Earlier this year, Napawee "Yonna" Pakpoom joined ZOO Studio, a Bangkok-based independent record label dedicated to electronic music.
The label will celebrate its second anniversary this month. The 23-year-old Yonna won first place at the Mifa singing contest in2006 and the title of best singer at the 12th Hotwave Music Awards in 2007. After lending her smooth voice to songs by Funky Gangster and DJ Kingkong, Yonna has gone solo with her first single "Faith & Chasing". It was recently released on the label’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/thezoostudiobkk). You can also buy her single via Beatport and iTunes.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A SINGER?
Since I was in Prathom 1. I was so crazy about the usual pop acts of that time such as Spice Girls and Britney Spears. I now like electronic music and I sing in an R&B or soul style. I feel like music shouldn't be limited to any rules. If you want, you can sing R&B over dubstep backing.
HAVE YOU ACTIVELY PURSUED POP STARDOM?
I partook in various TV singing contests over the years and made it to semi-final rounds which, in retrospect, was a blessing in disguise since I learned it wasn't for me. I think people in the [pop] scene don't get me, telling me to take off my nose piercing. I don't want to be packaged into something I'm not.
YOU PENNED AND SANG YOUR FIRST SINGLE IN ENGLISH. WAS IT DIFFICULT?
It came to me quite naturally. The song ["Faith & Chasing"] is about following your dream, as you can probably guess. I don't have a background in songwriting or an overseas education, but I guess I could do it because I've listened to a lot of music.
WHAT KIND OF IMPACT DO YOU WISH TO MAKE IN THE THAI MUSIC SCENE?
I want to be better known, obviously. And hopefully make Thai people more open to different types of music. I feel language is no boundary when it comes to music. A Thai person can sing and write a song in English. You can listen to a sad song in a language you don't understand but you still feel the mood. I don't think listeners should limit themselves to songs in their own language or one genre of music. Good music is good in whatever language.
HOW HAS THE FEEDBACK BEEN?
An Australian posted a kind comment on my Facebook page [facebook.com/yonna.fanpage] about how she loves my music. Locally, I think we have a small audience of party-goers. I think it will take time for the wider audience to develop a real taste for it.
About the author
- Writer: Pornchai Sereemongkonpol
Position: Guru Reporter