Zee Avi, from Z to A
New musical artists aren’t anything new around here.
Yes, we like to bring major new releases into Starbucks, like the latest from Barbra Streisand. Then there are our compilations, which we assemble with the goal of helping music fans discover classic artists and songs. But the third vital front for our music team is giving a boost to worthy developing artists you’ve probably never encountered before.
A few years back, some folks here took a chance on a hard-to-classify singer named Madeleine Peyroux and she proved to be a hit with all of you. Something similar happened with Feist (watch for her new album in October), Corinne Bailey Rae and the Avett Brothers, among many others.
Now add to the list Zee Avi, whose tuneful, multihued sophomore release, Ghostbird, is in our stores starting August 23.
The striking 25-year-old singer-songwriter was born in Borneo and has since lived in Kuala Lumpur, London and Brooklyn. At some point along the line, she turned her focus away from fashion design and toward music, posting some of her early efforts on YouTube.
In short order, the number of viewers of her videos swelled and came to include industry movers and shakers. A self-titled debut album was released in 2009 and she began accumulating glowing reviews that referenced Billie Holiday and Cat Power. Pretty remarkable considering she really only took up this music thing in earnest four years ago.
Now that’s new.