TimeOut album of the year — Israeli singer songwriter Roy Dahan Special

Posted Jan 25, 2012 by Lesley Lanir
I spoke to talented indie singer-songwriter Roy Dahan, 32, at one of his gigs in the north of his homeland, Israel. In a packed local restaurant, Roy gave his audience an intimate spectacle of restrained yet relaxed lyrical folk music.
Israel singer songwriter Roy Dahan
Israel singer songwriter Roy Dahan
Bar Umanski
Roy wrote, composed and produced his debut CD 'Some of this life' released last June. It received critical acclaim and was chosen by TimeOut, Tel Aviv, as album of the year.
Classical elements layer his acoustic folk-rock sound; the cello, violin, viola all intervene and often in larger shows Roy includes a nine instrument band in his performance.
When listening to 'Some of this life' you notice the subtle artistic differences of Roy’s gentle, touching songs. Through his abstract yet dreamy melancholic lyrics drift hints of frustration, broken hearts, longings for peace, love, hope, reminding the listener of a modern Israeli Nick Drake with glimpses of Morrissey – the early Smiths, a lyrical folk journey.
Roy’s single 'Does anyone know' showcases his songwriting ability, soothing voice and acoustic rock folk sound- a solid choice for a radio single.
Have you always written songs and music?
I’ve always been making music one way or another; I played the piano from an early age. I play piano and guitar the piano is my favourite instrument.
I didn’t really get into song writing or tunes until much later. On my 30th birthday, I decided to do a show for my friends. I wrote songs especially for this and many appear on my debut CD.
Why did you choose to sing in English and not Hebrew?
English seemed a natural choice. It’s not my mother tongue but I've always been attracted to this language. Also, I really wanted to travel the world and expose my work to as many people as possible; I thought writing and singing in English would help me with this.
Do you have specific musical influences?
My musical influences are varied and different and do not rely on a certain genre. They began with songs of childhood and Israeli folk songs and various Israeli artists like Matti Caspi, Shlomo Gronich, Eviatar Banai and Yoni Rechter. Leonard Cohen and Nick Drake swept me away greatly in recent years.
Could you compare your music to another artist?
People tell me my music reminds them of the sounds of the '70s. The truth is, I cannot compare my music to something specific that I’ve heard; it’s just a feeling that creates a sound that comes from within. So, I can't put my finger on anything specific and say you can compare me to this artist or that.
What inspires you to write?
My inspiration for songs comes from my childhood, home, dreams, and memories. Music just slowly surfaces note by note, without planning or thinking. More concentration goes into the lyrics. I give emphasis to each letter, each word; they represent my feelings, thoughts, my self. I have an unexplainable need to tell my story, one that has no beginning and end
What was it like producing the album?
Working on the album was intense, yet enjoyable. It was the first time I had ever recorded; it was an experience to remember. Lots of amazing people and good friends joined forces and made this real.
Do you have a favourite song on the album?
I guess asking me to choose my favourite song is like asking a mother to choose her favourite child. So, not really they're all of equal value to me.
What are your future plans – hopes?
To play the music that I love for a living and meet lots of different people in Israel and abroad. Basically, to create and record albums and go on wild dreams.
Listen to and find more about Roy Dahan here and on facebook.