... their inspirations and songwriting.
AVIVA-Berlin: The songs of your album sound beautifully emotional. Where did you get the inspirations from for your lyrics and music?
Daniela: I guess I get my inspirations from life. I see "Love is" as a kind of a concept album. It is about relationship in general, not only about the relationship between two people. But it wasn┬┤t a decision from one song to another. It┬┤s more like picturing different aspects of relationship. Inspirations came from everywhere, from my relationship with my parents, my relationship with my husband. It┬┤s also about communication between all people.
AVIVA-Berlin: How did you come up with the idea to work together for "Love is"?
Ben: Well, Daniela wrote the songs in English and I decided to write the music for them. Before that Daniela had a career as a solo songwriter with songs in Hebrew in Israel and I┬┤m working as a sound engineer on different projects.
Daniela: We┬┤re in a relationship for ten years now. To work together is part of our life, it wasn┬┤t a decision.
AVIVA-Berlin: How did you organize working together?
Daniela: I wrote the songs and then we recorded it only instrumentally with piano and guitar. Then Ben took the songs away with him and wrapped them with his electronic music. So the choir is mine and the rest is him, you could say.
Ben: Yes, we seperate that. She comes with the lyrics and the melody lines and I wrap my music around them afterwards.
AVIVA-Berlin: You have been together as a pair for ten years and are now married. How did you first meet?
Daniela: I know his family very well and I grew up in the same place. Only about eight years ago Ben worked in a studio and I just started as a musician so it was very natural for me to approach him. But there wasn┬┤t one point that we met. It happened. We┬┤ve known each other like forever, really.
AVIVA-Berlin: Could you tell us about your other projects, Daniela?
Daniela: Basically I┬┤m writing songs, that┬┤s what I do. I worked at my Hebrew album mostly at home with my computer. We have a small studio at home. Afterwards Ben took on the collaboration and worked with the sound so that it became a professional album. And I invited some musicians to work with me. I released my first Hebrew album in Israel eight years ago. It got a lot of attention which was a very nice surprise for me. Right afterwards I went on tour with it in and around Israel for one year. And then we started with the English album. So we started working on it six years ago. During that time I worked on my other Hebrew albums as well. So we took our time to work with the English songs, developing them very slowly. After "Love is" was released I had already made plans for the release of my next Hebrew album.
AVIVA-Berlin: How are your experiences with singing and writing in Hebrew and in English? Does it require a different approach? Is it difficult to change?
Daniela: It was totally different. Both languages are very different in their pronouncing, their syllables and so on. Besides languages are carrying culture in them. For me I feel like vibrating in a different channel when I sing in Hebrew and when I sing in English. But I can┬┤t compare it and describe it in words. It┬┤s just totally different.
I find when I sing in English I miss the Hebrew singing and when I sing a lot in Hebrew I miss the English singing. Of course both have their qualities.
AVIVA-Berlin: Which are your topics on the Hebrew albums?
Daniela: The first album is mostly about myself, my thoughts about the world, my philosophy and my ways of looking at myself and the world and people. I think you can sense the first album is a very lonely album. It was created in my lonely room and I wrote mostly about myself as a lonely person. The next album is more about family, we call it the family album because it is about the connection between people, relationships among friends and families.
AVIVA-Berlin: Which other projects have you realized, Ben?
Ben: I was playing in a band for a while. After that I made an electronic album and now I┬┤m working on an ambient project with other Israelian artists. And as a sound engineer, I┬┤m working with all kind of artists.
AVIVA-Berlin: At the moment you both are living in Berlin?
Ben: Yes, we have been here for six months and will be here some more months before moving back to Tel Aviv.
AVIVA-Berlin: And do you like living in Berlin? Why did you decide to live here temporarily?
Ben: We were already here two years ago for a few days and we liked it a lot. So we decided that we will come here to promote our music in Europe when we have finished our English album.
Daniela: It was very natural to take the opportunity to go abroad with it after we published an album in English. With Hebrew music it would have been more difficult because the songs are functioning very much over the lyrics. Now we have the possibility to reach a foreign audience. We made during our time in Europe and especially in Germany very interesting experiences. At our performances we had sometimes a total different audience than in Israel.
AVIVA-Berlin: How do you see the music scene in Tel Aviv and Israel? Recently I spoke to Mary Ocher and she said the market there is rather small.
