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"We do not need a nice Minister of Culture but one who will become a table for the artists" - Walla! culture


He knows two people who almost committed suicide because of the economic crisis ("They were taken down from the gallows"), does not think Omar Adam sings Mizrahi ("And Eyal Golan imitates me"), is proud of his wife who complained about Zohar Argov ("A woman does not want") and happy from the cover to "It Happens" with Rebecca Zohar. Yishai Levy speaks in a special interview

  • culture

  • Music

  • Israeli music

"We do not need a nice culture minister but one who will turn a table for the artists"

He knows two people who almost committed suicide because of the economic crisis ("They were taken down from the gallows"), does not think Omar Adam sings Mizrahi ("And Eyal Golan imitates me"), is proud of his wife who complained about Zohar Argov ("A woman does not want") and happy from the cover to "It Happens" with Rebecca Zohar.

Yishai Levy speaks in a special interview


  • Yishai Levi

  • Corona

  • Trooper Corps

  • Moshe Peretz

  • Omer Adam

Sagi Ben Nun

Tuesday, 27 October 2020, 09:12

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Rivka Zohar and Vichy Levy in a cover version of the song "It Happens", written and composed by Shmulik Krauss and originally performed by Arik Lavi.

From the "Order of the Hour" project (still photography: Orit Pnini)

At the beginning of 2005, the singer Yishai Levy had a serious car accident, which resulted in a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), of which only a few people know.

"I did not manage to cross the traffic light, a car came and hit me," he recalls in an interview with Walla!


"It's the power of God, how he left me alive is unbelievable. My lung exploded. I broke a leg. Almost half of me walked."

Even after the accident and lung disease you sing amazingly.

How did you continue to sing and function despite the difficulties?

"My voice today is even more beautiful than it was in the 1980s. I have a rough sound but it's an amazing roughness, I'm sick of that roughness. Even after the accident I kept singing, recording, I released 'Romantic Dance' and 'Clouds', songs I had for years "First in a drawer. Today I live, I breathe, I kick. I do sports and weights like a normal person."

However, in the days of the Corona crisis, the 57-year-old Levy had heightened concerns about his lung disease.

"I'm in a risk group because of what happened to my lungs in the car accident. So I take care of myself. 'And you saved for your souls.' I was invited to perform in a Zappa and Keshet project and I was afraid to come because of the corona. I did not agree to come unless I was alone or just me and my son. God forbid I do not have a corona. I have COPD, it is air that is trapped in health, and Shlomi Shabbat also has it. Shlomi came out of the corona. Yehuda Barkan probably did not survive it because of his age. "How much he used to pardon me."

Be careful of yourself.

Yishai Levy (Photo: Reuven Castro)

Right today, a wonderful cover version of the classic "It Happens" was originally sung by Arik Lavie, and written and composed by Shmulik Krauss, this time as a duet between two Israeli legends - Levi and Rivka Zohar, in a musical arrangement and production by Yaakov Lamai.

The version is released as part of the second part of the "Order of the Hour" project, which includes 20 renewed performances of Israeli classics and contains some interesting collaborations.

The first part of the project was launched in the run-up to Rosh Hashanah and was a success with more than 5.5 million streaming views, songs that entered the playlists of the radio stations and good reviews.

Behind the project is the philanthropic foundation of Inbar and Marius Nacht to support Israeli culture in the days of the Corona crisis, and it has provided employment for more than 700 singers, musicians and production people from the music industry.

His production is signed by Tal Yaakobi and the artistic direction by Nitzan Zeira and Enav Ravitz-Bikovsky.

"At first we thought of another song by Arik Lavie, 'Autumn Song,'" Levy reveals.

"Producer Jacob Lamai told me I didn't have much to express in this song, and suggested 'It Happens.' The song came out so perfect, accurate, bingo. With all the modesty, all the covers I did - the audience thought it was my songs originally, like 'Melancholy' "And 'twenty-year-old love' who is identified with me. In general, the 'Order of the Hour' project is amazing and very helpful at a time when people have nothing to eat."

More on Walla!


