With songs that deal with sexual assault and the tensions in her homeland, the 27-year-old from Tel Aviv is Israel’s most defiant star
Surveillance states, manipulative media, sexual assault and social media storms – these are natural headlines for any news programme in 2017; less so the themes of an album by a rising pop artist. For Tel Aviv-based musician Noga Erez, however, songs are her way to “process the issues that bother me about the world”. Her music is clattering, confrontational and takes no prisoners. Dance While You Shoot is an agitated attack on a government that she tells me is becoming “more extreme, more religious, more nationalistic”; a track titled Global Fear speaks for itself. You won’t find Erez writing any straightforward tales of cheating hearts.
“I got a lot of advice not to talk about what’s happening in Israel,” says the 27-year-old, taking off her sunglasses. Her hair is rolled into multiple shapes on her head and, with her structured rain mac made of neon orange mesh, she looks like she’s stepped off the cover of the Face, circa 1998. “People who care about me told me, ‘Listen, don’t go outside and start talking about things,’” she continues. “And for a while I thought, ‘This is what I’m going to do – whenever I’m being asked about it, I will avoid it.’ But I can’t, because the songs are about it. People think it’s brave but I just think it’s… necessary.”
If you take away culture away from places then it doesn’t do good to anyone, it makes that place even worse