Asaf Avidan (Hebrew: אסף אבידן; born March 23, 1980) is an Israeli singer-songwriter and musician. He is also the creative force and front-man of Asaf Avidan & the Mojos, an Israeli folk rock band that he established in 2006 in Jerusalem.
Starting in 2012, the Mojos band project was shelved so that Avidan would concentrate on a solo career.
In 2012, he released Avidan in a Box, an acoustic live album which covers older songs by him, digital copies only.
He also launched his solo studio album Different Pulses in Israel, to be made available internationally in 2013.
Asaf Avidan also had an international hit with “One Day / Reckoning Song (Wankelmut Rmx)“. 💥 [stay tuned for WANKELMUT story soon here on dv & mb]
Avidan was born in Jerusalem in 1980. His parents were diplomats for the Israeli Foreign Office, and he spent four years of his childhood in Jamaica.
After the mandatory army service in Israel, Avidan studied animation at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts & Design.
His final project short film, “Find Love Now”, won its category at the Haifa Film Festival that year.
After his studies, Avidan moved to Tel Aviv and worked as an animator, until a breakup with his long-time girlfriend shook his world and made him move back to Jerusalem, quit his job and turn full-time to his up-till-then hobby – music.
Six songs about that breakup and subsequent heartache would constitute his debut EP, Now That You’re Leaving, which was released independently in 2006 to critical acclaim.
In late 2006, while playing solo acoustic tour across Israel, Avidan put together a support cast of musicians who would become the Mojos (Ran Nir – bass, Yoni Sheleg – drums, Roi Peled – guitar, Hadas Kleinman – cello).
The group became very famous in Israel, playing extensively there, and even got out to a tour in New York City in 2007. Here, they also took part to MEANY Fest, advancing to the finals.
In 2007, Asaf Avidan & the Mojos went into the recording studio together for the first time, and recorded The Reckoning. The album’s 15 tracks blended rock, folk and blues with Avidan’s lyrics about relationships and betrayal.
By now the band had accumulated a huge live following in Israel and most record labels expressed interest. But Avidan decided to continue on the independent path, and founded (with his brother and manager, Roie Avidan) Telmavar Records, on which The Reckoning was released in March 2008.
It reached gold status in a year, platinum later, and would become the biggest selling independent record of all time in Israel. It was chosen as Album of the Year (2008) by various media, including Time Out Tel Aviv.
“Weak”, the second single of the album, became a huge radio hit and its video was Video of the Year on Israel’s music channel. “Weak” would also be the title song of the film “L’Arbre” (English title The Tree) by Julie Bertuccelli, which starred Charlotte Gainsbourg and was the closing film at Cannes Film Festival 2010.
While several European labels put offers on the table, the band opted to embark on a self-funded summer tour in 2009, playing dozens of festivals and venues across Europe.
By the end of that summer, Telmavar Records signed a licensing deal with Sony-Columbia in Europe, for “The Reckoning” and for the band’s future second LP.
The Reckoning was released in parts of Europe in 2009, to generally good reviews.
In 2012 the “Reckoning Song” of the album became popular in Germany by a remix of DJ Wankelmut. 💥 [stay tuned for WANKELMUT story soon here on dv & mb]
The track charted on sales charts in June 2012 and reached number 1 in August.
Poor Boy / Lucky Man, the band’s second album, was released in Israel on 9/9/09. The album’s title song and main theme would revolve around a boy born with a hole instead of a heart.
The album was originally released in two different names and covers, leaving it up to the audience to decide whether this figure was poor or lucky. It would reach gold status in Israel in 5 months, and garner ecstatic reviews.
It was released in parts of Europe in April 2011. Among others, it was album of the month on France’s national FIP radio, in the newspaper Libération, and in Germany’s Eclipsed magazine.
The band continued to tour non-stop from 2009 all through 2011 (mostly in Israel and Europe but also in the US, Canada, China and India), building up a devoted following and a reputation for a legendary live show.
Amongst the hundreds of shows, they played at Brandenburg Gate at The World Championship of Athletics in Berlin; at the closing event at Cannes Film Festival 2010; at China’s biggest May 1 festivals; and at a tribute concert for The Who in Carnegie Hall, New York.
They played at dozens of festivals across Europe (including Solidays France, Latitude UK, Paleo Switzerland, Frequency Austria, and Haldern Pop Germany) as well as a number of radio and TV shows (including Taratata and One Shot Not in France, and two Rockpalast performances in Germany).
On November 30, 2010 the band released their 3rd album in Israel, “Through the Gale”, a concept album telling the tale of the voyage of a blind and stubborn captain and his loyal crew in search of immortality, to the realms of the gods themselves, only to understand at the end that a voyage with no home, that a life without death, is meaningless.
- Asaf Avidan – lead vocals, guitar, harmonica
- Roei Peled – guitar
- Yoni Sheleg (Johnny Snow) – drums
- Ran Nir – Bass guitar
- Hadas Kleinman – Cello
In July 2011, following another summer tour that saw them sharing the stage with Robert Plant, Ben Harper and Lou Reed among others, Asaf Avidan & the Mojos announced that they are taking an indefinite creative break.
Avidan had continuously played solo and duo acoustic shows throughout the band’s career, including “regular” venue shows as well as a TED Global Conference performance, supporting Bob Dylan, playing a tribute concert for The Who at Carnegie Hall and many radio and TV performances.
In 2012, Asaf Avidan announced that he was leaving Sony to join Polydor (Universal Music), and that he was abandoning the Mojos for a solo career.
He released the track “Different Pulses” in preparation for a solo international album in 2013 but to be made available in Israel in September 2012.
Prior to his first expected solo album, Avidan toured Israel with a guitar, harmonica and added vocals.
The response of the crowds to these intimate, acoustic shows were tremendous.
Encouraged by this, Avidan agreed to perform in a series of low key events spread on 48 hours renditions of some of his earlier stuff in a small rented space in south Tel Aviv.
The sessions were done with no rehearsals, with just simple guitar accompaniment and in presence of a select few friends attending.
His acoustic performances were accordingly recorded without much studio production with the result being the limited release Avidan in a Box.
Different Pulses is the first studio album of Asaf Avidan after the break-up of his band.
Different Pulses is also the name of the first single Avidan released from the album, the song had a music video made for it by director Vania Heymann.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Asaf Avidan & the Mojos
|Title||Album Details||Peak chart positions||Sales||Certifications|
|Poor Boy / Lucky Man||
|Through the Gale||
|2008||“Reckoning Song” (Only in Israel)||Non-album singles|
|“Cheap” (Only in Israel)|
Asaf Avidan (Solo)
- Studio albums
|Title||Album Details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
- Live album
(Seventeen acoustic live renditions of earlier songs)
|Avidan in a Box||
|Now That You’re Leaving||
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|2012||“One Day / Reckoning Song (Wankelmut Remix)“||1||1||2||2||1||1||1||4||8||1||30||The Reckoning (Columbia release)|
|“Different Pulses”||—||88||—||44||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Different Pulses|
|2013||“Love It or Leave It”||—||122||—||103||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014||“Over My Head”||—||—||—||142||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
💥 [stay tuned for WANKELMUT story soon … here on dv & mb]