The Radiohead – Israel connection

January 20, 2009 - 2:46 PM by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Music, Pop Culture 

Radiohead is known for being one of the most innovative bands on the planet. Dudu Tessa is not. However, Tessa is a well known genre-jumping Israeli singer-songwriter. Tess grew up in the Hatikvah neighborhood of Tel Aviv and put his out first album when he was just thirteen years old and has released four more albums. So what does Tessa have to do with Radiohead you ask? His first single, “Ezei Yom” (What a Day), features Jonny Greenwood, mostly known for his work as Radiohead’s guitarist and keyboard player. According to Ynet (Hebrew link), Greenwood visits Israel quite often, which makes sense since his wife is Israeli and he met Tessa through family friends.

You can listen to the resulting song in the YouTube video I embedded below.

Radiohead’s relationship with Israel actually has quite an interesting back story. In 1993, several months after the band released their first single with minimal success, the song “Creep” made quite a splash on the charts in Israel due to well respected DJ Yoav Kutner’s incessant playing of the single (which was introduced to him by a local representative of EMI). And the rest is history. Radiohead was rushed to Israel to keep the buzz going and actually ended up playing their first gig outside of the UK in Tel Aviv. Weeks later they garnished some buzz on a few midmarket California stations and then career making radio station KROQ played it and they’ve snowballed into one of the world’s most popular, innovative and influential bands.

Good story, eh?


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