Zee Avi is a Malaysian singer/ songwriter, guitarist, ukulele player and visual artist.
Winner of The International Youth Icon Award in 2011, which led to inspirational speaking engagements to young people around the world. She has lived and sold albums all over the world.
Born in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, Zee moved to Kuala Lumpur at the age of 12 and taught herself to play the guitar at 17. Avi played rhythm guitar in a couple of bands while in Kuala Lumpur before moving to London to study fashion design at the American InterContinental University. After returning from London she started writing songs. Avi currently resides in the United States.
In September 2007, Avi posted a video of her first song, “Poppy” on YouTube for one of her friends who had missed her first performance in Kuala Lumpur. The friend convinced Avi to leave the video online even after he had seen it, and soon she received positive feedback. This inspired her to put more videos on YouTube.
Several months later, on the eve of her 22nd birthday, Avi posted what was supposed to be her final video “No Christmas For Me”. The next day, YouTube put the spotlight on her video and Avi’s mailbox was bombarded with more than 3,000 e-mails and a slew of offers from record labels.
After discovering her video, Patrick Keeler of The Raconteurs, passed the link to Ian Montone, the manager of The White Stripes, The Shins, The Raconteurs, M.I.A. and others. Montone then passed her music on to Emmett Malloy, who signed her to Brushfire Records, a record company that is partly owned by Jack Johnson. “No Christmas For Me” turned out to be her first official song with Brushfire Records.