dimanche 2 août 2009

Yehonathan or an openly gay singer in Israel

After two people have been killed and eleven others wounded by a masked man at a gay club in Tel Aviv last saturday night, I have the feeling Israel may not be the better place to be openly gay sometimes, but is any place on earth safe from homophobia ?
Don't fear me gettin' into politics here, just that I find it some kind of way of writing about a pop/dance artist that I've come through recently on the web as he is from Israel and now openly gay.
Yehonathan (Gatrovitch) started his career (singer & actor) there deep in the closet but after a two years hiatus in Los Angeles, he came back to his country to relaunch his musical career all out and open about his sexuality. And his music and especially his videos shows him off as a gorgeous man gettin' sexy or romantic with guys in an attempt to make people grow up with public homosexual behaviour.
Displayed on his MySpace page for example, videos for My turn, where he's dancing in a club with his man, or Just another summer, where he is gettin' naughty and wet under a beach shower with his lover before they sleep on the sand in a close embrace, are totally new to my eyes, sexy and provocative. Although controversial, they've been popular too, and that must be because they're shameless. Isn't this love & life after all?
What first had me have an eye on then attracted my ears and feet, and I bought his first digital english album online straight away, as his music is hi-nrg dance/house, what I like best as you may know now.
My Turn is not only made of that. It's a musical journey into different territories, from dance/house clubbing to electronical pop or romantic balladery. Maybe not enough cohesive to definitely win my heart but fine enough to make me listen to it now and then and wait for more to come from the 32 year old Tel Aviv cutie boy, that looks like a cross between american Ben Affleck and french Titof to my eyes.

Just another summer and My turn are perfect dance anthem, with nice intros and big chorus. Both have been translated in english from their hebrew original versions to help him crossover and I hope the gay webcommunity will make them hits. The first one has a nice building synthetic rhythm going round around his vocal parts but My turn is the real potential breakthrough hit with its haunting house arrangements and anthemic melody.
Children of the sun is a breezy and sunny laidback electronical mid-tempo while Heaven adds some trip-pop inspiration to the same atmosphere. Across the universe starts slowly too before building up around a pulsating beat and a nice aerial chorus. Way back home has the same kind of slow starts before getting into a dance anthem like the two previous singles, with a dreamy melody of magical piano added on top of that.
This (too short) album has a quiet moment too, with Field of emotions, which is a floating and calm peaceful song. You will always be my love is another calm declaration of love, more rythmic though, and Say goodnight ends the tracklisting (before a club remix of My turn) with more beats and guitars for an electronic pop/rock mid-tempo with nice and memorable chorus.
Yehonathan worked on this album with his ex-boyfriend Lyrik and the soundtrack of their lives makes me hope for better things to come. Their inspiration comes from eurodance sounds to actual american dance/house.
More tracks from him are available on digital stores, from his featurings with other dance DJs from Israel, like How much with Offir Malol or Waiting for you (Tel-Aviv) with El-Zi, or from his former hebrew/english Yehonathan EP, with remixes, so you can extend the tracklisting yourself to make it the album you want.
In that sense, I prefer the cover of this EP displayed above over the right album cover down here, where Yehonathan doesn't look that good I think :

For more of him, videos, music and pictures, just go to his pages www.myspace.com/yehonathanmusic and www.Yehonathan.com and enjoy!

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