Cool new hits from Tel Aviv are about to invade France. You may have heard their cover of DISCO by Ottawan in recent weeks, it is the Israeli group The Young Professional. This electro duo, consisting of Ivri Lider, a charming thirty-ish openly gay man, considered one of Israel's most influential artists, and Johnny Goldstein, young prodigy in the Tel Aviv music scene, joined the big league by signing in Polydor / Universal (Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and most recently Madonna). We met on the occasion of their visit to Paris.
Louis Jolly : How did you meet and what made you want to form a band together?
Ivri Lider : Johnny Called me three years ago when I he was seventeen and he made an album as a producer with many different artists on it, and he wanted me to be one of them and sing on the album. I couldn’t really do it because I was busy with my album, and going to the US for some show and things. After his album was realized, he called me again and told me we really needed to do things together. I said ok let’s try, send me something, and he sent me some beats, and I was like “woaaaww this is amazing, let’s try something!”. So we started working like that, we met only four times the first year, because he was living in Jerusalem, I was living in Tel Aviv, so we were both sitting in our studios, working over the internet, sending files back and forth all the time, it was really cool! And then I came over to his place, he made me some pasta (laughs) and we realized at a sudden point that, we were working together and had lots of songs, that we were doing something serious, not just playing around, and we had this idea of creating a band, but we wanted it to be different.
LJ : How would you describe yourselves to someone who would discover your album?
IL : We had the feeling we were a bit bored with the way things were in the music business, we wanted to say something different, do something different with the way we expressed ourselves not only with music. So instead of having a drummer, a bass player, a keyboard player and a singer, we wanted to have two musicians, a webdesigner, a graphic designer and a manager, and that was going to be the band, and use different channels of creation also use graphic art and social web communities and create stuff. We have an album but also an art magazine with photos and a special, very different website. We want people to be part of what we do, more then just listen to our music.
LJ : Which bands and artists would you consider as mentors, great influences?
IL : We have many influences, we come from different backgrounds, we are not at all the same age (laughs)
Johnny Goldstein : Yeah, I’m twenty-one!
IL : And I’m 37! So I teach alot to Johnny about music from the 80s, he was happy to discover lots of these things, like D.I.S.C.O. for example! I was driving my car, this song came on, and I was like, it would be so cool to use this sample in our work! I’m a big Ottawan fan, I listened to them as a kid! So I called Johnny, who didn’t know Ottawan of course, he grew up with Dr Dree (laughs) I’m more of a hip hop boy, which can be heard in some of our songs in the drums, some beats, with some background vocals. Our style is a very interesting combination of my influences, Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Pet Shop Boys, and his more recent ones, Justice, Britney Spears... etc!
LJ : You had a collaboration with Offer Nissim, was it just a remix or are some other projects coming up?
IL : I’ve been working with Offer for many years. When we started TYP we wanted to work with him because we love him, he is a great DJ, has a great sound, and he is very popular and represents a lot of values we share.
JG : We did some live shows with him, raves, he remixed D.I.S.C.O. and 20 Seconds and did a great job. Our collaboration with Offer will certainly grow bigger, because we enjoy working with him and because he makes such great things every time.
LJ : Is being from Tel Aviv significant for you as an artist, and how?
IL : Definitely, Tel Aviv is special in that sense, because it’s such a vibrant place, a bit hectic and crazy, people come from all over the world. We are both not only from Israel, my family is partly from Poland and Argentina. People are kind of a mix in Tel Aviv. This melting pot makes it interesting. People in Tel Aviv want to live fast, party hard, all night, all the time. We are very driven, we have something to prove to the world, and we like working hard. There is a feeling of urgency that explains most of the energy you feel there. My European friends always tell me “ Come on Irvi, you eat too fast, nobody is chasing you! (laughs). That urgency is good and bad sometimes, but for work I think it is really thrilling.
LJ : A few questions about your favorite places in the world : Please share your favorite spots in Tel-Aviv !
Favorite bar ?
IL : Lima Lima it’s a great straight (but gay friendly bar) with a special gay night on Mondays
JG : Shpagat is a new place, it’s straight friendly
Favorite restaurant ?
IL : Tapas bar Ahad Haam
Favorite hotel ?
IL : Montefiore hotel, with also a great restaurant
Favorite club ?
IL : Haoman 17, staight and gay, gay on Fridays, Offen plays there alot, big parties there!
Favorite shop ?
IL : Story, a chain of shops which gets clothes from brands all over the world,
LJ : Far from all classical touristic routes, which particular point of interest would you recommend to a tourist so that he can feel the true atmosphere of Tel-Aviv ?
JG : In the summer Hateder Bar is a cool alternative, underground spot, with a great terrace, a very cool place
LJ : In which other city/cities in the world do you feel like home and why ?
IL : I love Berlin, San Francisco, Sydney, which reminds me a lot of Tel Aviv, something about the vibe, the sea, the people there.
JG : Actually, it’s a cliché, but we really adore Paris, it’s mind blowing, beautiful, such gorgeous taste. We love it.
LJ : What are your favorite places in the world and why ?
Favorite hotel ?
IL : The most amazing place I’ve stayed in, it’s a work of art to me, is the Dylan Hotel in Amsterdam, I would go there just for the Hotel! The second one is the Standart Hotel in Miami, very cool, not too fancy but very nice.
Favorite bar ?
IL : Mecca in San Francisco, but I think it closed since, sadly.
Favorite restaurant ?
IL : In Jerusalem, an incredible experience is to have a meal at Mahane Yehuda market restaurant, it’s not fancy at all, not a nice surrounding, but the food is A-MA-ZING, with influence from many places, Europe, Middle Eastern. You need to book in advance.
JG : I loke Toto in Tel Aviv
Favorite club ?
IL : Well, we’re not great club guys, we go there to play mainly (laughs) Berghein in Berlin is an experience, you need to do it once in your life.
IL : Harvey Nicks in London, I love the Paul Smith shop in Covent Garden
JG : I love to shop with Ivri, he know the right places !
IL : That’s why everybody needs a gay friend ! (laughs)
Favorite beach ?
IL : Bondi Beach in Sydney, it’s unbelievabe, and this is where I first thought of TYP, during a show I made there, so TYP was born over there in a way ! (laughs). it’s so inspiring and nice.
JG : Beaches in Kopaniam in Thailand were amazing.
LJ : In which city did you find the most beautiful boys ?
IL : Germany (my boyfriend is from Berlin) Dennnmark, Copenhagen. Everybody says Tel Aviv by the way, people go there for that, I met my boyfriend in Tel Aviv!
LJ : What object do you always carry with you when you travel ?
JG : Labtop, iPhone
IL : Oscillium, very important for travelling
LJ : On a plane, isle or window seat ?
IL : Isle for me
JG : Window for me. We get on easily!
LJ : When is your next trip ? Where to ?
IL : I’m going to London
JG : I’m going back home, and we are both coming back here!
LJ : Your dream destination ?
IL : I want to go back to Tokyo, and Buenos Aeres, amazing places. I’d like to discover Iceland
JG : Me too! We’ll go together!
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