When Yuna started working with Pharrell Williams in Miami's famed Hit Factory/Criteria Recording studios last summer, both of them weren't sure where their collaboration would take them. It's common practice for savvy A&R folks, managers and publishing reps to pair up singers, songwriters and producers to stir up their creative mojo. These studio sessions can sometimes lead to brilliant new music, and sometimes a pairing lacks chemistry and ends up going nowhere. And that's fine. It's better to try than to not make the effort.
From a distance the pairing between Malaysian folk crooner Yuna and iconic beatmaker Pharrell Williams may be an odd fit. Yuna's acoustic balladry are marked by her soft, introverted delivery while Pharrell's work is often more hit-oriented and driven by innovative, synthesized beats that can easily fill up the dance floor. But these two have more in common than you initially may expect. "Live Your Life" clearly demonstrates that Yuna and Pharrell bonded over their love for sweet and subtle arrangements that is evident throughout the track.
With its laid-back percussion and its smooth, spacey synths, "Live Your Life" is a classic Pharrell production that echoes memories of The Neptunes' heydays. His shiny and tightly-orchestrated instrumentation is the perfect backdrop for Yuna's delicate vocals that flow effortlessly throughout the song. Lyrically, Yuna indirectly points to her collaboration with Pharrell, explaining that it's okay to step outside of the box to try something new. Live life like you really want to," Yuna sings. "Don't hide from what you are and rise before you fall (. . .) don't ever try to dismiss yourself, because you don't have to."
"Live Your Life" is a wonderful example of what happens when people from two completely different worlds come together and make music together. In fact, it's no secret that Pharrell often looks for unusual and unexpected collaborators to fuel his creativity and evolve his skill. Pharrell's relentless drive to experiment and Yuna's ability to seamlessly adept to a different point of view makes this new "Life Your Life" an impressive effort.