Interview: Lullabies and live shows with Zee Avi

By Anjali RaguramanEvents - 25 March 2014 12:00 AM | Updated 01 April 2014

Interview: Lullabies and live shows with Zee Avi

UPDATE (31 March 2014): Zee Avi Singapore show to be rescheduled

According to TAB Singapore, the Zee Avi Asian tour will be reschedule to a later date.  More information on the new concert date and refund details will be available in due course. 

A message from Zee:

"Dear all,

It is with deep regret to inform you that, in light of the events that have sadly struck us all with much misfortune, I am very sorry to say I have had to postpone my upcoming Asian tour. I was really looking forward to coming home and playing for all of you.

Everyone who’s worked hard in trying to put this tour together and I feel that the timing might not permit this time around, and this decision was made with much respect for the country and people of my beloved Malaysia.

We will work on another tour later this year and to everyone who has already bought tickets, we will have the refund information for you very soon. Once again, my deepest apologies, and I hope to see you all very soon.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the families and to all those affected.

Biggest and warmest regards,
much love and strength to you,




She studied law, tried her hand at fashion, and makes music. Now, 28-year-old singer-songwriter Zee Avi is about to release an album called ‘Nightlight’, with lullabies and songs for children.

It seems to keep with her penchance to go where her interest leads.

Born in the small town of Miri in Sarawak, Zee went from posting videos on YouTube for her friends back in 2007, to being “the next big thing” exuding a free-spirited island vibe.

She will be playing in Singapore at Tab restaurant-bar on 17 April.

Before she was a full-fledged, world-touring musician, she was training as a lawyer, then switched over for a stint in fashion school. But ultimately, she couldn’t let go of the music. “I think it’s more of music decided on me. Among all the things and interests that have come through my path, music was the one that stayed the longest,” she said.

What followed was a record-label signing and two albums, the eponymous 'Zee Avi' (2009) and 'Ghostbird' (2011), as well as performing around the world.


Her motivation for the chidlren's album was simple: “I’ve always wanted to create something that celebrates childhood, be it a children’s book or song. I think the innocence of childhood is very pure and rare these days, and it should be memories in all of us to keep.” 

While probably best-known for her breakthrough song ‘Bitter Heart’, Zee has taken to reinventing  classics such as Michael Jackson’s ‘Ben’, Bobby and McFerrin’s ‘Don’t Worry Be Happy’ for the children’s album.

Zee Avi's version of 'Don't Worry Be Happy'

While she admitted that it is difficult to pick one, her current favourite track is a cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Circle Game’. “That song is, in my opinion, is an opus of a story about growing up and embracing the changes in one’s life. Also, I used to sing it to my brother when he was a baby to put him to sleep. So, it has that soothing quality as well.”

cry baby
Zee Avi’s album ‘Nightlight’ features art drawn by an eight-year-old fan

She added that it is her dream to work with Mitchell. “Although, I would just love to sit and listen to her share her wisdom.”

‘Nightlight’, due to be released on 22 April, is also unexpected for her at some level. harboured for a long time. “I didn’t think a project like this would happen this early in my career, but I am so thankful it did.

“This project was also inspired, in particular, by a very special eight-year-old fan of mine, a delightful little girl named Mackenzie who also created the cover art for this album. But shhh, she doesn’t know that yet. It’s a surprise,” Zee added cheekily.

And for fans familiar with her music, Zee said that “yes, the ukulele will make an appearance”.

She has already started writing for her next album. 


With all the energy channelled into writing new music, creating visual art, and connecting with fans via Twitter and Instagram, Zee is at the peak of her game and feels that she can do it all.

cry baby
Zee Avi

“Social media is a wonderful way to keep your fans engaged in all you do because some may or may not realise it, they are in some ways a part of your creative process, and... you know more about yourself... and where the world currently stands. I keep in touch with a few of my fans who are quickly becoming friends through outlets such as Twitter and Instagram. It’s very special,” she said.


Zee fondly remembers her previous sold-out show in Singapore in 2011, when fans sung her songs back to her. “I remember I almost shed tears when I last played at Tab Singapore, when in all its packed house glory, everyone was singing along to my song ‘Siboh Kitak Nangis’, which is purely in my dialect of Bahasa Sarawak.

“It’s amazing how, regardless of language, music speaks to people and they relate to it in such a universal way, much like a smile.”

As for her upcoming show, she said it would be “a more intimate one”.

“It will only be my percussionist, Rafael Pareira and I. It will be a treat for me to play with him again, since he has been so blessed and busy touring with Janelle Monae recently. So I can hardly wait to play music with him again, and share that moment with Singapore!”

Zee Avi Live at TAB

Zee Avi Live at TAB

Date Apr 17, 2014


Ticket PriceS$55.00 - S$70.00
 (excludes booking fee)