Fafa Galoure Talks about Her New Music
Interview conducted on January 22, 2018
By Dan Locke
Efrat Cohen (aka Fafa Galoure), singer, writer and composer has been performing and arranging with Asi Ashkenazi since 2012 . The musical style is a bridge between Indie Rock and multiple patterns that range from Classical, Jazz, Blues, Soul, Ballad and Punk.
The songs reveal an internal emotional landscape that exists alongside the external day to day.
They expose personal ideals, hopes, processes and inner conflicts which arise when you struggle to be true to yourself despite your ideas about what is expected of you. The musical framework allows for delicate emotions to surface, as in the song ‘Hero’, that deals with the paradoxical nature of feeling enslaved and overwhelmed by demands, whilst affirming to yourself that you are a hero in order to keep trying. Creating harmony between one’s inner world and the outside world has been at the core of Efrat’s musical journey.
Fafa Galoure have been receiving great reviews in Israel and are being played on numerous radio shows and blogs since ‘Tingle my Taste’ and ‘No Sound’ were released this Summer.
The band took many turns over the years in terms of arrangements, band members and production. Finally, after 3 years of brewing and successfully reaching their goal in a local fund raising campaign, They are launching their debut album, ‘ As You Are’, produced by Omer Hershman.
Efrat Cohen – Singer / Songwriter / Composer
Asi Ashkenazi – Piano and Keyboards / Composer / String Arrangements
Omer Hershman – Music Production / Arrangements / Guitar
Ofer Prion – Guitar and Vocals / Production Consultant / Mixing
Karni Postel – Cello and Vocals
Adi Gigi – Bass Guitar and Upright
Elad Cohen Bonen – Drums
Unratedmagazine: How did you get the band together?
Fafa Galoure: There have been several cycles of the Fafa Galoure band members.
I began working with Asi Ashkenazi and Moshe Baavour (previous Music Producer)
around late 2011.We re-arranged my compositions and worked on “No sound” that originally was written and Composed by Moshe Baavour. We recorded an unofficial 4 track demo that can be found on Bandcamp. Around 2013, we evolved into a band of 6 members. We didn’t have live shows at this time. We decided that rehearsals and recordings have a higher priority. In 2014, we released an unofficial EP that eventually led to “As you are” that was recently released. After my realization and need to get on stage, almost all the band members left accept for Asi Ashkenazi which remained a loyal friend and collaborator. Asi and I performed as a duet for many years, till this present day. There is a beautiful mystery and intimacy to our Duet concerts. We continued working with Omer Hershman (Album Music Producer) and began to reinvent the band. Karni Postel (Cello and Singer), joined us first and we began to perform as a trio. Shortly after, Ofer Prion (Guitar, Singer, and Mixer) joined us and we began to perform as a quartet.
Every step of the way, I functioned as the manager and producer of this project that was immensely challenging in terms of budget and planning.
Shortly after, Adi Gigi (Bass) and Ran Jacobovitz (Drums) joined us.
We functioned as a full band of 6 for 3 years, until Ran decided to leave the band summer 2017.
Since then we have been working with Elad Cohen Bonen that has brought a new, fresh spirit to the band.
How did you pick the name Fafa Galoure?
Fafa Galoure was invented by a good friend of mine and myself, during my studies of communication design and art in Israel around 2001. He invited me for a photo shoot at the Opera house (changing rooms for dancers) in Tel Aviv. I had a blonde bob haircut, my mom’s long fur coat, and very red lips.
The setting was perfect. Behind the scenes, mirrors framed with yellow light bulbs, just like in old cinemas. It has a romantic and naive essence to it.
I looked like a movie star from old Hollywood, mid-late 50’s.
Fafa has been a nick name for years, comes from my original first name Efrat.
So Fafa (Efrat) and Galoure (the glamour that is disappearing from our modern day world, a big light source)… The band functions as the Galoure, Amazing musicians and Producers on their own right that joined me with full belief and love with no ego, pure music and human collaboration.
My Photographer, Doron Oved has been a significant part of Fafa Galoure as well, documenting our recording sessions, shows, my PR photos, the Album cover, etc.
You are living in Tel Aviv? What was the music scene like in Israel?
I am currently residing in Israel and so is my permanent band with hopes of moving to Europe or the States to further my musical career in 2018/9.
The Indie music scene has grown immensely in the last 5 years. There are 3 well-functioning music conventions/ showcases (Tune-in, TSC and more) that have brought to Israel many interesting industry people that enabled bands to connect and tour outside of Israel. For example, Lola Marsh.
Tell me about the development of your musical style?
The musical style is a hybrid of multiple genres such a Prog Rock from the late 60’s, Jazz and classical compositions, Glam, Punk and various influences such as Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Pj Harvey, Syd Barrett, David Bowie and more. The style established itself from my vision and influences and mutual work with all the band members that brought an original flare during the process of the making.
