While many may consider creativity to be one of the staples of the music world, its fair to say that the industry is actually full of bands and performers that look, act and sound the same, traits that make them almost completely forgettable. Yet once in a while a performer comes along and manages to take originality and imagination and infuse it into both their music and performance, which makes for a must-see event.
Today, the city of Tel Aviv sees a new band attempting to shatter the conventions of music and blur the boundaries of performance. TYP short for The Young Professionals is taking the act of creating music and throwing it in a blender with everything from art and fashion to dance and architecture.
Emerging from Israels bustling young arts scene, TYP is the brainchild of producer Johnny Goldstein and singer/songwriter Ivri Lider. The genesis of the band dates back to 2008 when Goldstein requested Lider, a well-known and award-winning Israeli musician, to work with him on an album he was putting together. Lider declined due to other work commitments but the two contacted each other a year later and started throwing ideas around. After Goldstein had put together some electro beats, Lider added lyrics and melodies, and before long the band was starting to take shape.
The concept of TYP though was never to simply create music. The pair had ideas beyond simple sonic invention, and subsequently started to look for collaborators. This search would quickly develop into a musical collective that was a far cry from the traditional band mold. Instead of a guitarist, the duo recruited a graphic designer. In place of a bassist, a web developer was brought onboard. Elsewhere, marketers, strategy consultants and performers were all introduced into the mix. While other bands undoubtedly made use of such services, TYP was adamant that each of these job roles made up a vital part of the band itself, and for good reason too.
TYP was to be an aesthetic exploration into a variety of different art disciplines. Inclined to step away from how most other bands performed, Goldstein, Lider and Co. came up with performance concepts that would allow them to exhibit both the bands musical and non-musical influences. After much head-scratching and plotting, the band would finally make its debut performance in April 2011, and in emphatic style.
Stepping onto the stage for the first time, TYP blasted through a set of electronic-infused pop songs at the Fresh Paint Contemporary Arts Fair, Israels most influential arts show. The bands live performance was accompanied by a huge 3D projection which used a nearby abandoned building as a screen. The result was an audio-visual delight, and one that instantly set the band apart from the masses.
It didnt stop there either. TYP would go on to fuse its musical performances with even more artistic formats. The band performed at the Castro Fashion Show as models paraded along a catwalk. A performance at the Blue4Dance Festival in Eilat saw TYP join famed Israeli producer Offer Nissim on stage for a special set that included a mesmerizing light show bright enough to illuminate the darkened desert around it. Perhaps the most extravagant performance of all though took place at the Tel Aviv Museum. The band, performing at the request of the museums directors at the opening the new Herta and Paul Amir Building, was flanked by a spectacular state-of-the-art video-mapping display which amazed the crowd gathered before it. Each of these performances made it clear that the band was willing to push innovation further.
Before taking to the stage and expressing their artistic diversity, the musical foundations of TYP were laid down by Goldstein and Lider in the studio. Both were looking to take their influences and construct a new sound that was unique to the project. It was this idea of building something new from something old that propelled the band forward.
Goldstein cites hip-hop music as influential in his musical development, whilst Lider is happy to point out that the likes of Depeche Mode, Yazoo and the Pet Shop Boys each had an impact on his music. Both were brought-up on classical music and studied music academically. All of this, combined with Goldsteins producer credits, formed a solid base for the band to start from.
Before the pair knew it they had 14 tracks in the bag, enough for a full length album. Happy with the quality of each song, TYP began to prepare its debut effort.
Rather than simply compiling an assortment of individual songs, the album would be based around a recurrent theme. The entire band had been built on the concept that young professionals were a group of yuppies that worked in an office during the day and partied at night. The album would subsequently feature songs that each referred to these young professionals at a different time of the day or night. When it came to naming the album, the band went for 9:00 to 17:00, 17:00 to Whenever, which clearly demonstrated the dual roles described on the album.
With the album almost ready, TYP decided to rustle-up interest by releasing a single ahead of the album. The release would be D.I.S.C.O., a cover of the 1970s Ottawan classic. On 7th July 2011, the band unveiled a video for the single featuring performance-artist Uriel Yekutiel dressed in womens clothes and dancing alongside four attractive ladies. The band performed at a launch show in Tel Avivs Haoman17 club the following night, unaware that the video would thrust TYP into the public conscious. In just 11 months the video would receive more than 900,000 hits.
Over the next two months the band revealed videos for P.O.P. and 20 Seconds, the latter of which again featured Uriel Yekutiel, before finally ushering in the new album on September 14th.
In support of 9:00 to 17:00, 17:00 to Whenever, the band played an album launch show at The Block in Tel Aviv, as well as a number of other shows. The band would go on to receive nominations for Best European Act and Best Israeli Act at that years MTV EMA Awards.
The early months of 2012 proved anything but quiet for TYP. On the back of its debut album, performances and, of course, the video for D.I.S.C.O., the band inked a three-record deal with Polydor Records, a subsidiary of major label Universal. A string of releases followed, including a cover version of the popular Lana Del Rey single, Video Games, the re-release of D.I.S.C.O., this time in two editions featuring remixes by international producers and artists, and the unveiling of a video for the song Young Professionals, which paid homage to the bands hometown of Tel Aviv. Amidst this influx of releases, TYP would agree to a deal for American events promoter Live Nation to become the bands booking agent.
The roller-coaster ride continued through April and May and into June. First TYP was selected by the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality to perform at the citys Earth Hour event, a performance that was witnessed by some 20,000 people. This was followed by the band heading to Paris for a showcase event and Cannes for an appearance on the number one French talk show, Le Grand Journal. The band rounded it all off with a triumphant return to Tel Aviv and the Gay Pride Festival. Having been selected by the events organizers, TYP headlined a beach party event that followed a 50,000-strong parade through the citys streets. To the delight of each of the audiences, the four events saw the band joined on stage by Uriel Yekutiel.
Somehow, amongst all of the jet-setting, TYP managed to return to the studio to record two new songs to be included on the international release of 9:00 to 17:00, 17:00 to Whenever, which is available now in stores across France and Belgium. An online release of the album is scheduled for the U.S. and Canada on July 4th, whilst further global releases are expected later this year.
Following the release, TYP will embark on a worldwide tour, returning to a live setting that allows the musical innovation captured on recording to dance with art in its many forms, together generating the type of audience experience that allows the band to stand-up and stand-out.
TYP Members: Ivri Lider and Johnny Goldstein, along with Roe Shani (branding and design), Gil Noy (Web development), Ronit Arbel (public relations, management and marketing), and Ori Saly (management and marketing strategy)
TYP website: www.typband.com
TYP on Facebook: www.facebook.com/typband