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Creator and Artist Stories

Malaysian YouTube Musician Gets Signed and Tours

By Michele Flannery

YouTube Music

For today's Music Tuesday, we spotlight the debut recording of singer-songwriter Zee Avi, who, the day before her 22nd birthday, posted a melancholy holiday song on YouTube that she intended to be her last video posting in December 2007.

By the time she checked her email she had almost 3,000 messages, including a slew of label offers. One email came from from Ian Monotone, who had been shown the YouTube clip by Raconteurs' drummer Patrick Keeler, prompting a signing to his label. Avi is now managed by the same team who works with the White Stripes, M.I.A., The Shins and Vampire Weekend, among others. Earlier this year she was flown from her hometown in Malaysia to a recording studio in Los Angeles.

In honor of this talented YouTube's musician's success, today we present an exclusive acoustic mini-concert of songs from Avi's debut CD; the video for her single "Bitter Heart"; and an early song that wasn't titled in 2007 but has since made its way to her new release. We've also got a video blog from Zee Avi herself explaining how uploading her original music to YouTube has landed her a tour of the U.S. after only playing local gigs in Kuala Lumpur.

Have questions for Zee? She has answered a few of them already on her YouTube channel here, including "Are you a lefty?" and her less-than-tech-savvy response.


Michele Flannery