What is your music gender? Your Facebook profile call it Plural (mixed).
I have always considered myself a queer, gender bender ranging from feminine to male energy.
This has always been at the core of my spiritual practice.
My band is mixed, therefore the plural definition.
I see you did a local fund raising campaign to get your record off the ground. How long did you do this and did you get to your goal?
The fundraising campaign was on air for a month and a half, during April/May 2017. I managed the whole campaign myself in terms of advertising, marketing and creating visual and written content.
The funds earned by the campaign helped a great deal to conclude mixing, mastering and printing the finished Cd product. There was still a lot of independent fund raising to finish the album after the campaign concluded. I work as an Art Director to provide funds to the ongoing process of Fafa Galoure.
Efrat I see you have career is a senior graphic designer working with the music industry. You have a skill set as
editoral design, photography, branding, typography, conceptual development and art. How has these skill set helped you in the development of your band?
I think my skills as a Visual Artist have definitely helped me in bringing my vision to sound.
Translating color, texture and composition to sound frequencies, scales and harmony.
My work with numerous Artists helped me establish the approach to the look and feel of Fafa Galoure on an emotional, creative and practical note. I chose Photography as the main medium to capture the band and myself, to enable a realistic, honest preview to my world.
I am currently working on a new video clip that will be made with 3d animation to bring forward the fantastic, dreamy world that can’t be portrayed through photography alone.
What did it take to get your debut album made?
It took about 4-6 years in total of multiple processes, such as composing a raw song with piano and vocals that later developed into an arrangement of 10 instruments and several vocal channels.
Recording, rehearsing, performing, editing, advertising, marketing, PR, loans that I took when there was lack of funds. Managing the band, time schedules, payments, encouragements, building trust and belief with every band member. Designing all the visual material, from event covers to the Album design.
Mixing, Mastering, negotiations, etc.
Can you tell me how you did the screen play for the video No Sound – Official Video – 2017?
The screenplay was written with Doron Oved that directed the clip. We collaborated thoughts and ideas until it was clear what the raw intention of the song was.
The song “No Sound” is the only song in the album that wasn’t originally composed by myself.
I rewrote and recomposed Moshe Baavour’s original song.
This song speaks about the lonely world of manic depression and the terror of not being able to feel anything anymore. It was important to me to speak about this very serious condition that is very real.
I portrayed myself as a young beautiful woman living in a world of luxury that has no real meaning because i am not really there. The bottom line is, you can have all the abundance of material wealth but if you are disconnected from yourself, nothing has meaning.
Which city has the best music scene? And what your favorite club to watch live music and why is it?
That’s a challenging question to answer because there are many amazing music scenes around the world.
I think New York is definitely one of my favorite music scenes. There is always interesting fresh sounds and philosophies coming out of NY in every Genre, ranging from Jazz to Indie Rock to R&B, Hip-Hop, World music and more… London, Brighton and the UK has always provided an excellent music scene for so many decades ranging from the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and David Bowie till this very day… Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Reykjavik, Warsaw/Krakow, Moscow are definitely music markets that I would love to be part of.
Regarding venues for live shows, I love seeing concerts outside in Parks (Central park, Park slope, Washington square park (NYC) Victoria Park (London) Festivals… (Primavera, The great escape, SXSW, Berlin music week, Stadiums (Wembley) although small intimate shows reveal things that can never be seen in large stadium shows, such as up close band dynamics on stage and interaction with the crowd
(Blue note, Bowery ballroom, Mercury lounge, Terminal 5 (NYC).
How do you describe your music?
My music is an emotional journey, a personality that changes over time whilst the essence stays the same.
A multi-cultural, androgynous personality that does not belong to one nationality nor one belief structure.
In a sentence, My music is a deep dive to the mysterious and misty ocean where there is a lingering light on the surface that projects itself all the way to the bottom enabling light on every plane of existence no matter how harsh or dark. Bringing the sky to the earth. Making dreams into reality.
What type of music did you listen to growing up?
Wow, So many influences….
Considering that I grew up in London in the 80’s says a lot on its own.
Queen was a huge influence, Freddy Mercury was my favorite in my early childhood.
I listened to a lot of Classical music such as Mozart, Schuman, Satie, Chopin, Vivaldi, Beethoven and more.
Rock from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, ranging from Chuck Berry, Elvis, Pink Floyd, Cream, The grateful dead, Deep Purple, King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix, The doors, etc…
90’s -Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Eurhythmics, Tears for fears, Depeche mode, The Police, etc.