Daniela: Oh, Mary is much more alternative then me. I totally respect her, she does very cool stuff. Israel must be seen more in general here. The music scene is not that versatile.
Ben: It gets more, there are a lot of musicians.
Daniela: There are, but each genre, each niche is more for itself. So it is difficult to approach the audience. But in my case I write songs with which I could manage to reach a lot of different audiences. I feel very satisfied in that matter.
But it is beautiful to see that in Berlin and in Europe things which are less commercial can survive longer because of the larger scene and a bigger audience which pays attention for more independent music. In Israel the scene for very alternative artists is too small. In Berlin and other European cities they can get more recognition.
Ben: There is a really alternative scene in Tel Aviv but it┬┤s only about 200 people.
Daniela: It goes together with the social situation in Israel which requires that people have to work very hard once they want to become a musician. Usually they have to work in a day job and try to do their music in between, at night and at the weekends. You can┬┤t survive for a long time as a musician under these conditions.
Ben: And there are less possibilities to give concert than an artist living in Berlin has. In Israel you can perform only in Tel Aviv. From Berlin one can go easier on an European tour or just to play in other cities like Hamburg.
Daniela: But still I want to emphasize that the scene in Tel Aviv is very vivid and there are many great and courageous musicians. And the audience loves music. Music is very important in the Israeli culture.
AVIVA-Berlin: How did you get in contact with the Popkomm?
Daniela: Popkomm has had good relationships with the Israeli music business for many years, so it was very close for us to get involved with them. There have already been many Israeli artists performing at the Popkomm. This year it was a proposition of Ben Rif who is the manager of Rutsi Buba, an Israeli rockabilly band. He made the contacts for the showcase at the Gr├╝ner Salon (Volksb├╝hne). It is very nice that the showcase is initiated by us, the musicians, not by a big label or a big company, so it is not about the connection between big companies or something like that.
AVIVA-Berlin: What sort of experiences have you had in Berlin regarding daily and cultural life?
Daniela: It is very nice to live in Berlin for a while and enjoy the large culture scene. Often we went out for a concert and didn┬┤t know much about the musicians before and it turned out to become a very beautiful evening. We went also to a couple of parties. Opposed to Tel Aviv there is a very laid-back, a very relaxed atmosphere and you can sense it in the art scene if you have time to get into it. There are also many galleries and museums, it┬┤s really a cultural city and a great place to get inspirations for the own work.
Ben: I haven┬┤t been to many other cities, so it┬┤s near for me to compare Berlin with Tel Aviv. On the surface it is very much like Tel Aviv. The people look like the same kind of people, they seem to be relaxed as well. But seen from the inside in Tel Aviv are more differences and there is tension in the air. Related to musical work it is more difficult to organize music events, to talk to people and things like that.
Daniela: And we can┬┤t ignore the fact that the political issues in Israel are affecting the conditions of living in Tel Aviv and to work creative there. Here it┬┤s more healthy in that matter.
AVIVA-Berlin: In Israel there have been demonstrations and activist events against the social situation and to draw attention to the problem of housing shortage. How do you feel about it, how do you see the situation in Israel?
Ben: In Berlin such demonstrations are taking place every year, people are used to going on the streets to point out problems within the inner social situation. In Israel that is something new. When it started the atmosphere was so tense it felt like before exploding. And when the demonstrations took place so many people came. So it┬┤s a big thing for us that it happened now.
Daniela: Yes, it┬┤s so exciting to see. It feels like our generation in general is raising its voice now and makes important messages to change things. We both feel, though, staying in Berlin at the moment, very connected to it. I, personally, want to live in Israel but I want to make it a healthier place.
Ben: If you look back at the last fifteen years it┬┤s obvious that it┬┤s not so popular in Israel to go out and demonstrate, especially in Tel Aviv. All people were more minding their own business, trying to make a living. To see that it turns to another way now really gives hope for the future. And there is a lot to demonstrate against in Israel.
Daniela: There are so many topics which need to be said in public. When you watch Youtube videos about the demonstrations and you can read Hebrew you will note that the signs of the people are about a lot of different things. Every person has got their individual matters.
AVIVA-Berlin: Thank you very much for the interview!
More information about Daniela and Ben Spector at:
Read also our review to "Love is".