Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Singer and Composer, Naftali Kalfa

Shalom Life speaks with Kalfa about his new double album

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: May 29th, 2014 in Culture » Music » News

Toronto-born Naftali Kalfa has music in his blood. As the proud eldest of 11 siblings, Kalfa began performing in synagogues and community events at a very young age.

His latest project is nearly two years in the making, featuring some of the most established and well-known names in the Jewish music industry. Incorporating both Hebrew and English, ‘The Naftali Kalfa Project’ double album sees traditional Jewish verses combined with original lyrics.

‘The Naftali Kalfa Project’ includes 28 original songs and features original and artistic collaborations with Shlomo Katz, Yossi Piamenta, Yehuda Glantz, Gad Elbaz, Yosef Chaim Shwekey, Lenny Solomon, Benny Elbaz, Yehuda Solomon, Shyne and many others.

The double album is currently available at Kalfa’s official website and iTunes.

Shalom Life had a chance to sit down with Halfa to discuss his latest project, his family, and his love for Toronto and Israel.


ASHLEY BAYLEN (AB): The Naftali Kalfa Project took almost two years to complete. What was the process like and what were some obstacles that you faced during this time?

NAFTALI KALFA (NK): With the help of a great producer, Amit Golan, from “Supersonic Studios Jerusalem” and together with some wonderful musicians and singers we were able to put out this album. Some of the songs were recorded in one or two studio sessions, others took a bit longer to produce and record. The hardest part was figuring out when to say, that’s it, we’re finished… there were so many more songs that I wanted to include.

AB: The inspiration for your album The Naftali Kalfa Project appears to be mostly rooted in Jewish psalms and prayers. Why did you choose to incorporate this aspect of Jewish culture in your music?

NK: For me, when I sing or compose, I connect to prayer and psalms. It is what moves and touches me and is a big part of who I am. It was a natural connection for me to draw musical inspiration from that.

AB: Throughout the creation process of The Naftali Kalfa Project you collaborated with many different artists. Did you learn anything new during your collaborations?

NK: Absolutely, I learned from every person involved. There is so much one can learn about music and style and composition. It also helps when you are learning from extremely talented people, which I had the pleasure of doing during this process.

Read the second half of our exclusive interview with Naftali Kalfa on page 2!

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