Later in my early Teens – Nirvana, Soundgarden, Radiohead, Wu tang, Nas, Snoop, Dr Dre, 2Pac, NWA, James Brown, Ray Charles, Snap, KLF, Ltj Buckem, Adam F, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Dj Shadow, Dj Cam, Ninja Tunes, Kid Koala, Dj Krush, Portishead, Massive attack, Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, etc.
Kurt Cobain – I connected to his words of not being seen, recognized and understood…
When you are emotionally overwhelmed from a situation as a teenager and you don’t have guidance to deal, the outcome is frustration, anger, violence, passive aggression and melancholy.
I admired him for finding the perfect outlet for his pain through music and his amazing talent.
It’s what you do with the anger that makes a difference.
He was indeed one of a kind.
Freddy Mercury – A bundle of abundance and extravagance. Faceb
A living peacock, Male and Female persona.
I saw him when I was 5 years old at Wembley Stadium…
It changed my view on performance and character forever.
I loved how Queen merged between Rock and Opera or classical structures.
The theatrical creative experience is what blew me away…
It was glamorous, the kind of music that can only be replicated today.
Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke were immense musical and philosophical influences…
I connected to the melancolic angelic style they pursued, their incredible depth, sensibility and precision.
How is your music being received in Israel since the release of Tingle My Taste? You have been playing on a number of radio show?
My music has been received incredibly well on the radio in Israel thanks to my PR agent Yahel Jedlin.
I was interviewed at least 3 times during Nov/Dec 2017 and played on local radio shows at least 60 times…
On 10.11.17, I started a campaign with High Violet PR and Plugging in Manchester. The campaign went very well. We were played at least 70 times on international radio shows ranging from France, UK, Germany, Italy, Poland, USA, Canada, Argentina, Greece and Australia.
One thing I noticed you give everyone credit who helped you with the videos. Good for you. I wish more artist would do that.
Thank you very much, I am very grateful for everyone involved and their legal rights of course.
Have you made the cover of any magazines yet?
No magazine covers yet but I have received very well written reviews.
Have you looked into SXSW yet?
Yes, I have. I think it’s a very good platform to expose Fafa Galoure because of their amazing manifesto of promoting and exposing multi-Disciplinary Artists.
I would love to see you perform in the states. Any plans on coming to the United States?
I would love to come and perform in the states. We are currently in the stage of planning a tour for 2019 in the states 🙂
What instruments do you used to write your music?
I mainly Write and Compose Vocally, The words come and the melody with it…
I use Piano and Guitar (Played like a Bass).
If someone was listening to you for the first time, what 3 videos or songs would you tell them to look/listen to and why?
That’s a tricky question. As you are is a versatile album.
I would start with “Hero”, it’s a very impactful song from the beginning.
It is theatrical, spiritual and the shortest song in the album.
It is connected to the Urban Shaman that I am.
“In the dark” is my personal favorite. It is fatalistic and very optimistic at the same time…
There is a large contrast between the houses (glam, upbeat) and choruses (mysterious, melancholic, and minimalistic).
I would have to say “Euphoria” as the third choice.
This song concludes the album. It is a perfect, festive, honest love song full of magic and warmth.
Who is your favorite female singer and why?
I don’t really have one favorite singer…
Nina Simone is very high in my list. What an incredible talented pianist and Singer…
She was a true pioneer at the time till now. She fought for women’s rights and freedom of speech.
She sang her truth, whether painfully beautiful or upbeat and cheerful.
Billie holiday, Ella Fitzgerald,
How do you see your band in the next 5 years?
I see us changing and evolving…
By then I hope to have at least 2 new Albums out, Tours in the USA, Europe and Asia and everything else that comes my way that feels right. I hope to collaborate with well-known artists such as Grizzly Bear, Queen of the Stone Age, Brian Eno, PJ Harvey, Radiohead, Blonde Redhead, Son lux and many more.
I have high hopes and I plan on working hard to reach higher places and people.
What is on your bucket list?
Olympics 2020 Japan!
Touring the world, travelling and learning. Interacting with new fans and industry people.
What is on your phone for music now?
Iggy pop – Post pop depression
Anohni – hopelessness
Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruins
Nick Cave – Big changes
Bjork – Utopia
Paco de Lucia
Lcd Soundsystem – American dream
Gil Scott Heron
Queen of the Stone Age – Like clockwork
Anything in closing you would like to say?
My true agenda is to keep creating new music and art that connects people to themselves and each other.
Performing and expressing my message of hope and unity around the globe.
Whether if it’s the positive or negative feelings that arise. They are all worthy feelings and important.
Challenging people to get out of their comfort zones.
To continue collaborating with Musicians that will always have the spotlight just as well as I, Together.
We are getting ready for a tour in Europe 2018.
Thank you, Efrat (Fafa) Cohen
Thank you for chatting with Unratedmagazine.