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    krullizme
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    Post  krullizme on Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:21 am

    ZEE AVI



    Born in the tiny town of Miri in Sarawak on the island of Borneo,
    Zee grew up near the South China Sea in a liberal, encouraging
    household where her father owned an energy consultancy. “I was bred to
    be a lawyer,” she says, but music was in her blood. Her father’s father
    sang and played double-bass, accordion, violin and guitar in bands.

    At age 12, Zee moved from Borneo to Kuala Lumpur where she has been
    based since. At 17, Zee started locking herself in a room for hours on
    end to learn to play guitar. Guitar took a back seat for 4 years while
    she was studying fashion design in London. When she returned to Kuala
    Lumpur, she picked the instrument back up and began writing songs and
    performing with a band.
    Zee began recording her songs on a webcam and posting them on
    YouTube for a friend to hear. “I remember getting so excited when there
    was one new comment from some random person I didn’t know… One read
    ‘I’m lost for words -- I shall favorite it and ponder if that’s OK,’ ”
    which was written by Kris Rowley, a U.K. singer-songwriter with a
    YouTube following under the name Zzzzzzzzap. He began posting her
    videos on his site, which began a viral snowball effect.

    The day before her 22nd birthday, Zee posted what she intended to be
    “my last video,” a holiday song, “No Christmas for Me.” By the time she
    checked her e-mail Avi had almost 3,000 messages including a slew of
    label offers. One email came from Ian Montone, who had been shown the
    YouTube clip by Raconteurs’ drummer, Patrick Keeler, prompting Montone
    to get in touch and offer to release her music on the Monotone Label.

    Before she knew it Zee was on a plane to L.A. to record her debut
    with producer Robert Carranza at Brushfire’s Solar Powered Plastic
    Plant. “No Christmas for Me” was then featured on the holiday charity
    album, This Warm December, A Brushfire Holiday, Vol. 1.

    With an eclectic pool of influences that range from such eccentrics
    as Cat Power, Regina Spektor, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Jolie Holland,
    Daniel Johnston and Chris Garneau, to jazz greats Billie Holiday and
    Ella Fitzgerald, to classics like Velvet Underground and Led Zeppelin,
    this self-described “rock lover at heart” captures the dark,
    bittersweet qualities of romance with a crack left open for hope and
    optimism.

    From the sensuous scat singing on “Honey Bee” to the sultry break-up
    song, “Is This the End,” recalling the existential longing of Peggy
    Lee’s “Is That All There Is,” Zee is hopeful of finding love, but
    equally aware of lurking heartache.

    The songs on Zee Avi’s debut are about an outsider’s desire to
    belong and the tentative hope of moving on, filled with regret and
    loss, but boasting an impish, worldly wise sensibility. “I tend to be a
    loner,” she nods. ” ‘Honey Bee’ is about a romance between two
    nonconformists who are different from the rest of the hive, and are
    trying to avoid the pressure to be like everybody else.”

    “Just You and Me,” the first song she wrote on ukulele, has a ’20s New Orleans swing jazz vibe.“I get my melodic feel from the simplicity of
    classic jazz, people singing what they felt with straightforward lyrics
    and not too many harmonies,” Zee says. “Just a lot of honesty. I’m a
    girl of simple pleasures.

    The elemental acoustic guitar of “Story of…” is enhanced with an
    Eno-like ambience that add to its shimmering quality, while “Poppy” is
    autobiographical “with a little bit of poetic license” that looks back
    at the demise of a two-year relationship.

    “My stuff is pretty dark,” Zee admits. “Most of my songs are about the reality side of romance, outlets to vent my emotions.”
    While her live experience amounts to playing gigs in Kuala Lumpur,
    Zee appeared this January on From the Basement, the U.K. TV
    webcast/broadcast that has featured Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Damien
    Rice, the White Stripes and the Shins. From the Basement will also air
    on the U.S.’s IFC Channel.

    From Malaysia to Los Angeles, Zee Avi is enjoying the ride and ready
    to take on passengers. “I’m still pinching myself” she gushes. “My
    parents always told me it’s important to keep yourself grounded. I’m
    thankful, but at the same time, I just want to jump through the roof.
    It’s been a pretty amazing journey, getting to work with some really
    wonderful people, a blessing, really.”

    Zee Avi’s Monotone/Brushfire Records debut returns that blessing…and then some.
    Monotone Records is owned by Ian Montone, whose Monotone, Inc.
    manages the White Stripes, M.I.A., The Shins, Vampire Weekend, the
    Raconteurs, Against Me!, Cold War Kids, Crookers, among others.

    Brushfire Records is owned by Jack Johnson and his manager Emmett
    Malloy and is home to artists like Rogue Wave, Matt Costa, Neil
    Halstead, Money Mark, G. Love, Mason Jennings, ALO and Zach Gill.

    How Avi came to record her debut album in L.A., the first joint
    release from Ian Montone’s Monotone Label and Jack Johnson’s Brushfire
    Records, is a true 21st century tale of the way the Internet has
    transformed the music business and shrunk the globe in the process.
    Zee Avi is just 23 but she’s an old soul. A huge talent in a petite
    frame bringing a universal message from the unlikely birthplace of
    Borneo, an ancient island east of Malaysia which remains an untouched,
    natural paradise, an apt description of her songs.

      Current date/time is Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:30 am