Friday, December 15th | 27 Kislev 5778


Be in the know!

Get our exclusive daily news briefing.

April 29, 2014 11:49 am

Israel’s Rising Ethiopian Music Star on Life as a ‘Black Jew in a Land of White People’ (VIDEO)

avatar by Shiryn Solny

Email a copy of "Israel’s Rising Ethiopian Music Star on Life as a ‘Black Jew in a Land of White People’ (VIDEO)" to a friend

The cover art for Ester Rada's lead single 'Life Happens.' Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli singer Ester Rada discussed her musical journey and Ethiopian roots in a recent BBC profile coinciding with the release of her new album Life Happens.

Born in Kiryat Arba, Rada said growing up as the daughter of Ethiopian immigrants was sometimes confusing as “a black Jew in a land of white people.” Her family, she said, has a “very Ethiopian mentality,” but as a child she distanced herself from it seeking to identify only as an Israeli.

“I didn’t really want to speak the language or hear the music because I was very confused. I said to my mom, ‘don’t talk to me in that language. If you want to speak to me, talk to me in Hebrew,'” she said.

As she got older, she discovered a new found appreciation for her heritage. She told the BBC, “Just when I grew up did I decide to listen to the music again and I fell in love.”

Related coverage

December 14, 2017 11:43 am

Family of Mumbai Terror Victims Granted State-Owned Home in Israel - Rabbi Nachman and Freida Holtzberg, who lost their son and daughter-in-law in the 2008 terror attack on the Indian...

Rada’s debut album, which features songs in English and Amharic, draws inspiration from her Ethiopian roots but her musical education came from other places as well.

“When I was a child there was the religious music in the synagogue and [on] the holidays, and at home I had Ethiopian music,” she said. “And when I moved to Netanya, I discovered MTV and then I got my music from MTV.”

Rada said she doesn’t see herself as an icon. “I don’t want to take responsibility of playing a role for anybody,” she said. “I do the best I can for me and if people will get inspired by it, it will make me happy but, that’s it.”

Watch the music video for Rada’s lead single, Life Happens, below:

Share this Story: Share On Facebook Share On Twitter Email This Article

Let your voice be heard!

Join the Algemeiner
  • You already know thus significantly in the case of this topic, produced me personally believe it from numerous numerous angles. Its like women and men aren’t fascinated unless it’s one thing to do with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. At all times care for it up!

  • He also said life’s a stage.

  • Alexi

    Nice track Ester!

    I’ll definitely drop this at some of my gigs.