Jewish Journal


March 7, 2008

French Israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naim infuses Apple Computers with ‘New Soul’


Generating buzz for pop music was once the territory of MTV and radio, but television advertisements are quickly becoming musical tastemakers, and there is no hipper marketer on this front than Apple. No wonder, then, that Yael Naim's song, "New Soul," featured in the ubiquitous MacBook Air commercial, has garnered the French Israeli singer a nearly instant burst of popularity.

The is song is currently No. 1 on iTunes charts; the album, which is also titled, "New Soul," which includes songs in English, French and Hebrew, ranks sixth. As of the date this article was written, Naim has sold 18,307 digital albums at iTunes.

Naim, who will perform at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles on March 12, is doing equally well in a number of European countries, including her current home, France. While her sound is somewhat familiar to fans of chanteuses like Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor, the presence of Hebrew is not. Naim's album is likely to provide the first bit of the language to millions of iPods across the country.

The singer was born in Paris in 1978, but she spent her childhood in Ramat Hasharon, a small town near Tel Aviv. Apart from her two years in the Israeli military, she has been playing and performing since she was a girl.

In 2001, Naim took a stab at a working with major label EMI, but, according to her Web site, by the end of the recording process, she felt as though the large-scale production was a failure. After a few years of soul-searching and a fortuitous meeting with "new soul" producer David Donatien, Naim was ready to give it another try.

The duo spent two years working in Naim's Paris apartment, and eventually there, on a single computer, they recorded the album, which will be released March 18.

The Hotel Cafe is located at 1623 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles. For information visit www.hotelcafe.com.

Article reprinted with permission of The Forward.

The Mac 'Air' commercial

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