Shalom Life | April 19, 2015

Shalom Life Interviews Idan Raichel

The Israeli musician talks about his upcoming projects in this exclusive interview

By: Ilan Mester

Published: October 24th, 2011 in Culture » Music » Interviews

Shalom Life Interviews Idan Raichel

It’s no secret that the Idan Raichel Project has become one of the most successful music acts to come out of Israel. It’s made Idan Raichel a triple platinum selling artist and allowed him to collaborate with singers and musicians from around the world.

But when the talented musician first pitched his idea to music executives, many of them had doubts about the project. “People couldn’t understand why I’m not the singer, but it’s the Idan Raichel Project and why it’s not a band because in every song you can find different lead singers, different musicians... So I think they were unsure of the platform of the project,” Raichel tells Shalom Life.

The 34 year old’s passion for music began with a very specific instrument. “I started playing the accordion, which is the non-coolest instrument ever,” he laughs. “I took the accordion from my grandfather’s house... I started playing Israeli folk music and music from all over the world. I think these are the roots for the music that I’m doing till today.”

The Idan Raichel Project fuses music styles from around the globe, so it’s no surprise that Raichel would like to continue to work with artists from different parts of the world. “I love people that represent the culture of their countries and they’re actually becoming the soundtrack of their countries,” he says.

One of the artists Raichel has worked with is Grammy Award-winning singer India.Arie, who started collaborating with him when she visited Israel.

“She came to visit me in my house,” he reveals. “At the time I thought I would be lucky that India.Arie would join the project and sing one song, but then we just kept writing more and more and more.”

The collaboration eventually turned into Open Door, Arie’s anticipated new album that’s slated to be released in 2012. The American singer has performed with Raichel a number of times since they met -- including a performance in Washington that counted President Barack Obama in attendance.

Raichel is constantly touring and says that he misses his family, his friends, the weather and the streets of Tel Aviv when he’s away from home. “I don’t even have a driver’s license,” he reveals. “I just ride a bicycle here on the streets in Tel Aviv.”

The Idan Raichel Project released a new album recently called Traveling Home. The album -- which is available exclusively on iTunes -- features more than 30 songs that were recorded live, for the most part.

Raichel also revealed that he’s been recording new music. “It’s going to be an interesting year,” he says.

For tour dates and to listen to music from the Idan Raichel Project, visit www.myspace.com/theidanraichelproject.

In celebration of the release of Idan Raichel's new album Traveling Home, we are giving away two copies of the album via iTunes. To register for the contest all you need to do is sign up for our free daily newsletter which features the top stories of the day.

To sign up for the newsletter just visit our home page and fill in your email in the "Subscribe to Newsletter" box on the right. If you're already a member then you're automatically entered into this contest and all future contests.

Netanyahu, Amy Schumer, Sarah Koenig and Others Make TIME's 100 Most Influential People Netanyahu, Amy Schumer, Sarah Koenig and Others Make TIME's 100 Most Influential People TrendingKim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Trip to Israel Cost Them $1 Million Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Trip to Israel Cost Them $1 Million TrendingGwyneth Paltrow Eating on $28 a Week Gwyneth Paltrow Eating on $28 a Week Trending
 

Netanyahu, Amy Schumer, Sarah Koenig and Others Make TIME's 100 Most Influential People

April 17, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Netanyahu, Amy Schumer, Sarah Koenig and Others Make TIME's 100 Most Influential People

Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Diane von Furstenberg, Kevin Hart, Lorne Michaels, and many more make the 12th annual list

Read More

Israeli Defense Firm Creates System to Detect Terror Tunnels

April 17, 2015 | By JNS.org
Israeli Defense Firm Creates System to Detect Terror Tunnels

Elbit Systems developed the new tunnel-detection system together with the Israeli Defense Ministry and other partners in Israel

Read More

Rabbis, Mental Health Professionals Holding Conference to Support Young LGBT Jews

April 17, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Rabbis, Mental Health Professionals Holding Conference to Support Young LGBT Jews

Conference to be held in Israel this Sunday will bring Orthodox rabbinical community, and the therapeutic community, together in support of LGBT teens

Read More

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Trip to Israel Cost Them $1 Million

April 17, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Trip to Israel Cost Them $1 Million

Mind you, they were only there for a couple days

Read More

Hamas to Gazans: Kidnap More Israelis

April 17, 2015 | By JNS.org
Hamas to Gazans: Kidnap More Israelis

"Our men, our women, our children [should] always think of kidnapping your soldiers and settlers, wherever they may be"

Read More

You Could Be The Next Goldstar Beer Taste Tester. Seriously.

April 17, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
You Could Be The Next Goldstar Beer Taste Tester. Seriously.

The company is need of a new chief beer tester, and is turning to the Israeli public for help

Read More

The Kosher Switch May Not Be So Kosher After All

April 17, 2015 | By Caitlin Marceau
The Kosher Switch May Not Be So Kosher After All

Marketed as a way to keep kosher during the Shabbat, many rabbinical sources fear the Kosher Switch may rely on a Jewish loophole to keep "kosher"

Read More

David Blatt Has NBA's Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

April 17, 2015 | By Bob Jacob/Cleveland Jewish News/JNS.org
David Blatt Has NBA's Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

"It's a great time to be in the city of Cleveland," says the Israeli Head Coach, whose team squares off against the Celtics on Sunday

Read More

More Headlines