Religious Israeli pop star Hanan Ben Ari talks about her first US tour

If you’re an Israeli music fan, you’ve probably heard of Hanan Ben Ari. A pop star with a host of hit singles under her belt, who is also a devout and religious Jew.

The juxtaposition between these two factors helped the singer create his unique identity in the Israeli music scene.

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חנן בן ארי

Hanan Ben Ari

(Photo: Ou Huri)

He sang about the hardships of daily life in the Jewish state in a sarcastic single ‘Tutim’, translated as ‘Strawberries’, and was even responsible for the song that has since become ‘We Are the Champions’. of Israel entitled “Aluf HaOlam”. “, translated as “World Champion”. This song rang out on every screen and sports bar last summer when Israeli athletes won a number of surprising gold medals at the 2022 Tokyo Olympics.

Now Ben Ari has embarked on a new challenge – a tour of the United States. Over the month. Just after the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the singer will take to the stage in three US cities – Los Angeles on October 24, New York on October 26 and Miami on October 30.

In an exclusive interview with Ynetnews, Ben Ari talks about his touring plans and the expectations he has of them as a singer who performs mostly in Hebrew, unlike many other Israeli artists who have a catalog of songs written in English. .

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Promotional poster for Hanan Ben Ari's US tour

Promotional poster for Hanan Ben Ari's US tour

Promotional poster for Hanan Ben Ari’s US tour

(Photo: PR)

Why did you decide to embark on such a tour?

“First, we wanted to do this for a very long time, even before the coronavirus. A lot of people from [the U.S.] reached out on social media, asking me on Instagram and Facebook, ‘When are you coming?’

“I get a lot of feedback from them on my songs. Looking at YouTube views data, you can see we have audiences in New York and Miami. So I’ve been wanting to go there for a long time. come with my I’ve visited the United States before, but only as a guest. Now we’re doing it right. We come to feel the scene, and I think there will be more tours in the future. coming.

What type of audience do you expect to see at American concerts? Israelis? American Jews who may not know you but want to show their support?

“I’ve learned not to expect anything because audiences always surprise me…in a good way. I see it in Israel, where I have a diverse audience – of unexpected ages, from unexpected places across the country, belonging to unexpected religions – these are the most pleasant surprises you can have as an artist.

“The same in the United States, I expect to see Israelis, American Jews — Hebrew-speaking, religious, secular — all varieties.”

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חנן בן ארי

חנן בן ארי

Hanan Ben Ari

(Photo: Ortal Lavie)

Do you already have a setlist for the concerts? Will these be your greatest hits or will there be surprises? Maybe songs in English?

“Let’s make it a surprise for those who come to the shows. I always try to surprise myself too before every show.”

As you know, movements working for the boycott of Israel are very active in both Los Angeles and New York. Are you worried that there will be some sort of anti-Israeli demonstration, perhaps in front of concert halls or even during a performance?

“They can come, they will have fun.”

Have you had any experiences with something like that as an artist?

“No. Like I said, this is my first time doing a real overseas tour. So, I’ve never experienced anything of that nature, and hopefully I won’t. ever. But if they come, we’ll talk to and let them enjoy the music. I’m not afraid.

If this tour goes well, do you plan to extend it, for example, to Canada?

“We really want it. This tour is a test for us – to feel the audience and make the audience feel us. But we definitely want to come to Canada and other countries as well.”

What are the plans after the tour?

“We’ll have a little break, then we’re scheduled for a winter tour in Israel.”

Final question. What do you think about the fact that you basically wrote the Israeli version of “We Are the Champions” which is now played every time someone wins… well, whatever?

“It’s very exciting. I wrote this song about my personal challenges and how I deal with them. You never know how a song will be received by the public. Where people will play it, where people will will hear and how it will See the song about a world champion falling and getting up accompanying athletes in various events – excites me as an artist.

“We also get a lot of feedback on this song outside of Israel, from people who play it during their personal victories and happy times.”

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