Electronic producer and singer Noga Erez is already causing a stir with her danceable, politicised pop. Prior to her appearance at Convergence's Opening Party, Yasmin Leung gained some insight into her work and inspirations. Erez's much anticipated debut record, Off The Radar, is due 2 June via City Slang.
You say that the electronic music scene in Tel Aviv is being dominated by women, which (sadly) is in stark contrast to that of the UK and US. Why do you think this is?
I had mentioned in a previous interview that it seemed to be the case for electronic singer-songwriters. They seem to be very dominant in the scene here and play the big slots on festivals etc... But, with that being said, I don't think our entire electronic music scene is dominated by women. I wish I could say that was true, but I don't think there's really much difference between Tel Aviv and the rest of the world.
How does living and working in Tel Aviv inform your music?
Tel Aviv is a place of inspiration. It's full of culture and music, there's always something cool going on, always something to watch or listen to. Tel Aviv is also a very small city. So small, it’s hard to miss anything that's happening in the scene. It creates an atmosphere of doing, it always keeps you going, challenging you, pushing you to do more in order to be better in what you do and be part in this vibrant vibe.
You’ve previously referred to your music as being a method for you to “process”, not “protest”. Is this element of healing integral to your work?
Music has always been my escape. I used to listen to music when I wanted to stop my brain from thinking. I don't believe I'm any different from any other person who considers music a dominant force in their life. Naturally, as music became the biggest thing for me, it took on additional roles other than 'just’ escapism. I started taking the message sent to me through artists that I liked very seriously, and got kind of analytical about it. So, at some point, that reflected the way I make music. It's not always a healing element, but it's a way of confronting my reality and being in a dialogue with my thoughts.
Your single Pity gnawed on a difficult topic [provoked by a court case concerning a very public sexual assault]. Do you feel that music should challenge its listener?
Music should be whatever the listener's looking for. I strongly believe in music as something that makes life lighter because our world is so intense to begin with. So, it's great to know it’s possible to just be entertained from time to time. But, if music could also challenge a listener who's looking to be challenged or ideally challenge a listener not looking to be challenged, that's a true power. Being able to make people think and entertain at the same time, and have people choose whatever they want to take away from it, that's even more powerful.
Convergence aims to elevate artists who use technology to enhance their work, how do you use technology in making and performing music?
My music is 99% computer based. Which means, that the whole process of the music making is created with the help of different technologies. Technology has helped me to expend my boundaries in so many different ways. Our show is also completely computer-based. That’s the most amazing part. We play it almost completely live, so it works as an extension of our skills as performers, and not as a replacement.
From the rest of the Convergence 2017 line-up, who would you most like to see?
I really want to watch Austra perform live. I think she is great, so intriguing, and she has an interesting and smart message. The visual aspect of her persona is also interesting and I can't wait to see how it comes across live. I’m also interested to check out Rival Consoles who is playing the same night as we are at Village Underground.