Apple's Weakness for Israeli Singers and What It Says About Selling Digital Music

Almost a decade ago, Yael Naim starred in an ad for Apple. Now, it’s Noga Erez’s turn, but this time dismembered and apocalyptic sounds replace sweet and innocent melodies

Ben Shalev
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Noga Erez performs at Israel's InDnegev festive this year
Noga Erez performs at Israel's InDnegev festive this yearCredit: Tomer Appelbaum
Ben Shalev

The music and PR people at Apple have a weakness for Israeli female vocalists. Almost a decade ago, in early 2008, Yael Naim starred in an ad for Apple singing “New Soul.” Now, it’s Noga Erez’s turn: “Dance While You Shoot” is the soundtrack of Apple’s new ad for its music streaming service.

It’s interesting how different these two songs are. Naim’s song was sweet, innocent, and melodious, and the world it reflected might have been a bit strange, but it was very kind. That was apparently what accounted for sales in 2008.

Yael Naim - New Soul

Erez’s song is the polar opposite. It’s dismembered, pixelated, apocalyptic. Erez sounds like an opponent to the regime in a dystopian comic book. If Apple’s PR folks know what they’re doing, and they probably do, this is what speaks to the youth of 2017.

For Erez, the new ad will of course be a springboard for attention and views, as well as more legitimization for the electronic pop she performs with skill and determination. But before declaring her a national treasure, listen to the words. Erez is furious about something, someone or some entity, that took her best years and then gave her the finger. It’s not entirely clear, but when she sings “Can you dance while you shoot,” she means Israel.

Noga Erez - Dance While You Shoot (Official Video)