Since Heeb Mag’s release is tomorrow night at NYC’s Bowery Electric, we figured we would share something from the Issue that they will be celebrating! This piece is written by our good friend Arye Dworkin. BUT, Before we get into that….Diwon just remixed her single, “New Soul for the club kids. Check it out (or download it free) HERE or listen to it now using the player below. “Yael Naim does in fact have a MacBook Air Notebook, and yes, it was free. Apple gave it to her because she recorded the perfect song to launch its revolutionary laptop. You know the commercial—it’s the one in which a jaunty piano introduces a fragile female voice with a slight accent singing about a new soul while an anonymous hand pulls the tech desirable from an interoffice envelope. The delicately petite, Israeli-raised singer is keenly aware of the attention that 30 seconds gave her and appreciates it greatly, but still wants to set the record straight: “Steve Jobs did not pick the song himself…. It says that on the Internet [on her Wikipedia entry] for some strange reason, but this is not the story.” Naim found out the true story of how “New Soul” was chosen by a computer super-company to accompany the unveiling of a sexy piece of aluminum when the song was, at the time, still unavailable as a domestic release. “It was a guy at the company who heard it on a radio station there. I don’t know how they found the song. But he came into work that day and said, ‘We have to use this song.'”

[audio:new_soul_diwon_remix.mp3]


Naim, along with her trusted collaborator David Donatien, has achieved a surreal kind of success, considering that nearly two-thirds of her album is in Hebrew. It’s also worth recognizing that an American major label (Atlantic) saw the self-titled debut as a sensible signing when, certainly, there is a handful of English-only coffee house sirens available locally. “David convinced me to sing in Hebrew,” Naim says about the impetus for the decision. “I was insecure about it, but he believed in my capacity to do the music without even understanding the language.”

“I saw the response of the people watching her sing,” Donatien explains. “And they reacted better to the songs in Hebrew. They felt more real. More sincere. This was her language and why not let her be herself?”

Donatien and Naim met when they both were asked to play for a mutual friend’s recording. “Her music was not that good,” Donatien says. The French session musician has been playing jazz professionally for over 15 years and he looks like it, with a frizzy ponytail and a goatee. “One day, we were improvising and Yael began to sing and I was impressed. I wanted to work with her.” The duo insists that despite Naim’s name on the album cover and the fact that she wrote the songs herself, their music is very much a partnership. “Yael Naim is not about me,” Naim says. “It is more like a project name. Yael Naim is me and David.”

Regardless of who’s in the recording studio with her, when Yael Naim performs live, the experience is all about the performance of the nearly 30-year-old singer, who can even turn Britney Spears’ “Toxic” into a transcendent experience. “I wanted to take something far from what I enjoy and make it mine,” Naim explains of the decision for recording the cover, which is also a live staple. “Britney Spears was far enough.” But the true highlight of her show is when she conducts the crowd to sing along with her in a four-part harmony with the composed confidence of a touring veteran. “I was a singer for the Israeli army for a few years. That’s where you learn how to handle any kind of audience.:”

Photo by Noah Kalina
Photographed at 92YTribeca
Text by Arye Dworken

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Shemspeed

Founded by Erez Safar, Shemspeed is an independent recording label & promotional agency devoted to producing and developing dynamic multi-cultural artists and interactive media.
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1 Comment

  • “It was a guy at the company who heard it on a radio station there. I don’t know how they found the song. But he came into work that day and said, ‘We have to use this song.’”

    He heard it on RadioNova the best sound coming out of Paris.

    http://www.novaplanet.com

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