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Discovering The Vibrant Sounds Of Israeli Music In Tel Aviv

Strangers on the streets of Tel Aviv introduce an American to the diverse and catchy world of Israeli music.

I came to Israel this summer with absolutely zero knowledge of Israeli music and artists, having been immersed in the music of my own American culture.

However, music is a huge passion of mine, and I was ready to learn more. Who better to teach me than Israelis themselves, so I went out on the streets of Tel Aviv to ask people to introduce me to their favorite Israeli songs and singers.

These random strangers were so friendly and excited to give me recommendations, and they did not disappoint.

The songs they named were from diverse genres and really increased my knowledge of Israeli music. I recognized familiar sounds, beats and even some words, and appreciated the talented performances.

Yoni, 23, said that his top song right now is “Tsunami” by Jasmin Moallem and Mergui.

Yoni expressed how much he loves Mergui, saying that the song is so sweet and “just the vibe.” “It’s hella underrated and it needs more love,” he said.

Mufleta (also spelled “moufleta”), by the way, are sweet buttery pancakes traditionally served at the Mimouna festival celebrated by Moroccan Jews immediately after Passover.

Israelis drink and sing as they enjoy Purim festivities in Jerusalem 15 March 2006. The feast of Purim marks the salvation of the Jews from the Persians some 2,500 years ago. PHOTO BY SAMUEL ARANDA/GETTY IMAGES  

Noga, 25, said her favorite songs at the moment are “My Brother Is Getting Married” by Doli & Penn with Mosh Ben Ari and “Jah Is One” by Mosh Ben Ari.

Noga told me that she has liked Mosh Ben Ari from a very young age. She connects with the lyrics and music and she loves the beats.

Adi, 25, is currently obsessed with the new song “DXB to TLV” by Omer Adam, who consistently ranks among Israelis’ most listened-to pop stars. When asked why, she kept it short and sweet, saying “I don’t know; summer vibes.”

Uriel, 19, is a huge fan of the rapper Vibe Ish, and his songs “All Dayfeaturing rappers Yishay Swissa and Michael Swissa, and “Max” for the high production quality.

I discovered this tune during my first week in Israel while doing a DJ activity with my Birthright group, and it’s kind of become “our” song. It’s super catchy and upbeat with beautiful vocals that pair perfectly.

I was fascinated by this whole new type of music and surprised by how many elements are similar to the American music I know and love. 

Rock, rap and pop are my favorite genres and it was amazing to get a taste of it in Israel.

Below is a Spotify playlist that I created, featuring the 10 songs mentioned above. Have a listen and get a taste of the sounds of Tel Aviv!


Produced in association with ISRAEL21c

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