Broza (Director: Dobi Klein, Voiceover: Ilan Levy, Stills: Reuven Castro, Lighting: Yossi Adiges, Editing: Jordana Aboudi-Fox, Production: Hagit Barak)
If there's one thing musician David Broza has learned throughout his 45-year career, it's that expressing an opinion doesn't jeopardize careers.
"There is one thing that an audience knows how to appreciate - truth. An artist should tell his truth however he wants. Not to insult the other but to be heard saying it. As soon as an artist insults the other, he makes the listener shut up and not hear what he has to say. Expression An opinion does not endanger anyone's career."
So why don't many artists speak?
"They are afraid," he says this week in a conversation on Walla's 'Culture Committee' podcast!
"They put fear into them. When Yonatan Gefen brought me 40 years ago to the 'There is a border' demonstrations, where we called for an end to the Lebanon war, my promoter at the time, Yehuda Tallit, warned me: 'You are jeopardizing our success and we will not sell tickets.' I told him, 'Listen, This is my truth. I can't ignore what's happening here.' And it didn't really bother me.
The audience came to my shows to enjoy themselves and they knew that I did not despise their opinions.
I don't agree with some of them, but I never despise them."
If you were called today to come perform at a demonstration, would you come or would you make calculations for your career?
"I don't do any calculations. I also don't use my platforms for political statements. On my platforms you will only see my art. I think people love me not because of my opinions but because of my music."
Up here you can watch the podcast, and down here you can listen to it
Listen here to the podcast - the full interview with David Broza:
Baroza, who is in the middle of a concert tour to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of the masterpiece album "The Woman With Me" (he will appear on March 15 at Zappa Haifa, on March 17 at Zappa Tel Aviv and on March 23 at Gray Yehud), talks in the podcast about the tremendous success of the album , about the trip to Spain where he will perform twice, about the concern about the political situation in Israel, about the protest that Shlomi Shaben made at his performance, about the songs of Noa Kirel and Anna Zak, about falling in love at an old age with his second wife Neely Lotan and the serious accident after 25 years that almost ended his career.
Here are the highlights of the conversation.
You can hear the whole thing above or watch it.
On the secret of the success of "The Woman With Me":
"It's a lot of things that came together. The star system stood above us and applauded. First of all, the songs are great. Second, Yonatan Gefen who received literal translations from me and translated these great songs from Spanish to Hebrew. And third, and this is something Yonatan told me and he was right: 'In a country that knows So many wars and hardships, this album came out at such a time full of blessings and passion'. It enters a vacuum inside everyone's heart and soul. There is no other explanation for it. These songs still work today and that's what brought me, 40 years later, to record it in Spanish only Me and the guitar. It closed the circle for me somewhere. I want to share with my audience the story of this album."
When you were working on the album, did you realize it was something big or only in retrospect?
"I didn't understand. The only one who recognized it in real time was Loui Lahav, the music producer of the album. The one who brought him to me for the project when I really didn't want to work with him at the time was my wife at the time Ruthie. She deserves her breath. She did it behind my back and confronted me with a fact. You have to understand: I never dreamed of being a singer. It's not something I grew up with. I didn't stand on stages in schools and clubs like Aviv Gefen or Alon Adar, for whom being musical is part of who they are. I was very shy, I even drew It's not that I didn't play, but to stand on stage and play and become a professional singer, not to mention becoming some kind of chansoner - that's the last thing I thought I'd do."
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"A lot of things came together."
David Broza (Photo: Reuven Castro)
On the musical journey to Spain with his audience:
"My dream was to take my audience to the places around which the songs of 'The Woman With Me' were written. We took off from Tel Aviv and landed in Seville.
From there we will continue to the hall on the banks of the river and I will sing them 'The River of Seville'.
I will sing the album there from start to finish in Hebrew.
In this tour there will be performances, stories, songs, meetings, we will talk about flamenco and food, from there we will continue to Córdoba and finish in Granada.
There I will do a performance of 'The Woman I'm With' with local artists in a flamenco tone.
No artist has done it in the world, to take his audience with him into the realm of his inspiration.
They will not only experience me, but Spain.
It will be between March 25 and 30."
On the concern about the situation in Israel:
"I was also upset about what happened 40 years ago, I was upset about what happened 20 years ago, I was upset ten years ago and I'm still upset today. I think the situation became more extreme only because it wasn't stopped along the way. Socially, the corrections weren't made, maybe because It's possible. Maybe because this is a very young country. Everyone who led this country made acute mistakes. Now we have to keep a tight grip on the steering wheel, fasten our seat belts and prevent us from deteriorating. I don't think we will deteriorate. We need to say 'Khalas, enough'."
Who will tell them that?
"Yes. This one nation that serves together in the army. Without difference - rich, poor, Ashkenazim, Mizrahi, Arabs, Jews, Circassians and Druze. They all go through the same route."
But there is no one here.
There is a very divided people here.
"True, the people are polarized because there is no leadership that calms down, because the ideology has eroded. We are moving from a serious teacher and we need to restart."
