Before you say anything, yes, I did here this song on the television show, “Gossip Girl,” a while back at first, but it started playing on my iPod and this song is just freakin’ fantastic. Zee Avi, or Izyan Alirahman, who is also known as KokoKaina, is a Malaysian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and ukulele player whose twitter bio suggests that she likes pancakes, which is so incredibly wonderful. She actually studied fashion design at American InterContinental University in London, but after she posted a video on YouTube for one of her friends who had missed her first performance in Kuala Lumpur in 2007, she kind of got discovered in the music biz.
After being featured on YouTube’s front page, Patrick Keeler of The Raconteurs passed the link to Ian Montone, the manager of The White Stripes, The Shins, The Raconteurs, and others. Montone passed her music on to Emmett Malloy, who signed her to Brushfire Records, a record company which is partly owned by Jack Johnson. Her song “No Christmas For Me” is featured on Brushfire Records’s 2008 Christmas album This Warm December: A Brushfire Holiday. Her single “Bitter Heart” was first to become available on the US iTunes Store, and her full self-titled debut album was released on May 19, 2009, co-produced by Brushfire Records and Ian Montone’s Monotone Records.
On the day of her album’s release, YouTube featured her on the front page in Spotlight: Music Tuesday. From June–August 2009, she toured the United States with Pete Yorn. The final concert on her first U.S. tour was at the Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood, California on August 27, 2009. Avi’s song “Monte” was featured in the second season finale of Private Practice. Her song “Concrete Wall“, was featured in episode 11, season five of Gossip Girl (when I began listening to her). Avi has recently released her debut EP, One More Time With Colors, on July 20. The four song EP includes the new never released before song “I Wish I Never” as well as three remixes of tracks from her debut album, Zee Avi.