"Received donations and tried to survive": the economic hardship that haunted Yehuda Barkan until his death

To the full article

"My voice is better than ever."

Yishai Levy (Photo: Pazit Oz)

This is the first duet you record with Rebecca Zohar.

What connected you?

"I connect with her like a glove. She sings with supreme grace. She says it was her dream to sing with me, and I tell her - no, it was my dream to sing with you. There is a connection because she is an artist in every way."

You both succeeded heroically. A lot of getting rid of drugs.

”We talked about knowing we were both there.

We know there are places we have been in use that we will not reach.

People you meet used, you do not meet them.

And things you did use - you do not.


You take care of yourself.

We know what needs to be done.

We are in a much higher, better, cleaner and happier place.

Cigarettes I have not smoked for ten years, do not drink alcohol, nothing, nothing, nothing.

Just chewing wine and drinking lots and lots of water.

I maintain my health today as I maintain my grandson.

Not everyone gets weaned.

Lots of people I used to be with are no longer with us.

It often leads to death or imprisonment.

And I won, my queen Iris won and my kids won.

Iris is a noble soul.

The way she kept telling me 'my loved one will not die from drugs, it will not happen' ".

A rare connection to Rebecca Zohar.

Yishai Levy (Photo: Sharon Revivo)

In the cover version of the song "It Happens" you sing "nothing is known, not a year, not a week".

This line is relevant to the great uncertainty of the Corona days.

"True. There has been no such crisis in the country. Yesterday I got up and said to Iris, 'Atonement, I think I'm depressed.' I'm looking for employment but the psyche wants to sing. I want to sing! No job. I can not put out some songs I recorded, I invested a lot of money in them "I put 30,000 shekels on each song, including musicians from Turkey, who will return it to me?"

Levy sighed for a moment.

"Because of the situation, two weeks ago, my friend's son committed suicide," he says.

"He went bankrupt, and hanged himself. And also works on a stage and a singer I know, who threatened to commit suicide. They literally took them off the rope. And helped them with money. It's starting to get close, not on us. Not everyone is Yishai Levy, not everyone has Iris who cares about Black Day. It is very difficult".

It is inconceivable that according to the plan published by the Ministry of Health two weeks ago, the culture should return almost at the end, in the seventh stage, after the houses of worship, restaurants, cafes, gyms, hotels, swimming pools and more.

"It's unbelievable. We were the first to leave the activity and the last to return. Those poor people waiting for compensation. I went to demonstrate, while other singers in real time fold their tails and run away. When they need them they do not come to Jerusalem to demonstrate. They only know how to reach clusters. B) To receive the check.

At whose expense?

At the expense of Yishai Levy who went to shout at the demonstrations.

I want my children to be good in the army.

I made an army and my children made an army.

I want them to be well, not to want to leave the country.

It worries me that it will be difficult for my children and all the people of Israel to make a living. "

More on Walla!


At Netanyahu's press conference, he focused on all the wrong things

To the full article

Yishai Levy at a demonstration on behalf of music industry workers affected by the Corona crisis at the Charles Clore Park in Tel Aviv (Photo: Reuven Castro)

Minister of Culture Hili Trooper received harsh criticism claiming that he did not lie on the fence for the sake of the artists in the days of the Corona, from leading artists who were interviewed by Walla!

Culture - Gila Almagor, Micha Sheetrit and Lior Ashkenazi, who went on to say: "Miri Regev would do more than the current minister does. There are things that cannot be taken away from her. She is a performer. I currently do not feel at all that there is a minister of culture."

"I also tell you this - if Miri Regev was the Minister of Culture today, she would take care of everything for us. When she was in this office, we were good, in every way, I tell you, Dogri. Miri Regev would take better care of Trooper troops for artists. She would "It's great. We don't need nice people, we need people to work for us. To go, to shout, to curse, to become. To take care of our artists."

The "Order of the Hour" project is accompanied by a call for the enactment of the "Israeli Music Law," which, among other things, will ensure the rights of musicians and anchor appropriate percentages of Hebrew music on the radio.

"I welcome that. It's time for the music law. We are not clowns. We do you good all these years. When you are sad you hear me, and when you are happy you hear it. So bring back the culture only in one of the last stages? Why murder the music?"

