Born in British Columbia to a father from South Africa and a mother from the United Kingdom, Zaki spent her childhood as what she describes as a “citizen of the world”, living at different times in Canada, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and France. Her father, Zane Ibrahim, was a pioneering radio broadcaster in South Africa, who was one of the founders of the influential community radio station Bush Radio.
In 2006, Zaki became a popular draw in Toronto’s live music scene with her debut EP, Shö (Iqra in Orange). Garnering a substantial following, she released a second EP, Eclectica (Episodes in Purple), in 2008. Her live shows to support the EP included an appearance with Bedouin Soundclash at the 2008 MuchMusic Video Awards, and a show opening for Erykah Badu at Massey Hall. She garnered a Juno Award nomination for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year in 2009 for her single “Money”.
Her first full-length album, Every Opposite, was released in 2012. The album was named as a long-listed nominee for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize on June 13, 2013, and subsequently named to the short list on July 16, 2013.
Since 2013, Zaki has taken some time to have her first child while remaining an anchor to the Capetown music scene and collaborating with artists worldwide. She has recently made her way back to Canada to record her upcoming album to be released in the fall of 2016.