Ester Rada

Ester Rada


Photo : ©Jean-Marc Guélat
Ci-dessus : Ester Rada

Ce mois-ci CHIC-CHOC à eux la chance de rencontrer l’artiste chanteuse Ester Rada lors du Cully Jazz Festival 2018. Ses origines éthiopiennes et son pays d’accueil, l’Israël, font de sa musique un son qui ne peut être classé. C’est sur des mélodies enjouées et des rythmes énergiques qu’Ester Rada honneur les artistes qui ont inspirés son art, des musiciennes tels que Nina Simone et Billie Holiday.  Face au merveilleux décor du paysage que nous offre le lac et les montagnes, Ester Rada nous parle de ses passions, de ses inspirations et du profond amour qu’elle ressent pour ce monde. Nous avons choisi de garder cette interview en anglais afin de ne pas perdre son authenticité au travers de la traduction.

Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?​

« Yes! My name is Ester Rada, I write music, I am from Tel Aviv and I am a mother. »


Photo : ©Jean-Marc Guélat
Ci-dessus : Ester Rada au Cully Jazz 2018

How does your multicultural background influence your music and your writing?

« A lot! My parents came from Ethiopia to Israel a year before my birth. I was born in Israel, so I heard a lot of Israeli music, very religious music because I was born in a very religious city and my parents were very religious. I also heard a lot of Ethiopian music, Ethiopian language of course, and all the culture of Ethiopia. That was the first mix. As I was growing up, we moved to a bigger city. Then I discovered MTV and what they called “black music”, like the Afro-American groove. It influenced me a lot because in Israel I didn’t have a black figure to look up to, a black model, and when I saw on MTV those strong black women singing their souls out, I felt an immediate connexion. When I write music, I just write songs. I don’t think of a specific genre. But for the arrangement part, I try to put a little bit of everything that I love, and I love a lot of things. »

How did you start your career?​

« I don’t know (laugh). I’ve always loved to sing. Music has always been around. It was my love, my passion, as a little girl. It was the place for me to be free. My brother gave me my first guitar when I was thirteen with a book on the chords and I taught myself. Then I started to write songs. Professionally, I started to perform in the army. Every Israeli must go to the army, so at the age of eighteen I went to the army, but as a singer, so lucky for me. This was the first time that I performed in front of an audience. I did that for two years, every day; so, it was like practice. Then after the army, life took me to another path, which was acting. I was in the national theatre in Israel. I started to act, did some movies, some TV shows and some theatre. »
« Then six years ago I said to myself “ok, stop, let’s rethink!” (laugh) My first love is music and I’ve always written songs and had never stopped. So, I said “let’s try and record four songs”. So, I took a loan from the bank (laugh) and I recorded four songs. I called together my musician friends from Tel Aviv and we started to rehearse. Our first show, God loves me I guess, was at a big festival in Israel which gathered 5000 people. It was a Friday night at eight O’clock. It was a big success. I had brought 300 CDs and they were all sold out by the end of the show. The following day there was a big article on me in the newspaper in Israel. Since then I haven’t stop. »


Photo : ©Jean-Marc Guélat
Ci-dessus : Ester Rada au Cully Jazz 2018

How was your music received by the people in Tel Aviv?​

« I was shocked. When I recorded the music, I didn’t expect much people to love it. The music is in English, which is not the language in Israel and it’s a different genre. But people loved it. It was on the radio. I have an Ethiopian song that I recorded, and it was the first Ethiopian song on the radio. »

What was the reaction from your family and friends?​

« My friends and my mom are very supportive. My mom is very proud and very happy. She heard me singing a lot when I was growing up. She is very happy that I am doing what I love. And I have the best friends. They come to almost every show when I am in Tel Aviv. »

Are the subject of your songs about your life or about things happening around the world?​

« I think it’s the same. Because the personal and what happens outside is the same thing, as I see it. We are the reflection of the world and the world reflects who we are. I can write about things that happened to me but when someone else listens to the song, he can feel a connexion to the song or he can think about a whole different thing. For me, when you create something, even if it is personal, it is always about everything. »


Photo : ©Sherban Lupu
Ci-dessus : Ester Rada 

Is it your first time in Switzerland?​

« No, but it is my first time at the Cully Jazz Festival and it is the most beautiful place I have ever been to. What is this? It is beautiful. The lac, the snow on the mountain, it is hot, and everybody is so beautiful. I am so happy! We are on a tour and we all said “Ok! Let’s cancel the tour and stay here, perfect!” »​

Was there another city where you felt the same thing?​

« Yes. I love my job! The fact is I can travel and see a lot of beautiful places, different people and cultures. Thank God! But this one is special, you live in a special place! »​

Can you tell us three values that you live by?​

« You narrow the answer! First, love, freedom and acceptance. »​

Is there a message that you would like to communicate through your music?​

« I think that music, because it is a language that everybody knows, is a great tool to unite people and to bring love. To bring everybody closer. »​

« I think that music, because it is a language that everybody knows, is a great tool to unite people and to bring love. »​

How do you balance your career and your life as a mother?​

« I don’t remember myself not being a mother. This is life. I don’t feel like I need to balance it, they go together because this is who I am. I am a mother, I do music and a lot of other things. My baby is beautiful, he loves music. He travels the world with me. He is the best person I know. He is perfect. »​
Ci-dessus :Couverture de l’album « Different Eyes »

If your son wanted to be a singer, what advice would you give him?​

« Sing your heart out. Whatever you want to say to the world, say it. »​

Do you consider yourself as a chic or choc artist?​

« What?! (laugh). In Israel we have a magazine that goes to events and takes pictures of people’s outfits and ask if it’s either chic or choc. I combine the two, like your magazine. »​

Découvrez le dernier album de Ester Rada, ​Different Eyes

De la part de tout la rédaction CHIC-CHOC, un grand merci au Cully Jazz Festival de nous avoir donné l’opportunité de pouvoir participé à l’événement.

Retrouvez Ester Rada sur Facebook , Insta et Youtube!

Auteur : Alex Daraio​ & Helen Antwi



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