Yuval Ben-Ami and his gang are going where no man or woman has gone before: They are trying to produce a bilingual, bi-national album based on the songs of pop prodigy Lorde. The only problem: The gang itself is homogenous to the core. An insurmountable challenge?
For the entire Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, click here.
A week after our Yemenite feast, I met with Yaron to start working out the details. “I have a title for the EP,” I told him, “I want it to be ‘העונה לתספורת קצרה,’ that’s ‘Buzzcut Season,’ the name of one of Lorde’s songs. I think it’s her best.”
Yaron was fine with that.
There was of course, the other thing. “I Think it should be named ‘Buzzcut Season’ in Arabic, too. I want it to be a co-production, Palestinian-Israeli. Anything that has to do with Lorde is out of control. The world may find this interesting, and if it does, I don’t want for it to be exclusively Hebrew, Jewish-Israeli. I’m over that.”
We were sitting at the cafe across from my house, in the largely residential heart of Tel Aviv. The environment here was even more homogeneous than in the Yemenite quarter. You never know what someone’s backgrounds is, but everyone at least appeared to be central Tel Aviv Ashkenazi.
Yaron, ever open minded, reacted just as fondly. “I have a contact for Mira Awad,” he said. “Maybe she’d like to get involved.”
It sounded too good to be true. Mira Awad is something of an actual star. A Palestinian citizen of Israel, she is known for her openness to collaborate with Jewish-Israeli musicians. She even represented Israel at the Eurovision song contest, alongside Hebrew songstress Ahinoam Nini, known internationally as “Noa.”
“So that’s great,” I said, “We have Mira Awad. Now all we need is someone to translate a few songs into Arabic for her.”
“We don’t have Mira Awad,” Yaron said, throwing cold water on my sudden confidence, “I have a contact for her. That’s all.”
This rang a bell. In a recent episode of “South Park,” the gang of cartoon misfits decides to throw a party to boost their popularity. One kid, Stan, tells his peers that a colleague of his father is Lorde’s uncle, so he could probably get Lorde to come and play at their party. From...Read More