Israeli pop singer Aderet has seen a spike in her popularity with an unlikely audience. Her newest single, “Say No More,” produced by DJ Dvir Halevi, has been a favorite on an Internet radio station popular with Lebanese listeners around the world over the past two weeks. Aderet, who is a transsexual, seems to have tapped into the power of music. Indeed, it appears that Arab audiences care more about her hit song than they do about her religion, nationality or sexual identity.
As Aderet told The Shmooze, while growing up she “listened to Arabic music in addition to Israeli and American artists.” She cites Ma-donna, Aretha Franklin and Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum as her biggest influences. Aderet said that Kulthum’s “deep, sad voice cou-pled with gentle sounds of violin and darbuka drums” helped inspire her club hit, which features an orchestral score, electronic beats and Aderet’s vocals.
Throughout the country’s short history, Israel has produced many internationally recognized singers. Ofra Haza and Haim Moshe, among others, were well known in Europe during the 1980s and ’90s, and Dana International, who, coincidentally, is also a transsexual, won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998.