Take 5: Izakman

Israeli solo artist Izakman (aka Itamar Isaak) released his first UK single ‘Cyber Love’ last month via SuArt. The award-winning animator has already attracted the attention of his local music industry with his charismatic stage presence and enigmatic style. We decided to find out more about this talented artist with a Take 5…

When did you realise that you wanted to be a music artist? What or who has inspired you?

Music has always played a significant role in my life. I think watching “Yellow Submarine” for the first time on VHS is what inspired me to play an instrument. I guess I was ten back then. By then, my biggest hobby was drawing, which I was continually doing ever since I can remember myself. Yellow Submarine was to me a synesthesia of sound and colour. It just blew my mind.

I studied piano from a chamber music musician – Miri Singer, who mainly plays the harpsichord in her concerts. I especially enjoyed improvising in her lessons, and she really encouraged that in me, saying I don’t need to study composition since it came out of me naturally.

Despite my passion for music, I decided to major in visual arts in high school and later on to study animation in Bezalel Academy For Arts And Design in Jerusalem. Back then, I found music schools too strict and uninspiring. That decision didn’t stop my musical development as I kept writing songs, composing and recording for visual works as well as personal projects. I approach music like painting, but with audio. I have many influences: The Residents, Brian Eno, Early Pink  Floyd and any quirky or theatrical performers like Alice Cooper and Arthur Brown.

Who, living or dead, would you dream of collaborating with?

It’s a difficult question because I have quite a long list of icons like Bowie and George Harrison I would dream to collaborate with. These days Daevid Allen (R.I.P) from Gong is my primary role model, and I even had a few dreams of us jamming together. I love his immersive quirky presence on stage—a true cosmic troubadour.

Tell us about your single – “Cyber Love” what is the song about?

Cyber Love was spawned from a feeling of alienation, and deals with reaching out across cyberspace, social media platforms and dating apps and the struggle to make a true and meaningful connection.

Tell us 5 things you love about where you live in Tel Aviv – Jaffa

1. The sea. I love to watch the sunset and go sup surfing.

2. There is a strong alternative culture here. A lot of young artists live here.

3. The diverse and busy nightlife here. Up till 2020 you always had things happening every night, gigs, psychedelic parties, lectures and spiritual activities.

4. The town is full of contrasts. You have the Mediterranean vibes of Jaffa and the European feel of Neve Tsedek less than a kilometer away. You got the third world shabby streets near the central bus station and the well-maintained city centre. And the city is pretty small. You can cover it by foot.

5. Shevet – A gathering space for anyone who wishes to open up, connect and love. They regularly host workshops, movies, conferences, parties, shows and other events that aim to promote love through patience and giving. I go there quite frequently and volunteer every once in a while.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

To go back gigging again like it was before the corona restrictions. I look forward to playing in Europe and making new connections.