More on Walla!


"This is the worst government in the history of Israel. It is even worse than the government on Yom Kippur."

To the full article

Yishai Levy at the Cultural Industry Demonstration in Jerusalem, June 15, 2020 (Photo: Creative Commons)

Next week will mark the 25th anniversary of Rabin's assassination in Kings of Israel Square, at the end of the "Yes to Peace, No to Violence" government rally, in which you also appeared.

What was engraved in your memory from that traumatic evening?

"I sang 'Hello, Gaza.' Rabin told me, 'You sing what I say.' I remember the late Leah Rabin sitting with her back to me.

I even remember the fluctuations of the killer Yigal Amir.

I remembered him because of the dome.

And as I got off, they went up to sing 'Shir LaShalom', and I said let's run away, before everyone left and before they took Rabin out and closed all the streets to us.

I open the car door, get in, slam it shut, and then I hear the boom, boom, boom.

I said, what could it be?

Maybe fireworks?

I got home, and I hear a flash.

"Rabin was assassinated."

I'm in shock, I just got out of here!

Listen, it was a scary scene. "

A moment of severe violence of a different kind linked to the fate of Yishai Levy occurred in late 1987, when Zohar Argov tried to force himself on his girlfriend - and later Yishai's wife - Iris. Following the incident, she filed a complaint with the police and Argov was arrested. It all happened 30 years before the Mei Tu movement began, in the years when the treatment of sexual assault was much more forgiving than it is today. "I took her to the police, I blew it all up," Levy says.

If a woman does not want - then she does not want, period.

I grew up on the principles, like not being with a married woman, and if someone says no - then no. "

More on Walla!


Thousands at a rally in support of the music industry, Dikla: "Let the state pay artists a salary"

To the full article

Five months ago, Levy first became the grandfather of baby Rotem-Binyamin from his son, the singer Shir Levy, with whom Lishi had a charged relationship.

"It's amazing, first grandchild, with the help of the name I will have many more," says Levy.

"It flooded me emotionally, all the love I was unable to give to a song in his childhood - my grandson Rotem gets. The best thing I could do for a song in his childhood, is that he not be taken from me to a family he does not know, so I 'snatched' him (from welfare services - Q" B) and I took it to my parents.

I could not see him much because of the corona.

I see him from the road, through the glass of the car, I do not want to endanger anyone, I myself am at high risk of being infected.

We do not take a risk under any circumstances. "

Have you already held your first grandchild in your hands or was it not possible because of the corona?

" Yes, I was in the hospital, at the beginning of the corona.

I did not wait for anyone, I was escorted to Pegia, and I picked him up.

He has this sour smell in his body, it's amazing. "

Soon a new singer from the Levy family will release his first song - your son is happy, and it will be his duet with you called" You will get married ". He will join you, your brother Nati and your son Shir - you are all singers. The feeling?

"He was afraid to record with me.

He says, Dad I start singing at 1 and you're already at 100.

I told him, everything would be fine.

I'm not giving up on him.

Because I take this profession seriously. "

Takes the profession seriously.

Yishai Levy (Photo: Reuven Castro)

You're a huge singer.

You made Mediterranean music, touched Brock, recorded covers of Israeli songs.

What other musical dreams do you have?

"I do not know how to plan. Look, Hagai Ozen wrote me two songs, in Hebrew and Arabic, and it's amazing, they did not do such things in the country. If you hear them you will shudder. What the next thing I do not know. I can go crazy and sing suddenly in English and French. Learn guitar. "

Another line from "It Happens" that you renewed - "It happens that the road is shortened".

Is there a fear of the end of the road, of death?

"No, I'm not afraid. Whenever he wants to call me - I come. I have something to come with. Except for a tractor - everything has happened to me in life. Thank God, I love the Creator of the world. I am a believing person. I pray in my most difficult days, I try Keep the Sabbath and do good things. "

More on Walla!


After years of anticipation, it happens: a joint song by Yishai and Shir Levy

To the full article

"It's not Oriental."

