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Face To Face

Face to Face with Indonesian top artist Yura Yunita

Yura Yunita_FacetoFace2022
Published Dec 12, 2022

In this new episode of our Face to Face series, we travel to Indonesia to have a talk with singer, songwriter, composer and pop sensation Yura Yunita

Hailing from Bandung, West Java, Yura Yunita has been active in the Indonesian music scene since 2014, when she won the love of the public thanks to two singles that reached the top of the charts: "Balada Cirkus" and "Cinta dan Rahasia", a duet with the very popular singer Glenn Fredy, and a first album between soul, jazz and pop simply called "Yura". After trusting Believe for the distribution of her 2nd album "Merakit", Yura Yunita took it to the next level by joining Believe's Artist Services division in 2020.

Extremely popular in Indonesia, Yura has won several awards: she won the Best Pop Songwriter and Best Pop Solo Female Artist AMI Awards in 2017, the Best Pop Album AMI Award in 2019 for her 2nd album "Merakit", and very recently, she received the Best Pop Female Solo Artist AMI Award for "Tutur Batin", her last album. She is also highly regarded for her commitment to women's empowerment, body positivity, and mental wellness, themes that can be found extensively in her work and notably in Tutur Batin. 

Interviewed by Pananingtyas Prabantari, Head of Marketing & Project Manager Artist Services at Believe Indonesia, Yura looks back on her early years, the development of her career with Believe, the huge success of "Tutur Batin" and reveals her plans for the future. 

Pananingtyas Prabantari : Hello Yura, thanks for participating in this Face to Face interview with Believe. Before we talk any further, can you please introduce yourself? 

Yura Yunita: Of course, my name is Yura Yunita, I am a singer & songwriter, and I've also released three albums. My first album is "Yura", the second is "Merakit" and the lastest is "Tutur Batin", and I am from Indonesia. 

Ririe: When did your first album came out? 

Yura: The first album was in 2014, the second was in 2018 and the latest album, that we have worked together with, "Tutur Batin" was released in 2021.  

Ririe: Beforehand, I want to congratulate you for winning the third time as Pop Female Solo Artist in AMI Awards. How does it make you feel? 

Yura: It felt like the first time I won in 2017. But this third time...  wow... I didn’t expect it, but it’s maybe because I made the album from my heart and I wasn’t hoping for any award, so it felt like a surprise for me. And it's not just because of me, but because of the team's hard work: Believe Artist Services, Kithlabo, you and all those who supported the album "Tutur Batin". We won that nomination, and the trophy is for all of us. 

Ririe: Talking about Believe, you joined for the first time in 2018? 

Yura: Yes, 2018. 

Ririe: You first started in Distribution with your second album "Merakit". But then you decided to join Believe Artist Services in 2020. There were a lot of fun moments and challenges that we faced together. What do you think? 

Yura: Honestly, these two... almost three years that I have been working with Believe Artist Services, changed my life drastically. Because it makes things easier for me, and it turns out it brought me to the best point in my career.  

I have been making music since 2014, for almost 8 years. And in the 8th year spent with Believe Artist Service, I have reached the highest and best point in my career so far. It made me feel really assisted because there is a two-way communication, right? For example, I made some music then there are inputs from Believe Artist Services like "What do you think about this?", "What if we do this?". So, it does not only feel like we are partners, but we are collaborating and exchanging ideas together, that is the thing that made me happy. Working together with Artist Services completed my journey 

Ririe: What do you think of the AS team? Because you have your own team and Believe Artist Services has its own team. 

Yura: I’m so happy! Because my team is already quite complete, but we are fully complete with Believe Artist Services team. What I like about it is that it is very communicative, and it feels like a family. It also feels like we have the same frequency, and innovative ideas are always on the table. It feels like that because we get through this journey together, we feel the pain together, we gain together. We are like a family, we complete each other. 

Ririe: Right, I think effective communication is when there is a two-way conversation, like you just said before. Challenges come not only from us, but also from the musicians, because it is from there that we find innovations to promote your songs. I hope we can achieve more. 

