Supreeta Singh

 Israeli singer-songwriter Noam Vazana was recently in Kolkata to perform at Someplace Else for its 16th year anniversary celebrations. Although she refuses to classify her genre of music, the 28 year old has influences of jazz, soul and pop in her songs. Noam has the distinctive ability to play the piano and trombone together and has been called the ‘Israeli Tori Amos’ by her critics back home. She talks about spirituality, men, music and more: How did your journey as a musician begin? I always wanted to be a singer. I don’t remember but my mother tells me that I never wanted to listen to children’s music, like hymns and prayers songs even at the age of six months. By the time I was two years old, I had started to sing in the shower. When I was three, I asked my family to buy me a microphone. I started playing the piano when I was five and the trombone at 12 years. My formal voice training began when I turned 21. You have said that music is the language of ultimate freedom. What do you want freedom from? I belong to a country that has been torn apart by war and politics. Problems originate from people themselves. We have seen how empires rise and fall due to certain power hungry individuals who are ruled by their egos. As a citizen, I want my Israel to be free from conflict. Personally, I want freedom from my limited self. I want to become a better person. Why do you refuse to define your brand of music? I hate to put myself in a box. In Israel, everyone plays the guitar but I play piano. While others usually sing in Hebrew, I prefer English. Contrary to other musicians in my country, I am both a singer and songwriter. I combine irregular instruments to create a new sound. There is a mix of jazz and classical, but I never plan my music. Initially, people used to think that my experimentation is just a fling and that I am arrogant. But it’s been 10 years now, so you can call it a long-term affair. Now, they are proud of me. Where do you draw inspiration from? It comes from god. I am not a religious person but I believe in the existence of a supreme being who directs my lyrics. I feel there are very strong messages within me that I need to share with fellow human beings. People may interpret it as arrogance but I think I have a purpose to serve in society. How does it feel to be compared to American singer-songwriter Tori Amos? It’s a great compliment. She is intriguing. Her music is unique. It takes a woman of courage to talk openly about her personal tragedies. Amos was raped twice and she released her pain through music. Her honesty is endearing. Is life difficult as a travelling musician? There is no time for myself. I don’t sleep much nor can I attend to my personal errands. I go through a wide range of experiences and I have been able develop patience. Men do not understand that I can take care of myself when I am alone. They find me tough. On the other hand, I appreciate that I am alive and I have friends back home. I live in a state of constant inspiration. Moreover, I get to meet so many new people. For example, in India I am surprised by the difference between the poor and rich and the hospitality of the people. What’s next? My album Daily Sketch is ready for an October release. The songs are influenced by real life experiences ranging from my ex-boyfriend’s psychotic episodes, tips for guys on how to hit on girls and my relationship with god to a call I made to a friend in Sierra. I am also involved in a peace project between India and Israel that hopes to bridge illusion of separateness between people. The album will be released worldwide.