Zee Avi is a Malaysian-born singer who has been very successful in the global music scene. She is often regarded to be one of those who set the pace and scene for indie pop and jazz singers from Malaysia to chart their careers in those genres. Zee Avi is the stage name for this Miri-born singer whose real name is Izyan Alirahman. Born in 1985 in the East Malaysian state of Sarawak, the singer-songwriter is known for her exemplary music skills with her acoustic guitar and ukulele so often seen during her performances.
She is known as KoKoKaina as well and the self-taught guitarist became popular in 2007 when her first song ‘Poppy’ in YouTube turned her into an overnight sensation. But it was her ‘No Christmas For Me’ single on YouTube that got her discovered by Patrick Keeler of The Raconteurs and on to Ian Montone before she was signed by Bushfire Records.
Albums and Singles
‘Bitter Heart’ was the first official single that Zee Avi released through her self-titled album in 2009 and she would then perform to a full-house audience at the Roxy Theater. That year, Zee Avi’s album was the ninth best album of 2009 and in that same year, she performed ‘Bitter Heart’ on US television in the ‘Last Call with Carson Daly’ show.
Zee Avi’s second album was entitled ‘Ghostbird’ which came out in 2011 where ‘The Book of Morris Johnson’ was released, among others.
Zee Avi’s musical career is very focused in the US where much of her time is spent composing music and touring the States. In 2009, he toured with Pete Yorn while being the first Malaysian to have albums and singles in the Billboard charts. Apart from that, Zee Avi has collaborated with some of the top acts in the world including Jack Johnson as well as performed at some of the most reputable music festivals in the world, including the Rainforest World Music Festival held in her home state in Sarawak and all around the world.