28 May 2012 (Universal appeal in Israel)
While having dinner at a local pub last night, Yuval kept getting sucked in to one song after another playing over the speakers. All were songs by Israeli artists that I didn’t recognize. This popped a question in my mind: is there a musical artist in Israel that has universal appeal across all Israelis? An artist that is popular among all the different ethnic and religious groups? Within Jews, the Ashkenazis, the Sepharadis, the Mizrahis, the Orthodox, the traditional, the secular, etc. Within the Arabs, the Muslims, the Christians, the Bedouins, the Druze. These being very general categories, with each easily having a few sub-categories or sects of their own. An artist appealing to all of these groups seems like a pretty tall order.
(Even in my home country of Japan, while being a much larger country than Israel but having much less of a complex mix of ethnic groups or religions, I can’t really think of any current musical artist that is more or less liked by everyone. But this may have more to do with the time we are living in, with so much information and options to choose from. A national superstar seems like something of the past, when there were only a few television and radio channels to choose from.)
Yuval and I agreed that to be universally appealing to a complex audience like Israel, the artist needs to be from outside Israel, among other things. Madonna arrived in Israel last week for her upcoming show this Thursday… I wonder how diverse her audience will be? Although I can’t really imagine the Orthodox appreciating her music!