldwide, Francesca lived and went to school in Ethiopia and Burundi. Family journeys have taken her to over 30 off-the-beaten-path countries such as South Korea, Mauritania, Rwanda, Kenya, Egypt, Thailand, Australia, Honduras, Tanzania, Guatemala and India. She's learned to travel light and invite surprises, but also to rely upon an open mind and a listening heart as she's encountered such a varied sampling of humankind. Growing up in a household consisting of a French father, an American mother, and adopted siblings from Ethiopia and Guatemala, Francesca’s own family reflects a spirit where the sense of “belonging” comes not from a particular place or heritage but from the bonds of being passengers on the same metaphorical ship. This, she says, is why she sings: to nourish these bonds.

Francesca was, by circumstance, born into a world of music; perhaps it was the Chopin played to her through headphones on her mother’s pregnant belly, or Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Guitar and Mandolin” playing in the delivery room where she was born, or maybe even that every time she’d walk outside as a child, she was serenaded by cricket choirs and the cooing of provincial lovebirds. Records were constantly played in the Blanchard household; Francesca was raised to a wide array of voices. Her musical backdrop consisted of Tracy Chapman, Eva Cassidy, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Carla Bruni, Francoise Hardy, Edith Piaf, Francis Cabrel, Alain Souchon, Aaron Neville, Stevie Wonder, I Muvrini, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Simon & Garfunkel, Virginia Rodriguez, Andrea Bocelli, Khaled… an eclectic assortment of styles, sounds and languages, all extremely vocally expressive and rich in musicality.

Francesca took piano lessons and sang in choirs growing up, but it wasn’t until she moved to the States in 2002 that she started taking guitar lessons. She writes in both French and English, choosing whichever language best fits the mood and poetry of the song. Aided by Vermont singer-songwriter and producer Gregory Douglass, Francesca recorded her first 6-track EP, Songs on an Ovation, in 2011 and began selling the collection of original compositions and well-chosen covers in French and English to friends, family and neighbors. Soon, the EP began earning Francesca local acclaim, leading Burlington, Vermont weekly Seven Days to rave “Barely out of high school, the local singer-songwriter already displays guile and artistic sensitivity that would be the envy of many tunesmiths twice her age — and, for that matter, music critics of a similarly mature vintage. Her debut EP is quietly and profoundly stunning. It is a humble ode to love, heartbreak and home that says more about all three topics in the span of 17 minutes than some songwriters do over entire careers.”

A recent graduate from Boston University with a BFA in Theatre Arts, Francesca has been gaining musical experience over the last few years, opening for Joan Armatrading, Suzanne Vega, The Parkington Sisters, Caravan Palace, and others. She performed at the prestigious FrancoFolies Festival of Montreal in ’13 and ’15. Francesca's rendition of the classic French ballad "Sous Le Ciel de Paris" was featured on the Putumayo collection Vintage France, along with a gentle cover of the children’s song “Petit Papa Noel” on Putumayo's French Christmas collection.

In the summer of 2014, Francesca began work on her debut full-length album, deux visions. After a successful Indiegogo campaign that raised nearly $30,000, Montreal producer Chris Velan (Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars) assembled a lineup of top local musicians at Lane Gibson studios in Charlotte, Vermont to record 12 original songs – six in French, six in English. Acclaimed producer Jean Massicotte (Lhasa, Patrick Watson, Arthur H, Jorane) mixed the album in Montreal at Masterkut Studios, and the album was mastered at world-renowned Metropolis Studios in London. The all-star contributions to the album continued with the graphic design, which was overseen by the trend-setting Burlington, VT design studio Solidarity of Unbridled Labour. The result is a true labor of love, supported by a community of friends, fans and family who are united in the belief that Francesca's talent deserves to be discovered by the world. Deux visions will be released in the US & Canada on October 2, 2015 by the boutique record label vis-à-vis with international release dates to follow.
Venue Information:
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069

All lineups and times subject to change