KUALA LUMPUR: A successful career in the United States and international fame has not changed Malaysian singer and songwriter Zee Avi.
The 25-year-old from Miri insists that she still keeps her culture, customs and identity as a Malaysian close to her heart.
Zee said claims that she had changed and forgotten her roots were baseless and untrue.
“It is not easy being part of this industry and under the spotlight. Even if people perceive me as being that way, it does not reflect who I truly am,” she told mStar Online at the home of drama producer Raja Alawiah Idris recently.
At the age of 20, Zee had posted a video of herself singing on YouTube and the overwhelming response to the video encouraged her to continue posting songs on the website.
She shot to fame when her first self-titled debut album Zee Avi hit No. 2 on the US Billboard Top Heatseekers Chart in 2010, and sold 6,000 copies in the United States in its first two weeks of release. Her second album Ghost Bird peaked at No. 1 on the same chart last year.
Zee is now working on her next album, which is scheduled to hit the shelves next year.
“I am very happy for other Malaysians, like Yuna, who have also made a name for themselves in the US,” she said.
Singer Yuna Zarai, also 25, from Kedah, released her debut EP Decorate, in the US in March last year.
“When I found out that Yuna was gaining fame in the US, I was very proud. The world is beginning to see the ability and talents of Malaysian singers,” she said.
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