"We don't know where it's leading. We're trying to stop this process that is unexplained and incomprehensible. It's understandable to those who lead this conspiracy. My job is to go on a tour of 'The Woman With Me' from north to south like I did in 82. The job Mine is to be the singer and sing and give the audience a two-hour respite from their worries. This does not mean that I stop worrying about the future of the country. Listen, the only thing we have to balance the politicians' decisions is the High Court.
If we don't have it, then who will be the man in charge?
They serve the people, not themselves.
Politics is not a game, but many of them think it is a game."
You were never afraid to speak your mind and you were not afraid of being politically identified. Today is it more difficult to be a politically identified artist than before?
"I have never felt myself part of 'what others say'. I am against boycotts, for example. When I am offered to perform in the settlements, I have only one condition - no censorship. Don't tell me what to sing and what not. This is my stage, I come to give God Time, and when they come to tell me, 'But don't sing 'Yehya Tov,' I say, 'Don't interfere with my art.'"
And when you get to the line "just get out of the territories"?
"800 people scream it with their hands up. In those moments they are freed from everything, they are inside the song and they believe every word. Just like in morning and evening prayer. I give these songs the same importance as the worshiper gives to his prayer."
Were there moments in your career when you came under excessive fire for your opinions?
"I don't think this happened in Israel. They tried many times to disrupt my concerts abroad.
I get their opinion and then I tell them
Isn't it a shame to shout in the middle of a show?
I agree with you that we need to talk about it and let's do it in the bar after the show.'
I strongly believe in dialogue."
"800 people are screaming".
David Broza (Photo: Reuven Castro)
On the protest that Shlomi Shaban made at his show:
"Shlomi Shaban is taking his step as a symbol of the fight against politics. He does it a little more blatantly, he takes a little risk because he brings politics into his show. Shaban is not a singer who sings too many political songs. Aviv Gefen , Niha. Everyone uses the tools they have and an artist is an artist. I don't want to use my stage to bring any political message because I'm not going to lead this movement like Yair Lapid. Lapid took it to the end, I didn't. I'm interested in conveying the artist's message. It may be that this period will produce material that will reflect what I and my friends are going through."
On the pop songs of Noa Kirel, Anna Zak, etc.:
"These great pop songs - by Noa Kirel, Omar Adam, Static and Ben El - even if you don't like them, they penetrate you."
Do you yourself hear Noa Kirel?
"Sure. Both on the radio and searching on YouTube. I want to know what people are so excited about. Then I go and compose a song and it's possible that somehow some nuance of Cyril infiltrates my song."
So is it possible that David Broza was influenced by Panther?
"Obviously. Everything affects us. It is part of the map of the culture we live and cannot be ignored."
On maturing in the profession:
"I was lucky enough to take the long way. I had a very quick success, at the age of 23-24. I wasn't ready for it. Because I didn't grow up with this dream of becoming a musician. When I looked at myself then in the mirror, I saw the truth. I said to myself, 'Come on, you didn't do anything for to accept all of this.' To feel that I have reached this, I worked hard for it. I am 67 years old, behind me 45 years of career, I have never had better as an artist than now. Maybe it is not expressed in the sales of thousands of tickets for each and every show, but it really does not interest me. Today I Presents the songs better than ever."
"Maybe Noa Kirel is infiltrating the song."
David Broza (Photo: Reuven Castro)
"Full of admiration for Neely."
David Broza (Photo: Reuven Castro)
On the divorce from his wife Ruthie after 30 years of marriage and the relationship with Neely Lotan, his second wife:
"Me and Ruthie got married in two days and we lived together for 30 years. We had a wonderful life, but things slowly turned upside down. It was hard, and it's still a hard thing to deal with. We have three children. My acquaintance with Neely Lotan revealed to me a more mature love, and today it is a gift. It gives me the freedom to be who I am, to love in a mature way. We decided to live in New York, when I come to Israel about once a month. This is a decision we made because Neely She is a very well-known and successful designer and her business is there. I must admit that with all the cost involved, I am happy that I am healthy and strong enough to enjoy a stable and developing love. Neely is an inspiration to me. I am full of admiration and love for her."
On the serious accident that almost ended his career:
"I didn't even think for a single moment that my career was over. Yehuda Ader visited me a few hours after the accident. I was in serious condition, connected to devices, all the ribs were broken, my head was open, my hand was paralyzed. I forced myself to get out of bed with excruciating pain. I walked Step by step, and I talked to him about the next album. I mean, I didn't even think that something terrible had happened."
Even a few months later?
"A possibility came up to operate on my hand. My doctor, Dr. Krab, said the nerve would grow itself but it would take 355 days.
A millimeter a day.
I waited 355 days and you won't believe it.
On the 355th day I was in Spain.
I felt some kind of jump in my hand.
I called Shuki Weiss, who I was working with at the time.
I told him 'Shoki, the hand is moving.
In a month you will close Masada for me.'
We closed Masada and did the huge show in 1999.
Despair never attacked me and the truth is that I feel that since then my singing has improved big time.
However, I never went back to playing the way I played."
Watch the full podcast - and at the end a special and exclusive performance of "Balibach" in Spanish