Omar Adam and Eden Ben Zaken (Photo: Gadi Sierra)

I learned that you auditioned as a judge of musical reality.

Why did it not work?

"Iris told me 'go, go.' So I went to the audition. Rita was next to me. People came. Listen, my brother, where are they and where to sing ?! Someone said 'hello, I'm studying law,' and then sang. I told him, listen, My name is Yishai Levy, and I prefer you as a lawyer and not as a singer. They saw my answer, said 'wow, he will not transfer us anyone'. And they were right - I would not transfer anyone. Not out of malice, but out of respect for this profession. Do you know who else has such awe for the profession? Ofer Levy. He is very meticulous in his singing. Although I told him to stay with Hayat and Ain, he is a thinker like Alef.

What upsets you in the music industry?

"Other people don't take the profession seriously. The music in the country is not tuned correctly. A singer puts out a first disc and already wants a Mercedes. The pose is the worst thing. And the next day when you don't have it, what will you do? Accumulate, accumulate, buy a house, and then drive a Mercedes."

More on Walla!


Shoshik Shani: "I do not miss Eric"

To the full article

"We do not need a nice culture minister but one who will become a table for the artists."

Minister of Culture Hili Trooper and former Minister of Culture Miri Regev (Photo: Miri Shimonovitz, GPO)

In an interview at the ulpan last Friday with Bnei Peretz, who was Eyal Golan's business partner and personal manager, he claimed, among other things, that Golan spent NIS 1.2 million a month.

In another interview by the Marciano Foundation about a year and a half ago with Moshe Peretz, referring to the intention to limit the amount that artists are allowed to pay on Independence Day to 70,000, he said that for that amount he prefers to stay home and have a barbecue with the family.

"It is stupid of Moshe to say such a thing. People earn NIS 5-6 thousand, and to say such a sentence? You make a living thanks to these people. I would not say that. I do not know what my bank account number is. Iris puts my salaries in, I "I do not know what a bank is, I do not know what it is to pay for electricity. Today I went out for photos, she put a hundred shekels in my pocket, if I need water or something. I do not need anything, I take a bottle from home. And I also do nothing to make money."

You told me in the past, "Eyal Golan imitates me."

"Obviously, do not hear it? By the way, Eyal above all possible stage said Shishi Levy for him is number one and not glamorous. I made a disc with Yishai Ben Tzur, called 'Zirat Chai', and at the same time Ben Tzur did with Eyal Golan 'Tzai El "The window. I chose the materials there. Ben-Zur asked me for help. He played the songs for me, and I remember as if it were this morning, that I told him that the song 'Without You' was a thousand times more beautiful than 'Get Out the Window'."

More on Walla!


Doron Talmon: "There is a crazy sexual desire in Israeli culture"

To the full article

Yishai Levy and his wife and his manager Iris (Photo: courtesy of those photographed)

What do you think about singers and pop hits today, like Neta Barzilai's "Coco" or Omar Adam and Eden Ben Zaken's "Kokoriko"?

In your case, the kokoriko only comes from the chickens you raise, but in music you give great respect to the words.

"I'll tell you more than that - the song 'Ambulance' (by Noa Kirl and Margie - SB), I would never do that.

And all this 'kokoriko' is not oriental music, it does not even come close to oriental.

This is nonsense in tomato juice.

Oriental music should be respected, even though it is street music.

I started my career on Shabazi Street, we sang for 4-5 hours without stopping. "

So Omar Adam is not oriental music in your eyes?

" What is suddenly oriental.

They call it pop.

I do not know what is pop.

I know what oriental music is, in 'Little Girl', 'Wife', 'Dancing'.

This is the music I make and I choose it carefully.

I really like my profession.

Do you know that I left my parents' house at the age of 13 because of this profession?

Because my dad did not want me to be a singer.

It was hard for Dad not to support.

But he grabbed a backpack on his back, and left the house.

I said, I will be a singer, nothing will help, I will be a singer!

And the rest is history. "

More on Walla!


Although the collection of innovations "Order of the Hour" was born out of contemporary distress, some of his songs will remain with us forever

To the full article

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Source: walla

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