An interview with Eurovision’s Israeli songstress, Netta Barzilai

Written by
Keren Brown

From winning season 5 of “Ha Kochav HaBa” (Israel's answer to American Idol) to releasing Israel’s Eurovision song “Toy”, Netta Barzilai is on a roll. Her viral hit is a mix of pop, soul, Mediterranean beats and chicken clucks, and has already garnered 16.5 million views and counting.

Israel's hottest singer-of-the-moment takes a minute to reflect on her inspiration, musical style and what it feels like to be a viral sensation.

How would you describe your musical style?

It's a mixture of so many things like pop, K-pop, electronic music, soul and other genres. I like to mix things up and I take inspiration from many different art forms.

What do you think is unique about the Israeli music scene?

The diversity and mix of many genres like pop, Middle Eastern, etc.

Who are your musical influences?

My music style has changed and evolved so much throughout the years and I take inspiration from many diverse artists. I started with soul music and icons like Aretha Franklin and Etta James and then moved to R&B and artists such as Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill. Electronic music came later on, when I was in high school and I was really influenced by artists like Skrillex and Major Lazer. 

©Daniel Kaminsky

Where is your go-to place for inspiration?

I see my art as a very visual thing so I always look and search for inspiration from different artists and different fields of art. From comic artists to fashion designers and sculptors - one can really be inspired by so many different art forms.

What is something that most people would never guess about you?

I worked as a barista and a kindergarten teacher. I really love kids and enjoyed every minute of being in a kindergarten.

Who are you dreaming of performing with?

I'd love to perform with Die Antwoord.

What influences your taste in fashion?

Fashion is a great love of mine. I’m used to looking really hard for clothes that I like and I am really fortunate to have an amazing team of talented artists who work day and night with me to create our visions and make them come alive. My stylist Itay Bezaleli, my makeup artist Eran Israeli and my hair stylist Asi Sade have been a vital part of my journey. Nonetheless, My daily style is urban streetwear, so I take fashion to heart but still put an emphasis on feeling comfortable.

How does does it feel to be a viral sensation? What do you think is the most surprising part of it?

I knew we were making something unique and different, but never in a million years did I think the song and the video would get such a strong, positive response.

You are so fierce and confident. Is there anything in the world that scares you?


What is your idea of a perfect Saturday? What would you do?

I'd eat and watch TV all day!

What’s your motto?

You don’t have to fit the normal, standard model of how a person should look, think, talk and create in order to succeed. We're only here for a minute, we better enjoy the ride. `

Where to Watch The Eurovision 2018 

DatesMay 8 – May 12
Semi-final 1May 8, 2018
Semi-final 2: May 10, 2018
Final dateMay 12, 2018

Kikar Rabin, 11 pm

Abraham Hostel, 8 pm

Dudu Bar, 8 pm

Latest news