Ivri Lider: On the Verge / The Israeli Pop Star Gains International Fame
By Jordana Horn Published May 21, 2009.
Ivri Lider is an Israeli rock star whose fame is beginning to extend beyond the boundaries of his landsmen and language. Lider, who is openly gay, was catapulted into international consciousness with his 2009 cover of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl.” The video of the that cover has since ricocheted around the world on YouTube. Lider is now finishing up his first English-language album. Jordana Horn spoke with him on the eve of his upcoming North American tour.
In 2002, you were already a big rock star in Israel. What prompted your decision to come out?
On a personal level, I felt complete and happy with my life and who I am, and I didn’t see any reason to not talk about it. It seemed strange to have an interview and not to talk about it, about my boyfriend, about my life. ... On a less personal level, I felt it’s kind of my obligation. When you’re an artist and you’re doing well and you’re successful, you get a lot of love and appreciation and energy and good things from people, and I think you need to give it back. Maybe I can influence people and help younger people that struggle - help them to be able to change their views, and stuff like that.
Were you surprised by how your religious fans reacted positively to your coming out?
You know, what I really like to see at my concerts is the diversity of people - a gay or lesbian couple next to a straight couple next to a religious couple, and they’re all singing the song and experiencing the same emotion, each one with his own thoughts and personal experiences. That’s real openness. That’s the real deal: You believe what you want to believe in and whatever’s good for you, and you respect me for what I believe in. That’s the way things should be. I don’t see any reason why someone is religious, but he won’t accept other people. True religion is all about love, or should be, and respect.
For North American Tour check Ivri’s website