Ivri Lider

The full interview with the singer from The Young Professionals.

So you’re already well established in Israel as a solo artist, is The Young Professionals a chance to reinvent yourself?

You know what, I wasn’t looking to reinvent myself. I was looking to do something different. I’ve had a long career for many years as Ivri Lider and other albums I have released. I was just trying to make some new music with another musician, something fun that I’ll enjoy and will give you new ideas and new creative style and stuff like that. I hooked up with Johnny and we started writing music together and we thought this is fun, this is great, we’re having a good time. We feel that what we write is good and we want to continue. And then we thought ok, this project is a bit different and we want to invent something new, maybe a new band sort of thing. But now the band doesn’t have to be a drummer, a bass player and a keyboard player. It could be two musicians, a designer, a web designer, video art guy and a manager. It can be all the beautiful things that music is today, not just about hearing it but about seeing it and feeling and maybe even wearing it. So that was the basic idea of what TYP is about.

What other jobs have you done apart from being a singer?

I’m also a producer for other people, I produce albums for other people, I wrote music for three films. I did theatre music, you know, it’s all around music of course, because that’s what I’ve been doing since I was five. I don’t know anything else that’s what I know. I thought I was going to be a basketball player when I was young, but at age 15 I decided it’s not going to happen and I’m going to stick with music.

You must be quite tall then…

Not that tall, about six foot. I was playing in a team and I was like point guard and I didn’t have to be that tall but it didn’t work. I guess I wasn’t good enough.

We only ask about your jobs because it sounds like the band name is quite tongue in cheek.

You know what we’re trying to say with it is, yeah, we’re all part of what they call the young professional world, like young people living in a western society taking their jobs seriously, but also to go to the office, what we call our office, maybe our studio, also understanding at the same time that it’s kind of stupid and it’s maybe not the right way to live and understanding all the problems that’s in this way of living. So it’s loving it and hating it at the same time. It’s wanting to be part of it, but at the same time, it’s like wearing a black and white suit but with red socks. Like in the video all the pictures we always try to take professionally(?) but not that seriously, so there’s always a joke, there’s always humour, always the wit, you know. It’s like that, but it’s not.

What made you decide to use the D.I.S.C.O. sample?

It was funny, we were sitting having dinner in Tel Aviv with one of my best friends, he’s Israeli, and another good friend from France and we were just talking about music, about many things and we got to talk about French music and we got to talk about 80s French music and I grew up in the 80s and that guy from France grew up in the 80s and we just talked about French music and I said “I loved Ottawan as a kid, I love their albums”. I was listening to it all the time and we had a laugh and then I went to my car, I started driving, then I said “Fuck, D.I.S.C.O. let’s do something with it.” so I called Johnny and I said Johnny I’ll show you this, because Johnny’s really young, he’s 20, so the whole 80s he doesn’t know a lot about it. I teach him all the time about dance from the 80s and stuff and he loved it. You know, like Kraftwerk and Yazoo or Eurythmics and all that stuff. So I called him and I go “Go to youtube and look up this and that and check it out” and by the time I was home he already did that and sampled it from youtube and already started working on something. It was just a coincidence, talking about it, then realising it could be really cool to sample Ottawan because I’m such a big fan and I think they’re really cool. And then we send it to them because we have to get their approval. So we were worried that maybe they won’t like it or something. I send it over and they say ‘yeah we love it, you can do it, you can do whatever you want’. That was a good story.

Someone told us someone from Daft Punk’s dad wrote that song...

Yeah, that’s what I know and I think one of the Ottawan guys is the father of one of the Daft Punk Guys. Which is really nice.

Since Johnny is so young, do you ever feel like the daddy of the band?

[Laughs] No, not at all. We have all different ages. But Johnny the other musician, the guy I’m making the music with, he’s 20. And it’s funny because what I grew up on, he doesn’t know, so I’m teaching him a bit about that part of music. But he teaches me, as well, other stuff and new stuff and he came from, he did a lot of hip hop in his teens.

How important was it to have (semi drag act) Uriel Yekutiel in the (amazing) video for D.I.S.C.O?

I think it really helps the video I think it’s really cool that he agreed to do it and we had a great time with him. He’s a really cool young guy. We feel it gives the video this extra edge. You have dancers and one of them is Uriel which is exactly the twist I was talking about when I was talking about the TYP. I feel that Uriel in a way he’s not a drag queen or whatever, there’s something about him that is so so masculine and he’s not hiding it. He’s so much a very masculine man and also a woman at the same time. There’s something about it, I don’t know exactly how he does that, but maybe it’s just who he is. There’s something about him and I think when you see him in the video it gives me this feeling about him that he’s all those things in one. And that for me is why it’s very exciting and why it’s not the regular old video with a drag queen, you know what I mean? You get this thing in his character.

We’ve been hammering your songs on the player on your website, in particular Fuck Off Berlin. What did Berlin do to you?

[Laughs] It’s a love song. It’s really a love song to Berlin. It’s in a very good way and I’m not just saying that. I love Berlin, it’s one of my favourite cities in the world. And my boyfriend is German, he’s actually not from Berlin, but he’s German and I have a lot of German friends and I love Berlin. And it’s in a good way if you understand what I mean? Actually I got the idea in Berlin because I bought a shirt in a bar with the writing “Fuck off Berlin” on it and I thought that’s so cool that’s really a way to describe the vibe of Berlin maybe. It’s about love and passion and this very special Berlin feeling you feel there. So it’s a “Fuck off Berlin” in a good way.

It’s a loving fuck off.

Yeah, exactly.

When we listened to Deserve, a lot of the lyrics seem quite down on yourself. Do you have low self esteem?

Ah no, but I do sometimes feel this way. When you look at someone and you say “I’m not worthy, you’re too good” and that person is so amazing and sometimes I can be a bad person I can be an arsehole. I guess it was written in this moment. It’s not like I walk around feeling bad about myself and that I’m not a good person, but sometimes in a specific moment in time, I guess I felt this way and that is exactly this moment where I felt like that happened.

Have you met the goat you mentioned on twitter?

I haven’t met the goat but it was on the newspaper. They had pictures of a goat and it said there’s a new goat in the zoo and it’s called Ivri and it was really funny. I really enjoyed it. I think it’s really cool to have a goat named after me. I hope it doesn’t say anything about my voice though, not a reference to how I sing.

Get it in the next video.

Yeah, do you know what, that’s a good idea. If you see a goat in our video you should know it’s because of what you just said. I like this idea. We’re actually working on a new video, it’s got animals in it. They’re not goats but they’re animals, I can’t say which but we have animals in our video.

[Turns out it was DONKEYS]

TYP on iTunes.