The Young Professionals, frequently shortened to TYP (and stylised as T¥P) hail from Israel and blazed across the internet in 2011 with their take on an old disco classic D.I.S.C.O. The duo consists of Ivri Lider and Johnny Goldstein. Their new single Let’s Do It Right, featuring Eva Simons was released on Monday and I got an exclusive first listen to it last week.
Building on their previous albums sound, Let’s Do It Right is an in-your-face club banger that catches you instantly and sweeps you off your feet. Both Ivri and Eva’s vocals are on top-form and they blend effortlessly together along with the impeccable production. It’s an impressive coup featuring Eva’s powerhouse vocal on the track but it doesn’t undermine or out shadow Ivri and Johnny’s work. In fact I think they complement one another perfectly, and they need to work together more often.
I also caught up with Ivri to discuss the progress of their new album Quick Quick, Star Star, Money Money, why TYP don’t identify as a “gay band” and the importance of gender-bending.
Vada – Hello, nice to meet you.
Ivri – You too.
The Basics – who are you and where do you come from?
The band is called TYP, which stands for The Young Professionals. We released the first album I think two years ago in Israel and Europe and the States. We’re signed for Universal France so we’re like an Israeli-French band in a way. That’s our like base.
Well we started as a group of artists basically, not only musicians but a group of people who started working together on this concept of TYP, of The Young Professionals. It started from music – Johnny and myself just started writing together but after a while we decided that we didn’t want to go the regular path of finding the record label and hiring people and stuff like that so we thought of this concept that would involve friends of ours basically from Tel Aviv who work in things that are surrounding music – that’s video, PR, writing, visual contacts. Anything like that that you usually work with but it actually made everyone a part of the band and then you have a band instead of having like a drummer, a bass player, a keyboard player. We have a manager, a graphic artist, a video artist and a dancer. So that’s what we are about and we’re recording… we’re actually mixing our second album right now and it’ll be out soon.
How would you describe The Young Professionals sound?
Well I think we went through a process. We started off being an electronic-indie kind of thing – a lot of chill-out sounds. That’s how we started when we had started writing. Then somewhere, not even intentionally, but along the lines of writing the first album we started writing more… what you would call “clubby” music. The BMP was higher and the sounds were more clubby. This second album is a much more fun album, it’s much more about pop music and pop culture and it’s less indie and less chill-out, in a way.
Your debut album 9am to 5pm, 5pm to Whenever was released in 2011 in Israel and internationally in 2012 – are you happy with the reception it received?
It was pretty good. In Paris it did really well – we played the big clubs and we have a following there and it’s pretty cool to see this following there. And of course in Israel too. We played all around the world these last two years. We’ve just came back from Mexico and from Russia and Europe. So I think we were pretty happy about it. We’ve played some festivals that were fun. Now we’ll see what happens with the next one.
Do you have a favourite song from that album? I like Fuck Off Berlin, that’s my favourite.
Oh god. Wow. Favourite song? That’s hard. With Me maybe. It’s either With Me or 20 Seconds I would say.
The new single, Let’s Do It Right, is released this week (Feb 3rd) – talk me through it. How would you describe its sound and what is its message?
We had a chance to work with together with a guy called Michael Tordjman. He’s a producer for Martin Solveig. We hooked up with Michael for a track. He sent something and we developed it from there and we wrote the track together. Then we said “okay, we need a cool female featuring on this track” so we approached Eva Simons. Luckily for us she said she loved it would be happy to be on it so we worked with her a little bit. It’s nice because it’s all happening online basically because Michael is in France, we’re in Tel Aviv, she’s in Amsterdam so it’s all online. That’s how it came about.
It’s a track about two people that just want to be together and want everyone else to get the fuck out. Like go away… everybody leave now. Everybody go away now… I just wanna be with this person right now. Where you’re part of a situation which you don’t want to be ruined – you want the situation to be different and you’re waiting for that to happen.
Are there any more collaborations on the new album?
Oh yeah. We have Far East Movement on another track which is brilliant because we love them. We had a chance to perform with them in Paris early last year and we partied a bit with them and they were really cool. They’re really nice people. There’s a track called Say Hey which we really wanted someone like that. We sent it to them and they really liked it, so they did it.
There will be more collaborations on the album. Some stuff that we’re recording right now. We’re collaborating with a French band called Mutine. They’re a young pop band from France that are also signed to Universal.
