Israeli singer embraces Britney, Apple for success

Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:45am EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Folksy French-Israeli singer Yael Naim found commercial success after her song "New Soul" played in Apple's MacBook Air laptop ads, pushing the song to No. 7 on U.S. music chart Billboard's Hot 100.

She already had gained fame for what some saw as a comic choice to cover pop singer Britney Spear's "Toxic," singing a soulful, poignant version of the commercial hit while playing piano.

But Naim, 29, whose self-titled new album was just released in the United States two months earlier than originally planned following the success of the Apple ad, says she's not worried about being seen as too commercial.

"It opened a great window for us, for a lot of people to have a chance to hear about our music," she told Reuters in New York. "We had a lot of propositions ... but we thought Apple and Macintosh have some connection because today we work with computers to do our music."

The singer-songwriter, who was born in Paris but spent a large part of her childhood in Israel, recorded her new album in her Paris apartment with her music partner, percussionist David Donatien.

"We did not have a label," she said. "We did not have a lot of money so we did it just with a computer."


She became disillusioned with the "big studio" experience after her first album "In a Man's Womb" was released in 2001 through EMI, which insisted she keep her name to just Yael.   Continued...

<p>Yael Naim delivers a speech after winning the best world music album of the year award during the 23rd "Victoires de la musique" ceremony (French music awards) in Paris March 8, 2008. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier</p>