New Antithesis Music Video Is Out!
After a break of 10 years, it took a global pandemic to give me the headspace to record a brand new track.
2010 was a landmark year for me both personally and musically. Personally, I finally made aliyah. Musically, I realised a long-held dream of recording a music video. It was also the last time I wrote a song.
Over the years, I’ve learned how my creative process works. I find it very hard to sit down and decide that I’m going to write a song. Three things have to happen, in no fixed order. I need to be inspired by a beat – a song or instrumental that quickens my pulse and makes me want to move. I need to be fired up an issue or problem, or otherwise inspired by a thought that I want to write about. And I need to find the time to combine that beat and feeling and put pen to paper.
Although in the past decade I have sometimes found musical inspiration, or been fired up by a particular issue, they very rarely have come together. And when they have, I have not had the headspace to sit down and write anything. There were a couple of attempts but it just didn’t happen.
And that’s because the past decade has been intense. I’ve adjusted to living in a new country; my work life has been much busier and more hectic than previously, and I’ve started a family. There’s been a lot to think about.
It's not like I left the music behind - I've done plenty of gigging, most notably to around 20,000 people in Burma/Myanmar and on tour in South Africa. But I just haven't been in a place where I felt that creative spark.
With the arrival of the pandemic, my work as a tour guide collapsed overnight. My new sedentary lifestyle wasn’t doing me any good. I missed the physical movement of walking around Israel. So, I started doing late night walks of up to two hours with only my headphones for company. And I was able to listen to a lot more music.
Grime has been my genre of choice over the past few years. Invented in Britain, it’s a kind of fusion of UK garage and hip hop, over rough and ready beats and a fast BPM. I love the energy, the rawness, the Britishness of the sound. The weekly show I listened to would dedicate a good portion of each show to instrumental tracks. And one of them hooked me completely. I was inspired.
So, I had a tune. But what was I going to write about? Walking was a great time to think, and as I approached the 10-year anniversary of my aliyah to Israel, I reflected extensively on my time here. There was a nice symmetry, as it was 10 years earlier, in 2000, that I wrote and recorded my first tracks (on my home computer – they were awful in every way). So here we were in 2020, which itself has a connection to the idea of vision, and I was looking back on the past 20 years. As the memories flooded back, an idea was born.
Fortunately, this time, I had the head space. In fact, in the absence of guiding, I’d found work writing (something I’d been doing on and off for the past few years ). I think there was something about spending so much time thinking so intentionally about words, that helped take me to write the song.
And once it was written, it had to be recorded. Not so easy during a lockdown…but Itai at TLV1 (where I record my podcast, Kol Cambridge) was happy to help, and recorded and mixed the track, all while closely following corona safety protocol.
It was so exciting to get back in the studio and put something down. And once I had a recording, I really wanted to do a video again. It was so much fun the last time! In the 10 years since I crowdfunded Proud to Be a Zionist, the cost of putting a video together had been slashed. I secured funding and started looking for a videographer…but when I asked Yuval, a video editor colleague, if he knew anyone who could help, he suggested himself. It was a perfect partnership.
We had big plans, but our shooting days kept getting cancelled because of new corona restrictions. With so much uncertainty we had the idea of piecing together old footage, some of it never before released, which fit nicely with the theme of looking back on the past which is at the heart of the song. We spliced it together with the footage of the recording session. It's been really nostalgic digging through old videos (some going back nearly 20 years).
In the time between recording the song and putting the video together, I recorded Wiley the Racist (with extra thanks to Yuval for the recording and mixing – under a blanket as we couldn’t find a studio with the corona rules at that time). Clearly something had been sparked in me again. So, although that was released first (it was time critical), chronologically, it was written and recorded afterwards.
Let me know what you think of my first attempt at Grime, and the video – I love hearing from everyone. And a huge huge thanks to both Itai and Yuval who gave their time to support this project – I couldn’t have done it without you!