We come from Tel Aviv so the first album was something we did here in Tel Aviv – it was very based here. Everything had to happen here. And then we went out and we got to France and we got to meet all those people and suddenly we can work with all those musicians and artists and it’s really cool. We’re becoming a part of a scene and I think we took advantage of that in the second album because for us it’s really cool getting to work with those producers and singers. So on this album we tried to do all kinds of things because we like taking bits-and-pieces of music. In the first album we did that with D.I.S.C.O. and we had some Arabic music on 20 Seconds. It’s something that we like doing so we could open up even more for collaborations this time because we had the way to do it.
Is there anybody that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Oh wow. [Laughs] That list is too long. [Laughs] There are tons of people that we really admire. You always meet people that you go “oh okay we can do something with him, with her”. In the music world there are so many talented cool people so I hope we’ll get to do more stuff with more bands because it’s cool.
Can you give me any more information on the new album? When is it released? Does it have a name yet?
It’s going to be called Quick Quick, Star Star, Money Money. That’s the name of the album. The single is released now. There’s an EP released I think in March and then the album after, probably more towards the summer.
Where did the album name come from?
It came from a conversation we had with this producer we were working with. We discussed music, we discussed the situation right now in the music industry, in the world and in culture and everything. When you’re a part of that scene and you’re working with pop culture sometimes you can feel like that. You can feel something about the way people want it to happen or the way people want it to go.
We felt like its describing something that we want to be a part of but we are also criticising at the same time. A bit of self-humour in a way. So we felt like it’s a good title for something like this album.
When is the video out for the new single?
We’re actually working on that right now. We’re working on a script and choosing from some directors that we have in mind. Probably March also.
Our magazine is aimed at the LGBT community and you are openly gay. Do you think it’s important for gay artists to talk about their sexuality through their music?
I think it’s very important to be as open as you can with what you write. If you feel like there’s a subject or something that you want to say – just say it. If you don’t, that’s fine. You don’t have to be political. If you have something to say just say it. We don’t like the boundaries. In TYP we’re not all gay – some of us are gay, some of us are straight and we don’t like ask the question “is this a gay band?” No, probably not. Is this a straight band? Of course not. Basically we’re trying to bring this discussion to a new level where you don’t have to ask “is that gay?” No, it’s just what it is.
But in a more general way yeah it’s important for artists to talk about their sexuality because it moves something. I think famous people… it’s important because I knew that I had this opportunity here in Israel to be famous and to be able to say something like that and then influence other people to do it and make younger people to feel good about themselves and to see that you can be successful and welcome and be out and gay. So I think that’s an opportunity an artist should… I recommend taking it. That’s all I can say.
The videos of TYP D.I.S.C.O. and 20 Seconds along with the teasers for the new Let’s Do It Right video repeatedly blur the lines between genders – moustaches and make-up, hairy chests and heels. Is there a reason behind this and are you trying to portray a particular message?
It’s a part of saying… We met with Uriel [Yekutiel] the performer and he’s a part of TYP and with Uriel it’s a lot about the gender blending. It’s saying “yeah I can be a man but I can be a man who wears high heels, I can be a man who puts on make-up if I want to” and that’s cool. To be honest to talk a little bit about boundaries – not even in sexuality but in anything, in culture and countries, in societies – if we can say something that will make people be less boundary-oriented well that would make us happy. Also with gender of course. You can be whatever you feel like being at a certain moment.
Vada and a lot of our readers are based in the UK – do you have any plans on touring the UK?
We would love to. We love the UK. I don’t know yet. I hope so.
Finally, after Let’s Do It Right and Quick Quick, Star Star, Money Money, what’s next for the band?
We’re writing all the time so I guess after this album there’s another one and another one. We don’t stop doing what we do. I really hope that this album will be followed with a long successful tour – that we get to play a lot of places… UK and more. For us it’s great because as we get to experience so much stuff. It’s so cool to get to go to all those countries and meet those people. We arrived in Mexico and we didn’t even know if anyone knew us there and we then we met so many fans and so many people that are into what we do. It was so great to play for them. When something like that happens it’s a gift. It’s great. And then we realise “okay, that’s why I’m doing this”.
So that’s what I hope will happen if everything goes well and people like the music and like the album.
If Let’s Do It Right is anything to go by then I’m sure they will.
Yeah? Well I hope so. It’s a very fun album with a lot of different styles and different things in it but still I think… I love it. I’m really happy with it. I think we’ve come up with some really cool stuff so I hope people will think that too.
Thanks a lot Ivri.
I’ll see you in London I hope. Bye.
Let’ Do It Right is released now and available to download from iTunes:
Thanks to Ivri Lider for answering my questions and to Gil Noy for making this interview happen.