Yura: Yes, what’s fun about it is that we challenge ourselves so the Artist Services team challenges me like “Come on, we can do this or that". But it is not only a one-sided challenge, I can also challenge the Artist Services team like “Okay, guys if it's like this, that, can you do it? ". Challenging each other in a positive way becomes a fire of energy that allows us to become greater every day. 

Ririe: Believe Artist Services vision and mission is to always support independent musicians and independent labels, so that they can stand their ground, to be more successful. You are an independent musician from the start and finally having your own record label. So, as a musician also as a businesswoman, how does that feel having the liberty to make your own music but also having to work on your business? 

Yura: On one side, music is my passion and I feel very alive when I do this, and especially making music from the heart, that is released under my own label Merakit, it feels like I have the great independence to make anything from my heart. Every decision is in me and my team’s hands, it feels like my own satisfaction cannot be paid for by anything else. If there is much experience, there is a lot of knowledge to gain from it too. 

Ririe: Talking about independence, it also means you have the independence to visualize your own music. 

Yura: Yeah! I’m very happy about it, I feel so grateful because from the start I chose to be independent. So, I have freedom in music arrangements, lyrics, meaning, campaigns, and for the visuals that can portray perfectly what is in my mind when I’m creating music. I can’t even let go of the editing process in every single music videos that I have released, from the first album until now, I always play a role there to make sure that my message is well delivered. 

Ririe: Results can also be very gratifying, like for your newest music video, ‘Dunia Tipu-Tipu’. To remind you of the achievements of ‘Dunia Tipu-Tipu’, we achieved number 1 position in YouTube Trend Music Indonesia, it was also featured in YouTube Trend's General Topic.  

And it's not just the video, but the impact on Digital Streaming Platforms is also massive, as evidenced by the fact that we got into Spotify’s Global Viral Chart and Global Chart, which is amazing. It has been automatically massive in Indonesia, and in our neighboring country Malaysia. How was the process? What made you think "I think we should release a video of ‘Dunia Tipu-Tipu’?" 

Yura: From "Tutur Batin" Album, the first singles ‘Tenang’, ‘Duhai Sayang’, ‘Tutur Batin» had impressive appreciation. Looking at the charts from this album, I was thinking, “What else other than ‘Tutur Batin’ and ‘Tenang’?».  
Believe also shared which one had the biggest potential and could have the biggest impact. And it turns out, there was also some challenges from you and the Artist Services Team : "What do you think if we make an elevated concept? " you said. The Artist Services team challenged me to do something different than what we've done before. I’m so lucky that I can work with Believe Artist Services worldwide because I got inputs about making a social experience video, I was like “Hmm, social experience?" for a moment. But we worked together with a good and positive energy, on the same frequency, and our main goal is the same.  
Making music is not only for me, but also to represent the listeners feeling. The universe brought me with a director on the same frequency, I also met mindfulness practitioner Nabila Ghassani, and we reset ourselves to have the right technique for the shooting day. I thank Believe Artist Services so much for this because after 8 years in music, this is the first time Believe Artist Services brought me to the finest point in my career. Trending for weeks is our biggest achievement yet; I hope this can continue. 

Ririe: In the end whatever the idea is, if the execution and frequency are not on the same path, the results will not be the best.  

Yura: Yes, I think it’s the result from great and healthy teamwork full of positive energy, don’t you think so? 

Ririe: Yup! And for those who haven’t watched, maybe tell them more about the music video. 

Yura: ‘Dunia Tipu-Tipu’ music video is the production of the team’s hardwork, even though in the beginning it’s my own personal story, as it’s my way to say thanks to the people in my life that are present and meaningful, my way to say thanks to the team as well, Hip-Hip Yura, Spotify and all partners that has supported my music. Go watch the ‘Dunia Tipu-Tipu’ music video in my YouTube channel. 

Ririe: The success of ‘Dunia Tipu-Tipu’ also affected the success of the whole album, right? On the  ‘Tutur Batin’ album, there is one track that caught my attention which is, ‘Bandung’, that got you selected as one of the musicians to be in one of Spotify’s biggest campaigns, Spotify IDentitasku. You got selected to represent West Java, how does it feel to represent your home supported by a platform as big as Spotify? 

