ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., April 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Musical artist Zai announced the official release of her latest album, "Stranger Than Fiction," scheduled to go live on Friday, April 24th. Zai is a well-known Florida-based musician and social media personality, recently featured in the "Tampa Bay Times." Originally breaking out years ago as a 16-year-old prodigy, Zai has since auditioned for "American Idol," "The Voice," "America's Got Talent," and appeared on an episode of MTV's "Copycat." Zai continues to maintain a loyal following of "Zaimbies" who routinely follow both her numerous live performances and studio pieces. "Stranger Than Fiction" contains soaring, melodic vocals overlaid upon richly layered electronic tones and beats, and will be available through iTunes and Spotify.
"This is me – my life, my struggle – laid out in song," said Zai. "My fans will understand immediately; but what I've achieved, despite the enormous obstacles, is something I want to now share with the rest of the world. Some struggles are physical, and some are just deep and intangible – personal psychological wars. It's difficult for many people to articulate how they make it, day after day, dealing with both physical and mental ordeals. But I've been through both. And my music is a literal voice for those who totally understand this dual challenge. I hope it gives others just as much strength as they need, to get through each day. You are not alone."
Zai: A Life That Is "Stranger Than Fiction"
Although still young and vibrant, Zai's life and career has already been marked by more heart-break than many twice her age. Every goal she has achieved came at a steep cost; milestones reached despite blood, tears, bruises, and multiple trips to the hospital. Suffering from a rare and mysterious illness – psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (P.N.E.S.) – Zai's singing is often an attempt to wrestle with an invisible enemy. She can be completely fine one moment, and then blacked-out, seizing, and fighting for her life the next. The condition of P.N.E.S. is not well understood, with less than 1 in 20,000 Americans diagnosed yearly. The seizures are psychologically created, rather than physiological, though the condition is just as devastating.
The daughter of a beauty queen, Zai was originally named Vonabell, which loosely means "from a family of beauty." Homeschooled by her mother, Zai excelled, eventually earning an Associate's Degree by the time she was only 17. An entertainer at heart, Zai eschewed more down-to-earth careers to pursue her dreams of becoming an entertainer. Her mother supported her career interests, enrolling her in singing lessons and introducing Zai to a celebrity lifestyle.
Zai went on to audition for "American Idol" in 2010, and again in 2017, making it all the way to the celebrity-judge panel both times, before being told to "develop her talent further," and to work on her psychological condition. She was just 16 the first time she was turned down. Zai's career is marked by such heart-breaking near-misses at the fame she has worked so hard to secure. And Zai's condition is quite brutal, sending her into thousands of seizures both large and small over the years; she has sometimes endured dozens of seizures in just one day.
Despite the overarching challenge, Zai has since become a mother, fighting through incredible psychological and physiological odds to do so. She is now just as equally devoted to being a mother to her son as she is continuing to pursue her musical art. Zai has left the traditional musical rat-race behind, choosing instead to plot a course that is far steadier and within her control. "Stranger Than Fiction" is a lyric telling of Zai's challenges and journey, marking the return to the world stage by a persistent, ever-shining talent.