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Hassidic Star Fried Sings Israel's Popular Songs

Famed Hassidic star Avraham Fried connects to Israeli musical "jewels" that have lyrics that suit his singing tradition.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 8/23/2011, 6:07 AM

Hassidic singer Avraham Fried is marking the 30th year of his musical career and gave a performance in Rehovot last week.

After many years in which he made music which relied solely on Jewish sources, Fried recently began collaborating with Israeli songwriters and will soon release a new album based on that collaboration. Arutz Sheva met up with the popular singer to hear about this new experience.

“I’m excited about it because after the success of ‘Aleh Katan’ and ‘Rak Tefila’ (Little Leaf and Just a Prayer, two songs Fried sang which were not based on texts from Jewish sources) it was a no-brainer to do an all Israeli CD,” Fried said.

“I think the Israeli music, especially the songs we chose, is full of soul and prayer,” he added. “For me it was very heartwarming to get a personal phone call from the composers of these songs to tell me that they love my version. I’m comfortable with singing in Hebrew.”

For the new album Fried is working with some of Israel’s top songwriters, including David D’Or, Hanan Yovel (who also wrote the music for ‘Rak Tefila’), Boaz Sharabi and Ariel Zilber.

“They are all very wonderful people,” he said. “It’s great to see them. They’re so full of life and passion and fire, and I trust that we’ll find some great material.”

D’Or, who released an album based on melodies composed to Jewish prayers two years ago and who performed with Fried last week, said that it is a pleasure to work with him.

“This is the second time that we’ve performed together and our voices melt into each other,” he said. “I believe that what makes him special is that the heart sings and when the heart sings you can hear it through the voice.”