The electrifying newcomer tells us all about herself.
Taking inspiration from Björk and MIA, Noga Erez is making the most exciting and striking electronic music that we’ve heard in a long time. Bursting onto the scene last year with the effortlessly cool “Dance While You Shoot”, her following releases, “Pity”, “Toy” and “Off The Radar”, have seen her gather universal praise for her unique take on electronic music and her fearless lyricism.
Now gearing up for the release of her debut album, Off The Radar, on 2nd June, Noga is about to conquer the electronic world and we can’t wait for her reign. We managed to catch up with her whilst on tour with Sylvan Esso to find out all about her.
When did you first fall in love with music?
It’s hard to think of a specific point when I fell in love with music. I feel I have always been attached to it. It was always there and always present. Listening to music and dancing to it was just something I did. I cannot separate myself from this sonic layer that was always a part of my life.
Who would you say are your main musical influences?
My debut album is out this June and I feel like, naturally, it contains many influences because it summarizes all the music that I’ve listened to my whole life. But, while writing this album, my partner Ori and me spent a lot of time listening to Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, M.I.A, Vince Staples, Princess Nokia and many many more
You grew up in Tel Aviv. Can you tell us about how that’s inspired your songwriting?
I believe that my music reflects the place I come from in many different ways. Israel and, more specifically, Tel Aviv is such a complex, crazy, and beautiful place. A place of made up of many cultures. So, it makes sense when growing up in that kind of environment, you get something that feels very diverse and all over the place, but it still has it’s specific flavor.
What can we expect from your upcoming debut album, Off The Radar?
This album is a compilation of songs that my partner Ori Rousso and I worked on for almost three years. When we collected the songs for the album, many were left behind. We kept the ones we felt were the best introduction to our musical world. This music was created while experimenting with sound and ideas and when we wrapped it up, we’ve added in some a-capellas. That tied the music together into something that felt more conceptual. It’s very diverse, all over the place, but I think we’ve managed to make it feel pretty cohesive.
“I love being on stage because it’s so dangerous. There is only so much you can do to ensure everything goes ‘right’.”
Your songs are often politically engaged. Do you think it’s important for artists to address these issues?
I don’t necessarily believe that artists have a responsibility to play an ‘activist’ role. Art should do all sorts of things, it should address deep and meaningful issues, but also be fun and entertaining. For me, it’s important that some of the music out there touches those issues, of course. Made by people who talk about what’s happening in the world in a way that touches the personal human experience. Ideally challenging or informing listeners vs. the click bait media. Giving them pause for thought.
You’re currently on tour with Sylvan Esso. What’s your favourite thing about performing live?
I love being on stage because it’s so dangerous. There is only so much you can do to ensure everything goes ‘right’. We practice and rehearse for hours, fine-tune every beat and do everything we can to make sure we’re putting on the best show possible for the audience. But eventually, it’s just you and your music and a bunch of strangers, trying to form a connection, and that situation is always unexpected and surprising.
What’s been your wildest on-stage moment?
We were playing a show at SXSW a few months ago and something really strange happened to one of my keyboards. Like a bug or glitch, something that has never happened before and I didn’t know how to fix it. So, in the middle of the song, things started to go crazy, out of control. Of course it was awkward and unexpected. But, it created this crazy amazing sound that repeated in a weird rhythmic way, and was so fun and avant-guard. We fixed the problem, but I was never able to recreate that sound again.
What else have you got lined up for this year?
The album is released on June 2. We have a very busy summer ahead of us, a lot of shows at amazing festivals and then some more touring in the fall. Our show is now growing from being a duo to a trio, so it’s a refreshing change that will really make the show even more live.