Escape Valentine’s Day and This World in General with Ninet, Tonight at Voltage Lounge

It’s not every day that an international pop star graces the stage of the charmingly grimy and endearingly divey Voltage Lounge.  However, this Valentine’s Day that would seem to...

It’s not every day that an international pop star graces the stage of the charmingly grimy and endearingly divey Voltage Lounge.  However, this Valentine’s Day that would seem to be the case, when the Eraserhood club hosts Ninet Tayeb, better known simply as Ninet.  A decade ago Ninet emerged as the winner of Israeli Idol, leading to a debut album that achieved platinum status in a single day and a long-running television show inspired by her life.  However, Ninet quickly became bored with this scene and, for her sophomore LP, 2009’s Communicative, turned to influences like Jeff Buckley and P.J. Harvey to produce a more sincere singer/songwriter sound.  She immediately lost an abundance of fans, but that just pushed her even harder to pursue the sounds most meaningful to her.  Her efforts paid off and she went on to achieve both popular and critical fandom of her next two albums, in addition to collaborations with major musical icons such as The Jesus and Mary Chain and Cindy Lauper, in addition to Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson and hard rock supergroup The Dead Dasies.  Ninet is currently residing in LA and just released her fifth full-length, Paper Parachute, a collection of beautifully soulful and morose sonic stories, punctuated by blissful moments of rocking the fuck out.  Yesterday I got a chance to chat with Ninet about this current chapter of her career and why you should come see her play tonight, February 14th, at Voltage Lounge.

Izzy Cihak: So you have the somewhat rare distinction of already having tremendous success and now sort of starting over in the US, where you’re still a relative up-and-comer.  How has that experience been so far?

Ninet: So far so good 🙂 I am learning so many things, about myself and my creativity. Loneliness can be really good sometimes. I’m enjoying the fact that no one knows me here in the States. I’m finding my way, slowly and surely.

Izzy Cihak: You’ve achieved quite a bit in your career so far, but I know a lot of your most publicized moments weren’t necessarily those that you wound up being the proudest of, so what have been some of your own personal highlights of your career so far?

Ninet: My personal highlights in my career were all the moments I felt that I succeeded to push the sky away. Every time I ran into any kinds of barriers and I’ve managed to break them. This is what success means to me, overcoming the voices in your head.

Izzy Cihak: Do you think there’s anything that’s especially important for fans and potential fans to know about your process of writing and recording, or just your aim as an artist?

Ninet: They should know I’m aiming as far as I can fly and I’m planning on taking them with me.

Izzy Cihak: You’ve collaborated with a lot of really cool musicians over the years.  Are there any musicians you dream of one day being able to collaborate with, whether entirely realistic or not?

Ninet: Patti Smith.

Izzy Cihak: Your US debut, Paper Parachute, just hit shelves.  What would you consider to be the album’s most significant influences, both musical and otherwise?

Ninet: I’m very much influenced by nature and pain and people. This album is a result of everything I went through in the last four years. I’ve discovered the dark corners in the circle of life. Every song reflects one of my many sides. The next album will reveal many more.

Izzy Cihak: What can be expected of the live experience when you’re here in Philly, or Philthy, this Valentine’s Day?  For that matter, does that create any added pressure to do something exceptionally special?

Ninet: My live shows are a little hole in time for me. Escapism. When I’m on stage, I’m in another dimension. When people talk to me after the show, they keep saying they had an otherworldly experience 🙂 so we’re kinda on the same path. Valentine’s Day- I don’t believe in this one. We don’t need a special day to celebrate love, we should celebrate it every day.

Izzy Cihak: I really appreciate your recent music videos, especially “Subservient,” which all seem to have a lot of thought put into them and be pretty expertly crafted.  What is it that inspires the visual elements of your work?

Ninet: Usually the visual side comes at me while I’m daydreaming. And I’m a big daydreamer. It starts with colors and sounds and then very live visuals influenced by modern art, David Bowie, whiskey, and the sky.

Izzy Cihak: Finally, how do you plan to spend the remainder of 2017?  What are you most excited about?

Ninet: 2017 will be full of amazing surprises.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.