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The multicultural voice of Yaël Naïm

The multicultural voice of Yaël Naïm

Between the English and Hebrew languages, singer Yaël Naïm writes subtle musical lines from one language to another. In her latest album "Older", she gives thought with sincerity on the renunciation and bereavements of adult age.

Music in the body

A Jew of Tunisian origin, Yaël Naïm was born in Paris in 1978, but she grew up in Israel, in the village of Ramat Hacharon. This is where she discovered her roots, traditional songs and trained in classical music by learning the piano. Thanks to her father's old records, she discovered jazz, blues and folk music. At 18, she wrote her own texts and created the band The Anti Collision.

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Between passion and compromise

Yaël Naïm is 21 when she settles in France. She is discovered by the label EMI and releases her first album, "In a man's womb", in 2001. It's a failure: for the Israeli artist, time for glory has not come yet. Comes a time when the singer tries to find her way.

Even though she (very) rarely supports the artistic environment of mainstream musicals, very popular in France at the time, her devouring desire to

continue in singing drives her to participate to two musicals: "The Ten Commandments", which musical score is designed by Pascal Obispo in 2004. This experience launches her on the road to fame.

"New Soul" and new life

By chance, she meets music player David Donatien. They become inseparable both onstage and in life. Together, they composed the hit song "New Soul " released in 2007: the light voice of Yaël Naïm and the compelling melody of her piano make the entire world dance. The song even ends up in an Apple commercial, a consecration.
Success may be difficult to bear. Polyglot and at the crossroad of several cultures, the singer is about to become an icon of the trendy and cool globalization that the brand with the apple represents. And the danger? To try to reproduce something that works, to the risk of losing yourself.

But Yaël Naïm knows how to remain true to her universe, as proves "She was a boy", her third album released in 2010. In contrast with "New Soul", she chose to sing exclusively in English. Thanks to the music and its sophisticated arrangements, the audience and critics are enthusiastic. The song "Come home" is chosen for a Nestlé commercial. This is an additional proof the capacity of singer to feel the current trends without giving up quality.

"Older": a more private album

After five years of silence, Yaël Naïm comes back with "Older". Composed with her life and work companion David Donatien, this four hands score is a moving introspection dealing with the joys and sadness that we go through before reaching the adult age.

Yaël Naïm goes through the whole range of feelings: "Make a Child" is an hymn to motherhood, "Meme Iren Song", that closes the album, is a blues song dedicated to her deceased grandmother. During a lullaby simply entitled "Ima" ("Mommy"), the singer reconnects with her mother tongue, Hebrew.

But it's with the song "Coward" that emotions climax: followed by a chorus bearing lyrical tones, she stubbornly asks herself "How did I become a coward?".   A way to confront with lucidity the challenge of holding together mainstream success and artistic imperatives. With "Older", Yaël Naïm won her bet.

Check out the dates of Yaël Naïm's tour