Dancer, choreographer, actor, songwriter, and musician, Golan Yosef is a multi-faceted creator and artist who weaves positivity, freedom, and often a touch of nostalgia into his singular folk-pop sound.
His new EP 'Free' (out April 23) features 5 songs in English, French, and Hebrew, and draws influence from pop music from the ’60s to today, Hip Hop, R&B, as well as Spanish, French and African music he discovered while living abroad. After a storied career in dance, which included some of the biggest musicals in France, Golan has decided the time has come to share his musical story with the world.
We caught up with Golan this month during the lead-up to the release of his new EP to learn more about the inspirations behind his music, his creative process, and what being an independent musician means to him.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your musical project?
I am a fairly international Israeli-Dutch artist-composer. That is to say, I speak several languages and have travelled a lot before settling in Paris 9 years ago. My career began in dance and to continue it I have lived in New York, Barcelona and Amsterdam, among others. You can hear those journeys in my music.
When I change country, I change playlists to immerse myself in the local culture, of course accompanied by my guitar and my notebook. When I came to live in Paris to play the leading role in a musical, I started singing lessons. It was in Paris that I started to write my first songs, where I trained in writing music, and composition. Then at the Varietes studio I had the opportunity to work in depth on my musical projects, to define my identity more.
How does your creative process usually work?
Often it starts with the guitar or the piano to reveal the melody which floats in my thoughts. Then I try to understand it and write the lyrics without thinking too much, then I continue to refine everything until the final result. But I can also start with a text that I'm writing or a text that speaks to me a lot. In this case when I am looking at the paper, I often have an atmosphere or an air of the song in mind that I try to translate with an instrument.
In the end, it's still a bit the same path; to create the clip for example, I listen to the song in its final state, to “hear” the story. At least have a fuzzy idea that I can work on developing with my team, because for now everything has been self-produced and done with my friends.
Can you tell us about your upcoming EP that will be released at the end of April?
This first EP is called FREE, because it often revolves around letting go and inner freedom. It consists of 5 Modern folk-pop songs with lots of acoustics, and quite simplistic writing. I've been working on it for 5 years in order to develop lyrics and melodies. The rhythm is very important and we have tried to stay close to the original compositions without distorting them too much with the production in the studio.
I see it as an introduction, a calling card, and I took the liberty to compose in several languages including English and French. The Ep is directed by Manuel Larrouy, we've been working together for several years now and he manages to understand my universe.
What does it mean to you to be independent when it comes to music?
It gives me the freedom to produce my music without a label or record label and to share it with my audience. Of course I would like to be signed, but today it's important to have material on the way, to have its identity and its style. The most important thing for me is that it comes from the heart and that I can share it with people.
What are you working on right now? What projects do you have coming up in 2021
To stay in the energy and use the momentum after the release of FREE, I wrote a second EP entirely in French, hopefully, it will be released in early summer 2021. I imagine this second mini-album in a more folk arrangement, maybe even an acoustic “stroll”. Moreover, at the moment, I am working on an album which in terms of style will be closer to my last single Down. I wrote Down for the film "I Want You Me Neither" the new film of Inès Reg.
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