Zee Avi

When I first saw the name, I thought it was a Japanese adult video actress by the name Zee.

But I soon found out that Zee Avi is no pornstar, but she’s a star in the US! Born and bred in Malaysia, Zee started off posting her songs on YouTube and soon found herself signed to perform in the United States.

Check out her song below.

I must say, “WOW!”. Malaysia does have some great singers!

Zee hails from Miri, the land of hot chicks. I wonder how come Miri has so many hot chicks. I remember being there couple of years ago and I met this girl who looks like Asa from http://www.aceentrance.net

It must be the duck flavoured char kuey teow from the market.

From Zee Avi’s Myspace

About Zee Avi

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.

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.

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.

Related Link
Zee Avi’s Official Website
Zee Avi’s YouTube

Upcoming Event – New Years Eve

I can’t seem to find any events massive enough to blog about. No outdoor parties and raves. I wonder what happened.
The only thing that seems to be worth mentioning is the New Years Eve countdown at Soho KL at Solaris, Mount Kiara. It starts from 3pm to 3am. DJs are unheard of and they have all sorts of performances. Japanese Anime also got. I wonder if they will get Doraemon to come.

Related Links
SohoKL NU – New Years Eve Party
clubbing9.com.my – [nu] Year Eve Countdown, Soho KL, Mont Kiara, 31st Dec 2008

Upcoming Events

This year Malaysia will witness and feel the power vibes of SMARTIE PARTIE. Trace Harris, the founder and percussionist of Smartie Partie, will be here with 4 of SP’s family top DJs: DJ Alex Miles, DJ Lisa German, DJ Matty Wells and DJ Ramone and SP Dancers: Emma, Karleen, Jodie and Kirstie.
Get ready for 2 nights of serious partying!
Date: 19th & 20th December 2008 (Friday & Saturday)
Early Bird ticket price (1st till 20th November) – RM 76 (one day) / RM 104 (both days)
Pre-Sale ticket price (21st November till 18th December) – RM 95 (one day) / RM 130 (both days)
Door sale on the event day – RM120 (one day)
[Note: Just to show how the event will be like]

And for those in Miri (great place to party!)…

P/S I wonder who is the girl showing off her butt in the picture…Irene? Is that you?

Upcoming Event – Massive

A little update on the upcoming event which claimed to be the biggest outdoor street party.

Venue : TR1 Hall , PWTC Kuala Lumpur Cap Square Centre, Kuala Lumpur
Date : 20th December 2008
Time : 6pm till late. ( around 3am )
Dress Code : Black & White
Ticket :
VIP : RM100.00 (Sold out!)
Pre-Sales : RM75.00
Doorsales : RM95.00
Available purchase only at nearest Ticket Pro, Rock Corner from 27th October onwards.
* Available now :
Limited Edition RM69 VIP Pre-Sale till end of October (Contact Cherrish @ Phone: 0126638864 | Email/MSN: cherish_223@msn.com)

Related Links:

New Club – Club Quattro, Kuala Lumpur

I received a text stating that one Club Quattro, the world first club with 4 seasons/climates i.e. Summer, Winter, Autumn and Spring, will be opening on 17 October. Club with 4 seasons? wtf.

Are they saying that 4 seasons means 4 types of venue i.e. restaurant, bar, lounge and club. I think a combination of restaurant + club is not good as you’ll get many patrons from restaurants barfing out their meals at the clubs after few drinks.
But check out their “Winter Bar”

    Temp : Main room @ around +10ºC; Snowing room @ -5ºC
    Climate : Mostly chilly with occasional snow
    Feat : DJ’s accompanied by live performers
    When it snows, it blows, but not at the Winter Bar. Sure, the thermostats fluctuate and may drop to an all-time low. The temperatures vary: at approximately +8ºC to +10ºC in the main room to around -5ºC in the snowing room. At the Winter Bar, everyone gets a reason to dress up and be seen in (literally) the coolest bar in the city.

You wont be seeing any skimpily dressed girls here.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this club is..
Related Link
Club Quattro Official Link – Check out their website for more info on other “seasons”

Sensuous Presents DECKED OUT CHICKS featuring DJs – Anatta, Nikki & EJ – 18 July 2008

Once again, DJ Anatta aka Aunty Sharon is spinning at Bar Club.

More info below!
P/S DJ Anatta will be spinning at one place by the name Werner’s @ Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur on 25 July 2008.

Upcoming Events – July 2008

Global pres. Paul van Dyk @ Zouk KL

Date: 26 July 2008, Saturday
Damage: RM60 (ladies) RM70 (men)
Once again, Paul van Dyk is back in Kuala Lumpur. Catch him on the sardine packed night @ ZOUK KL.
Check out www.redsessions.com.my for more info
First 100 registrants online will enter free – just have to flash SMS (when notified on 21 July) at the door on 26 July.
Source: Kim Ong . Com – Paul Van Dyk in Zouk, 26 July 2008

New Club: Euphoria – Ministry of Sound, Kuala Lumpur

Couple of months back, I posted an entry that a well know superclub from the United Kingdom, Ministry of Sound will be opening a new club in Kuala Lumpur. It’s now open!

Check out their official website: http://www.euphoria.com.my.

They put up contact details of the person in charge if you want to book a table or even the VIP table.
Some pictures of the place stolen from Peng’s facebook. 😛 Thanks Penguin

Wow, designated smoking area. Does that mean no smoking in the club?