Yura: Well, I was born in West Java, and I started my career in Bandung, West Java. I always stick to the principle "No matter how far I travelled, wherever I am, a place that I always call home, where  my roots are, is Bandung, West Java". Since the first album, I have a mission to make West Java’s language be heard more by all the music listeners. That is why I released ‘Bandung’, and it turns out this song can be supported by Spotify, with the IDentitasku campaign. My mission and dreams I had since I was a child are supported, so it makes me feel like "Wow..such a proud moment for me to represent "Sounds from West Java" (Suara dari Jawa Barat)". And I hope it’s not just me and the other 6 musicians, but the spirit of IDentitasku campaign that could encourage the local musicians wherever they are, local or traditional musicians, to be proud and to be really honest in creating music, because we're rooted in the identity that each of us has. 

There was a stigma before that if you want to be a successful singer, you had to move to Jakarta, but now it feels different when we’re being supported by Spotify IDentitasku. Wherever we are, we can express our identity as loudly as possible, and be heard as widely as possible, and we can create our work based on our identity wherever we are. 

Ririe: In fact, this is not the first time that your work is fully supported by Spotify. A few days before the release of "Tutur Batin" album, you got a highlighted spot in the form of a billboard for “Equal Artist of the Month», a big exposure in New York’s Times Square. How does it feel getting support from Spotify for the campaign which has the similar key message to your album? 

Yura: I have not even been there yet, so it feels great... Well, we have the same mission, a favorable one, which is to say that each one of us has the same chance to success. So it makes me feel thankful, grateful, and I hope the campaign and the positive message that we’re trying to articulate can be amplified even more. 

Ririe: As a Spotify Preferred Partner, Believe offers a very impactful special service for Believe artists, called “Spotify Discovery Mode»… 

Yura: It really matters! From 2021 until now, we were focused on the third album, right? But since there is this ‘Spotify Discovery Mode’ feature, my first and second album are also increasing in numbers. So, I am very much thankful that Believe and Spotify have this feature, our earlier music works has been able to hit high on the market recently. 

Ririe: Yes, exactly! Again, as an independent musician, I'm sure you're learning and exploring by yourself how to communicate well on social media. According to you; what is the best way to communicate with your listeners? How do you optimize your social media? 

Yura: When we know which ways is the best to communicate well with the audience, it feels like I’m just going with it. With the help of the AS team that also dives in and is keen about what is going on in social media, sometimes we post something and turns out the audiences also have the same voice. When I express what I my inner self and heart says, it turns out many out there felt represented by what I say, so we can communicate from their reaction on social media. 
Because of the pandemic, we feel alone, but when we are able to communicate on social media, it feels like we know each other. Now, when I’m on stage, it’s like “Wow you’re the one that duet my song! You’re the one that made the reaction of ‘Dunia Tipu-Tipu! You and your husband are the ones that looks at each other because of my music video!». It feels like we’re getting closer because of social media, so it also grows new listener for my music. 

Ririe:  Based on your long journey, how do you see yourself growing? 

Yura: To be honest, as a musician, singer, and songwriter, I’m the type that flows. After releasing my songs, I become an empty canvas again, because I believe that we were created by God as an empty canvas to be sensitive and ready to accept any message given by God, the universe and from anything around us. I am only a medium that channels these messages through my songs and music. So I will continue to grow and become more sensitive to listening to the inner voices of those around me so I can represent them through the songs and music I create, independently. Go independent! 

Ririe: One last question from me, could you tell us a little bit of what will be your next journey? 

Yura: We are preparing to bring “Pertunjukan Tutur Batin» Live Concert tour to various cities, so that we can meet heart to heart, and can let the deep and personal stories behind the making of “Tutur Batin» Album be heard. So please pray for us that the live concert "Pertunjukan Tutur Batin" will be a success and that we can meet directly. 

Ririe: Thank you very much, Yura. 

Yura: Thank you very much, Ririe and also AS team!