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Local touch in Grammy blues album

Thursday February 17, 2005

Local touch in Grammy blues album

BY JASON CHEAH

PETALING JAYA: Blues artiste Keb’ Mo’ from the United States has a Malaysian touch in his Grammy Award-winning album Keep It Simple

Los Angeles-based Malaysian songwriter Zuriani Khalid Zonneveld co-wrote the song titled One Friend on the album. Keep It Simple won Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 47th Grammy Awards held earlier this week and is Keb’ Mo’s third Grammy award. 

“I am elated at having been involved with this,” Zuriani, 42, told The Star over the phone yesterday from her home in Los Angeles. 

“We’re old friends,” she said of Keb’ Mo’. “We’ve known each other for about 13 years. I used to hire him to play guitar for my song demos. 

Keb' Mo'
Zuraini co-wrote the song 'One Friend which is featured in the Grammy-winning album by Keb' Mo' called 'Keep It Simple'.
“During those days he was the starving musician. It’s a bit of a turnaround these days, he’s helping me now.” 

The inspiration to write One Friend came about when Zuriani was griping about friendship to Keb’ Mo'. 

“Keb’ said to me, ‘You only need one friend'.” 

On the inclusion of the song in the album, she said: “Instinctively we knew it was a good song.” 

“This is the second time a song of mine has appeared on a Grammy nominated album by Keb’ Mo’,” she continued. An earlier album, Big Wide Grin, was nominated in 2003 but did not win. Zuriani’s contribution to that album was I Was Your Mother Too

Zuriani, a songwriter and producer currently with Big Life Music in London, is married to American Arthur Zonneveld. 

It has been a long hard journey for Zuriani, who seems to be finally reaping the rewards after being in the songwriting business for 16 years.  

Another of her songs is in contention for the next Eurovision Song Contest. 

“I have written a song with Gina G (Australian pop-dance artiste who scored a British hit with Ooh Ahh, Just a Little Bit). The song (Flashback) is one of the final five in the running to represent Britain at the next Eurovision Song Contest,” said Zuriani.  

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