Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna Zarai.
PETALING JAYA: Local singer-songwriter Yuna Zarai is one of 20 names that merits music lovers' attention this year, according to US-based online news aggregator Huffington Post.
The Kedah-born singer-songwriter was the only Malaysian artist on the list, with writer Ryan Kristobak urging readers to let Yuna be the first Malaysian voice in their current music library.
"Blending elements of her nation's style with modern pop elements, her music adds a new taste to the palette without estranging listeners," he wrote of the 27-year-old.
Since her debut as a Myspace artiste in 2006, the award-winning songbird has released well-received albums such as the 2010 Decorate and 2012 Terukir Di Bintang.
With her US efforts including a 2013 sophomore effort in Nocturnal and a track for Dreamworks' movie The Croods, titled Shine Your Way, Yuna was lauded for proving "more than capable of holding her place in a market that is not her own".
Other names on the list include Australia-Swedish twin sister duo Say Lou Lou for "gorgeous dream pop" and Philadelphia's underground hip-hop scene fixture Ground Up.
The Los Angeles-based Yuna is currently signed under Verve Records, which is run by Grammy award winner David Foster.
Prior to that, she was signed to the independent New York label, Fader Label, and collaborated with hip-hop darling Pharrell Williams on her single, Live Your Life.