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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Artist of the Day: Zee Avi


This singer/songwriter is a prime example of how the internet has completely transformed the music business and made it as easy as pie to discover artists in far away places like Borneo, an ancient island east of Malaysia where Zee Avi was discovered. A YouTube sensation at first, her music eventually reached the computer screen of Raconteur's drummer Patrick Keeler, who prompted the label, Monotone to take a look at her music. And that they did.

Soon after, her soulful sound reached Brushfire Records (co-owned by Jack Johnson), who also hopped on the bandwagon and recorded her debut song, "No Christmas For Me" on the label's holiday charity album last year and yesterday, released her debut album along with Monotone.

Zee Avi's influences range from Cat Power to Leonard Cohen to Velvet Underground, but her music lies in the roots of classic jazz. (Think Regina Spektor, with more jazz). On her MySpace page, Zee said, "I get my melodic feel from the simplicity of classic jazz, people singing what they felt with straightforward lyrics and not too many harmonies." Most of Zee's songs aren't mushy love songs, but focus more on the realities of it. And the timing of the record drop couldn't be more perfect. A nice break from all the electro/pop stuff that seems to be dominating the music scene, it's got a light, acoustic sound that you're bound to blast all summer long, windows down and everything.

Check out YouTube's big spread of Zee Avi's music and listen to her entire album before you buy it on her MySpace.

Zee Avi
Who's Who: Zee Avi
Formed: 2007 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Label: Brushfire/Monotone
Latest Release: Zee Avi (2009)
On the Web:

-Kristen Lee
Currently listening to "Honey Bee" by Zee Avi
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