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Gay Israeli singer coming to Chicago
Exclusive to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

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Ivri Lider is an Israeli idol.

The singer known for innovation, creativity and a diverse musical pedigree is coming to Chicago for a performance Sunday, June 12, at the House of Blues. He also will be performing Saturday, June 11, at PrideFest in Milwaukee.

"I'm very excited about coming to Chicago. I hope I'll have a little time to enjoy the city," said Lider, who has been to the Windy City once previously—"and I loved it."

"I remember the tall building where I was too scared to go all the way to the window. ... Maybe this time I'll try again," he said. "This time we're coming with a new electronic trio and not the regular more 'rock-y' band. It's a combination of electronics and live drums and the music got a little more of a 'clubby' feel. We'll play songs from my soon-to-be-released English album and also some earlier radio hits from my Israeli career. I think it'll be a nice mix [of] new and old stuff."

Lider, 37, lives in Tel Aviv, is gay and dating. His musical influences are too many to name, he said—from classical music to people like Keith Jarret, Brian Eno, David Bowie, Bright Eyes, Bjork, Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel. Lider said he has long admired producers Brian Eno and Rick Rubin.

"I think my music is very diverse," Lider said. "I've been playing and writing many different styles of music because I'm scoring films and I wrote music for modern dance where you get to try different things all the time. I have a classical and jazz background, but I have also been playing rock and pop since an early age. I like trying different things, new and exciting arrangements for my songs, so I'll always stay interested and excited about them."

Since releasing his 1997 debut, Lider has been one of Israel's biggest-selling artists of all time. He is a winner of Male Singer of the Year, nominated by countless national radio stations and music magazines. He is releasing his next album globally, called Fly/Forget. The album, produced by Andy Green (Lou Reed, John Cale, Keane), brings together the numerous styles that Lider has exhibited in the past, bridging his love of electronic music ("Black," "Mike") with warmer acoustic tracks ("Fly/ Forget," "Today") and classic pop ("Whiskey Prince.")

"I get a little bored when an album only has one style," Lider said.

Lider said one of the most exciting concerts he has ever attended was Nine Inch Nails, performing in Tel Aviv. "The energy, sound, lights, video and level of playing were amazing," he said. "Also in Tel Aviv, I went to a LCD sound-system concert which I enjoyed very much, and one of the must memorable concerts I've been to was Leonard Cohen at the Albert Hall in London two years ago; it was a privilege to see him there."

"The thing I'm most happy about in my life is the fact I can just do the things I love doing as my 'job.' I think I'm very lucky to have that opportunity and hope it'll never be different.

"I'm a hard worker. I love what I do and take it very seriously. I try to take everything to the limit and do my best. I guess talent has a part in it, too."

One of the most popular Israeli DJs, Offer Nisim, has done numerous popular remixes of Lider's songs, "and I'm very, very happy about that," Lider said. "It's another way to experience those songs and it's a great way to reach different crowds.

"I also love to remake songs of other people. I did a cover for 'I Kissed a Girl' by Katy Perry and recently I did a cover for 'Telephone' by Lady Gaga. It's a lot of creative fun to play with songs you like and think you can bring new meaning to them.

"My biggest goal is to keep doing music that I feel is relevant and exciting for me and for other people. I love playing all over the world and traveling, so I hope I'll get to do a lot more of that. Israel has a very interesting music scene with the different influences from the Western world and from the Middle Eastern world, creating a new melting pot of sounds and colors."

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