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Deanna performing at an event for Fendi
I always think of Deanna Yusoff as the beautiful, waif-like, svelte Malaysian celebrity who graced the silver screens and magazines (remember her role in Anna and The King?). First as a model and actress, who also crossed over to singing. A couple of years back, I interviewed her when she launched her premium Swiss chocolat brand, "Grandjean Freres". Her horror flick "Cermin" had also just ended its run. It was then that I discovered that this remarkable lady has a deep passion for whatever she was doing, and she rarely falls short of being second tier.

With Michael Veerapan's band at Mezze, Medan Damansara, Deanna very much played the part of jazz songstress in belting out smooth and sultry tunes packaged with great showmanship. Among the songs that I really enjoyed were her renditions of "I've Got a Crush on You", "Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler" and an unbelievably jazzed up version of Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back". 

Deanna also graciously obliged us for e-mail interview which we are excited to publish here. Thank you Deanna! (For more on Deanna, visit her Facebook page


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WAMM: Show business is definitely an area you are strong in. Can you tell us a bit about how you chose this for yourself?

Deanna: Haha. This I did not plan. Never imagined myself being in the entertainment business. It happened by accident. But I must say that all my life I have been involved in either dancing, singing or something creative so maybe I was subconsciously wishing for this. When it happened, I thought it would be fun to try it out still couldn't imagine doing this for a living but here I am, nearly 20 years later!!!!

WAMM: Jazz seems like something you are working on at the moment. How did you get into singing jazz? If I recall, you had a pop album released some years back as well. 

Deanna: I had 2 pop albums. They were right for me then and great experiences but that's not me anymore. Michael Veerapen called me to his office one day (had never met him) and suggested I sing jazz. We tried a few songs. It was interesting but it took me a while to really want to pursue this. I was busy with others things in my life and its only 1.5 years ago that I decided to do a show at NBT  and since then I have been doing some shows and building my repertoire. I think Jazz reflects more who I am today!

WAMM: Deanna, you are obviously talented in so many ways. Acting, setting up a business, singing, modeling. How do you manage them? Do you get confused on what you should be doing or focussing on next?

Deanna
: Well first of all, thank you for the compliments! 

Sometimes it all happens at the same time and I just have to decide what needs my attention first. But I usually do not take on additional work if I am already booked for something else or if know that I would be travelling. I try to pace myself. Planning and anticipating what will happen really helps a lot but in this line everybody wants things done at the last minute or they expect you to be doing 3 things at the same time. And this is not a 9-5 job--I do not have evenings and weekends off. I am always busy with something but that is because I really enjoy what I do. That makes things a lot easier! 

WAMM: What's the future like for your music? Will you be gigging more often in KL? You travel to Switzerland quite often--do you sing there too?

Deanna: Yes I hope to. Many have asked if I will come out with an album...eventually but am not ready to do that right now. And yes, during my last trip in Switzerland, I met up with some musicians and we talked about gigs there! That would be awesome. I also have performed in Singapore. 

WAMM: To sidetrack, how is your chocolates business and how can we order? 
The chocolate business has been a lot of fun and we are working on taking it abroad! A lot of work but so interesting. I love the challenges and the learning process!

You can order online at www.grandjeanfreres.com. Our Mother's Day promotion is up and we are donating part of the sales to the Women's Aid Organisation. First time we are working with a charitable organisation so very excited about it!

WAMM: How can music lovers keep in touch with you and be updated on your gigs?
Deanna: My Facebook page is the best place to keep in touch. My website needs a major revamp and its taking a while to get that done.

Needless to say, we are really chuffed to have Deanna on WAMM and we look forward to more! Thank you, Deanna!

Debbie

Credits: Pictures from a past event for Fendi, taken from Deanna's Facebook page.




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